Russian Theatre

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide knowledge and create skills related to the history of Russian theatre and the analysis of the dramatic text. The course is reserved for students of the three-year Degree Course in Foreign Languages and Literatures (starting from the second year), the Master's Degree Course in European and non-European Languages and Literatures, and the Master's Degree in Music and Performance Science. After an introductory stage in which the main lines of the Russian theatre development will be described, from the origins to the end of the nineteenth century, special attention will be paid to key-texts and figures of the Russian theatre of the twentieth century.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: at the end of modules A and B the student will know the main lines of development of the history of Russian theatre from the origins to the end of the nineteenth century. He will have in-depth knowledge of the main acting systems and theories of Russian masters of theatrical directing. At the end of module C the student will be acquainted with some of the main re-readings of Russian theatrical heritage given by Russian and Italian directors in recent years.
Skills: the student will acquire the ability to analyze the dramatic text and the staging. He will be able to place over time authors, currents and major works of the studied period; he will be able to highlight the similarities and differences between the texts read, placing them in relation with their historical and social context.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
During the emergency teaching phase, the program is maintained with the following changes necessary for a good online use of the course originally designed for face-to-face teaching:

Teaching methods:
Lessons will be held mainly in videoconference using Teams, with the exception of some asynchronous lessons (videolessons).

During the course, group activities or alternative online activities may be proposed. Anyone who, in addition to having viewed the lessons synchronously and asynchronously, will participate in group activities or alternatives proposed will be considered attending.

The lesson calendar and all the details of the activities will be published in the online course by the start of the lessons. Any updates will also be communicated through notices in the online course.

Reference materials:
Those who choose the program as attending students, in addition to the bibliography already reported in the program, must refer to all the lessons, materials and resources published in the online course.
Course syllabus
The course is called "Vsevolod Meyerhold and the 'conventional theatre'". It consists of the following three teaching units:
a) General features of the history of Russian theater from its origins to Chekhov
b) Meyerhold as actor and director
c) Meyerhold's heritage in contemporary Russia

Students who intend to acquire 6 ECTS will stick to the program of units A and B; all students who intend to acquire 9 ECTS will stick to the complete program (units A, B and C). Unit A will retrace the main stages of the development of dramaturgy in Russia from the late 1600s to the early 1900s. In Unit B, V. E. Meyerhold's activity as actor and director will be deepened. In unit C, some Russian theatrical performances of recent years will be examined, which reveal how much Meyerhold's teachings are still alive and actual.
Prerequisites for admission
The course, which is held in Italian, the materials and the exam bibliography require specific skills in Russian history, use of terminology and critical analysis acquired in previous courses.
Teaching methods
During the course the following teaching methods will be employed: online lessons; reading and commenting on scenes from the scheduled works; viewing and commenting of documentaries, films and theatrical performances.
Teaching Resources
The course has a site on the Ariel online teaching platform ( Compulsory reading works for each of the teaching units are indicated below.

Unit A

A History of Russian Theatre, ed. by R. Leach e V. Borovsky, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999. Chapters: A.D.P. Briggs, Writers and repertoires, 1800-1850; C. Marsh, Realism in the Russian theatre, 1850-1882; R. Leach, Revolutionary theatre,1918-1930.

Two texts (by two different authors, one of which must be Chekhov) from the following list:

A. S. Puškin, Boris Godunov
A. S. Griboedov, Che disgrazia l'ingegno! (ed. Marchese, 2017, traduzione di M. Caratozzolo)
L. N. Tolstoj, La potenza delle tenebre
A. P. Čechov, Le tre sorelle
A. P. Čechov, Il giardino dei ciliegi

Unità didattica B

N. V. Gogol', L'ispettore generale
M. Ju. Lermontov. Un ballo in maschera
V. V. Majakovskij, Mistero buffo
V. V. Majakovskij, La cimice

Students of Lingue e Letterature Europee ed extraeuropee will have to read at least two of works of Unit B in Russian.
Audio-visual materials on theatricall performances will be available on Ariel.

Critical essays
A selection of pages from V. Mejerchol'd, Sul teatro (Dino Audino Editore); V. Mejerchol'd, 1918: Lezioni di teatro, e V. E. Mejerchol'd, L'Ottobre teatrale 1918-1939 (publisher: Cue Press). The selection will be specified on the Ariel site.

Some texts will be available on Ariel.

Unit C

Materials related to Unit c (slides, videos) will be available on Ariel.

Program for non-attending students

Non-attending students will stick to the program for attending students, but in addition they will have to read:

Three (and not two) texts from the list above

A History of Russian Theatre, ed. by R. Leach e V. Borovsky, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999.
Chapters: V. Borovsky, The emergence of the Russian theatre 1763-1800; K. Sealey Rahman, Aleksandr Ostrovsky - dramatist and director; J. Benedetti, Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre 1898-1938; S. Golub, The Silver Age, 1905-1917

More pages from V. Mejerchol'd,Sul teatro; 1918: Lezioni di teatro e L'Ottobre teatrale 1918-1939 (specified on the Ariel site).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the teacher and the analysis and commentary of one or more excerpts taken from the works scheduled. The interview has a variable duration and takes place in Italian. Students of Lingue e letterature europee ed extraeuropee will also have to demonstrate that they can read and understand correctly in Russian at least three works among those indicated. The interview aims to check the knowledge of the texts read, the ability to contextualize authors and works and to use specific terminology, the ability to critically and personally reflect on the issues proposed. The final mark is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to refuse it (in this case it will be recorded as "withdrawn").
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to promptly contact the teacher. The examination procedures for students with disabilities and / or with DSA must be agreed with the teacher, according to the competent Office.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)