The Moscow Art Theatre Letters

Jean Benedetti, Editor Routledge $84 (320p) ISBN 978-0-87830-084-6
The image of the Moscow Art Theatre as a troupe of selfless, united idealists--an illusion promoted by co-founder Konstantin Stanislavski in My Life in Art --is forever shattered by this frenetic collection of letters by the Theatre's members. Stanislavski, ``a hopeless mess'' in the opinion of actress Olga Knipper, Chekhov's wife, was regarded by the company as a muddle-headed dreamer full of impossible schemes like his Method of acting. Stanislavski's explosive, bitter behind-the-scenes feud with co-director Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko nearly destroyed the theater. Turbulent clashes among actors, writers and directors and a desperate struggle to keep solvent marked the years before Stalin's fatal patronage, which squeezed the life and art out of the Art Theatre. Benedetti, biographer of Stanislavski, has done an excellent job of piecing together a gripping offstage drama. Photos. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-0-413-69870-4
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-135-86156-8
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-135-86142-1
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-135-86149-0
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