chapter  13
6 Pages

Fantastic Realism and the Russian Theatre (All Saints’ Notes)

I am thinking of Meyerhold. What a genius director, the grandest of all who lived before us, and of all who exist today. His every production is a new theatre. His every production could produce an entire movement. Stanislavsky as a director is, of course, lesser than Meyerhold. Stanislavsky does not have an individuality. All of Stanislavsky’s productions are banal. The rst period of Stanislavsky’s productions: imitating the Meiningen Company. The second: Chekhovian theatre. (During this period, the Meiningen principle was projected onto the inner essence of the role-the emotional experience.) It amounted to naturalism of the same kind. All naturalists equal each other, and a production staged by one of them can be easily taken for the production of the other. Meyerhold is original. In some of his works, he senses true theatricality, does not rely on

the authority of the books, and seeks historical aspects and forms of theatre intuitively instead of reconstructing them. In such works, he is almost a genius and cannot be compared with Stanislavsky. I even think that he is a genius. Why, oh, why did life put one above the other? I know that history will place Meyerhold above Stanislavsky,

because Stanislavsky only provided theatre for one segment of Russian society, bourgeoisie and intelligentsia, for two decades. Meyerhold gave roots to the theatres of the future. The future will give him his due. Meyerhold is higher than Reinhardt, higher than Fuchs, higher than Craig and Appia.