The Vakhtangov Studio crisis, 1916–1919
The commedia dell’arte improvisation was one of the many unfi nished projects conducted by Vakhtangov and his students between 1914 and 1919. Several full-blown productions were started and never fi nished, or fi nished but not shown to the audience, at the Vakhtangov Studio. Between 1915 and 1918, Vakhtangov worked at the Studio on Michael Chekhov’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s short story The Tale of Ivan-theFool and his Brothers . Discussions and rehearsals of this piece, based in Tolstovian Pacifi st philosophy, continued, on and off, at a time when the country was in the midst of World War I, and then Civil War. Perhaps the topical nature of the tale prevented Vakhtangov from fi nishing this production; the director did not tolerate a superfi - cial fl irt with the time.