Meyerhold and His Contribution to Theatre

2439 Words Nov 14th, 2009 10 Pages
VSEVOLOD EMILEVICH MEYERHOLD AND HIS CONTRIBUTION TO THEATRE

Introduction
Vsevolod Emielevich Meyerhold, considered one of 20th century greatest theatrical innovators, was born on February 10, 1874 in the Russian town of Penza. He was originally born into a Lutheran German-Jewish family with the name Karl Theodore Kasmir Meyergold. In 1895 he took the name Vsevolod Emievich Meyerhold after converting to the Russian Orthourdox Church. Meyerhold studied Law at Moscow University for two terms. He became fascinated with the art of theatre and as his interest increased he registered for an acting class at the Moscow Art School. Between 1898 and 1902, he worked at the Moscow Art Theatre where he was an actor in a wide range of productions
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In the ‘straight theatre’ the director takes the part of the author, and makes the actor see his work (author and director are one). After incorporating the author’s work by way of the director, the actor comes face to face with the spectator (author and director at the actor’s back), and acts freely while enjoying the give and take of the two main elements of theatre – the player and the playgoer. The director alone must set the tone and style of a performance so that the ‘straight theatre’ may not become chaotic, and yet the acting will remain free and unrestrained.”
This stylization leads Meyerhold to the "arrangement of the stage with flat surfaces", specifically, to eliminate the scenery and present the actor, as a principal mechanism for theatrical expression. This marked the beginning of the deconstruction of the stage space. The disarrangement of the stage under Meyerhold is said to have had its climax in the constructive solution of The Magnificent Cuckold and The Death of Tarelkin. The stage in these two performances referred to above is said to have resembled the renaissance box, was made as dynamic as possible and put completely to the benefit of the performance itself by being stripped to a maximum extent; allowing only enough elements to enable the actor convey his
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