"No More Drama" by Harriman Postdoc Maksim Hanukai Published in n+1

Monday, December 28, 2015

In his piece "No More Drama," published by n+1 (Dec. 21, 2015), Harriman Postdoc Maksim Hanukai continues his analysis of the current state of Russian theatre, which he began with his appreciation of Teatr.doc, published in the fall 2015 issue of Harriman Magazine:

THEATER HAS LONG BEEN at the center of political struggle in Russia. The theatricalization of life was one of the key aims of the Russian avant-garde, which embraced the 1917 revolution in part because it promised to transform everyday life into living theater. With the advent of socialist realism in the 1930s, Stalin turned theater into an instrument of state propaganda, but restrictions loosened again in the period of late socialism, from the 1960s to the 1980s, at which time theater acquired a near sacred status in Soviet culture. As Marina :, a leading expert on Russian theater, observes in her 2005 book The End of a Theater Epoch, “Russia in the period of late socialism was not a literature- but a theater-centric country.” While censorship was strong, and many Western authors remained taboo, Soviet directors began to test the boundaries of artistic speech through the camouflaging techniques of Aesopian language