Lasting Impression of Meyerhold on Theater

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The Influences of Vsevolod Meyerhold

An immediate way to recognize the lasting impression of a Vsevolod Meyerhold is by seeing whom he has inspired in the Soviet Union and abroad. Some of the various directors in which Meyerhold inspired in some fashion include Eugenio Barba, Joan Littlewood, Ariane Mnouchkine, Anatoly Efros and Yury Lyubimov. What in Meyerhold’s theatre or life left a lasting value or inspired these directors? One might describe him [Meyerhold] as a director-poet. If there are in the theatre director-storytellers or director-rationalists, then one is entirely justified in regarding Meyerhold first and foremost as a director-poet. This is not to suggest that his poetic view is either sentimental or ineffectual. Meyerhold is a poet-satirist, a poet-pamphleteer, a poet of deep thoughts and passionate emotions. It was these qualities that impelled him to seize so avidly on the poetry of Blok.

One might describe him [Meyerhold] as a director-poet. If there are in the theatre director-storytellers or director-rationalists, then one is entirely justified in regarding Meyerhold first and foremost as a director-poet. This is not to suggest that his poetic view is either sentimental or ineffectual. Meyerhold is a poet-satirist, a poet-pamphleteer, a poet of deep thoughts and passionate emotions. It was these qualities that impelled him to seize so avidly on the poetry of Blok.

Perhaps an immediate answer to this question is by directly quoting Pavel Markov, a Russian theatre critic, literary manager, and teacher. Between 1925 and 1949, he was head of the Literary Section of the Moscow Art Theatre. According to Benedetti, Pavel Markov is “the most outstanding teacher and critic of his generation” (298). In an article celebrating the director’s sixtieth birthday in 1934, Pavel Markov wrote:

When making a reference to Blok, Markov hints at a pinnacle moment in Meyerhold’s career. This is his 1906 production of The Fairground Booth. Many greatly...
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