Литературные премии, социальные границы и национальный театр: крестьянин в русской драматургии эпохи “Великих реформ”
The paper concerns representations of the peasantry in Russian plays of 1855-1876. It is focused on a group of plays that was submitted for the “Uvarov Award”, the first literary prize in Russia. This unique source allows us to compare plays by outstanding playwrights and professional stage writers of the time, who provided theaters with ample production for everyday use, with writings by amateurs. The authors focus on a common pattern of representation, in which peasants transgress the borders of their estate (soslovie); most plays focus on marriage or a love story that forces a peasant woman to change her social status. The recurring employment of these tropes was most likely used to reflect the rapid growth of social mobility and the weakening of stable borders of estates in the age of reforms of Alexander II. The most outspoken version of this transgression can be discovered in award-winning The Bitter Fate by A.F. Pisemskii. The members of the committee that was responsible for distributing the awards believed that the play allowed viewers of different social strata to join, thus transgressing the borders of estates not only on the stage, but also in the auditorium.