Issue:

№ 9 2020

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22455/2541-7894-2020-9-208-235

УДК / UDK: 82(091)
About the author:

Maxim M. Gudkov (Saint Petersburg State University, Senior lecturer)

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Abstract: Several plays by William Saroyan written in the mid-1930s reached the Soviet stage only during the Khrushchev Thaw, in the early 1960s. The paper focuses on the first Soviet productions of Saroyan’s play My Heart’s in the Highlands, premiered in Armenian (Yerevan) in 1961, and in 1962 staged in Russian by the Mayakovsky Moscow Theatre. The paper analyses the reasons for such a late appearance of Saroyan’s dramas on the Russian stage, traces how Saroyan’s trip to the USSR in 1960 prompted the staging of his work in Armenia’s capital, which thereon paved the way for its Moscow production. The theatrical history of Saroyan’s work in the USSR is viewed in a wide social, political and cultural Soviet-American macro-context during the Cold War. The paper based on the rare materials from the museum of the Mayakovsky Moscow Theatre, focuses on the reception of the play and its production in the Soviet Union. The director Ya.S. Tsitsinovski strove to transmit the elevated, poetic spirit of Saroyan’s work and find a vivid expressive form, which was not typical for the Mayakovsky Theatre of N.P. Okhlopkov’s time. Its appearance on the Moscow stage in 1962 marked the beginning of the scene history of the American author’s drama in our country. The paper is aimed at reconstructing the theatrical history of Saroyan’s plays in the USSR.
Keywords: William Saroyan, American drama, Soviet theatre, 1960s, Thaw, Mayakovsky Moscow Theatre, My Heart’s in the Highlands.
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