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Article

Надежда Бромлей и Борис Сушкевич: актеры, режиссеры, вахтанговцы (материалы к творческой биографии)

Обсерватория культуры. 2020. Т. 17. № 5. С. 526-537.

Boris Sushkevich and Nadezhda Bromley (Sushkevich-Bromley) are remarkable theatrical fi gures, actors and directors whose lot was connected with the bright and dramatic periods of our country’s theatrical life from the beginning to the middle of the 20th century. They devoted a part of their professional life to the 1st Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre (from 1919 — Moscow Art Academic Theatre), which later became a separate theater (Moscow Art Academic Theatre II, 1924—1936). Since the middle of the 1930s, they worked in leading Leningrad theaters — the Leningrad State Academic Drama Theater (Alexandrinsky Theatre) and the New Theater (1933—1953, now the Saint Petersburg Lensoviet Theatre). This article introduces little-studied archival sources of biographical nature related to the work of these outstanding cultural fi gures. Nadezhda Nikolayevna Bromley was a heiress of the Bromley — Sherwood creative dynasties, which had made a signifi cant contribution to Russian culture. She joined the troupe of the Moscow Art Theater in 1908, performed on the stage of the 1st Studio (1918—1924), was one of the leading actresses of the Moscow Art Academic Theatre II after its separation, participated in its Directing Department being in charge of the literary part. Generously gifted by nature, N. Bromley wrote poems, short stories, novels; her fi ctional works “From the Notes of the Last God” (1927) and “Gargantua’s Descendant” (1930) earned critical acclaim. Two plays by N. Bromley were staged in the Moscow Art Academic Theatre II. One of them — the full of hyperbole and grotesque “Archangel Michael” — was passionately accepted by E.B. Vakhtangov and A.V. Lunacharsky, though never shown to a wide audience. At the Leningrad State Academic Drama Theater and the New Theater, N. Bromley not only successfully played, but also staged performances based on the works by A.P. Chekhov, A. Tolstoy, M. Gorky, F. Schiller, and W. Shakespeare. Boris Mikhailovich Sushkevich, brought up by the Theater School of the Moscow Art Academic Theatre and in the Vakhtangov tradition of the playing grotesque, is one of the most interesting and original theater directors of his time. His directorial work in the play “The Cricket on the Hearth” based on a Christmas fairy tale by Charles Dickens became the hallmark of the 1st Studio (and later of the Moscow Art Academic Theatre II as well). This play remained in the theatre’s repertoire until January 1936. B. Sushkevich was a recognized theatre teacher — with his help, the Leningrad Theater Institute (now the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts) was established in 1939. Together with N. Bromley, he managed to fi ll the New Theater with bright creative content and make it a favorite of the Leningrad audience. This research expands the understanding of a number of yet unexplored aspects of the history of theater in our country and recreates the event context of the era.