Vsevolod Meyerhold

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Born February 9, 1874(1874-02-09)
Died February 2, 1940(1940-02-02) (aged 65)
Collections RGALI, Yale Library
Web Wikipedia, Wikipedia-RU

Vsevolod Meyerhold (Всеволод Эмильевич Мейерхольд, 1874–1940) was a Russian and Soviet theatre director, actor and theatre producer.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 made Meyerhold one of the most enthusiastic activists of the new Soviet Theatre. He founded his own theatre in 1922, which was known as The Meyerhold Theatre and lasted until 1938. Meyerhold fiercely confronted the principles of theatrical academism, claiming that they were incapable of finding a common language that could reflect the new reality. The actors participating in Meyerhold's productions acted according to the principles of biomechanics, a system of actor training that was later taught in a special school created by Meyerhold. Meyerhold connected psychological and physiological processes and focused on learning gestures and movements as a way of expressing emotion outwardly. He developed a number of body expressions that his actors would use to portray specific emotions and characters.

Meyerhold was strongly opposed to socialist realism, and at the beginning of the 1930s, when Stalin was clamping down on all avant-garde art and experimentation, his works were proclaimed antagonistic and alien to the Soviet people. His theatre was closed down in January 1938. In 1939, Meyerhold was arrested and accused of anti-government political activities. Sentenced to death by firing squad on 1 February 1940, he was executed the next day.[1]


  • Meyerhold On Theatre, trans., ed. & comm. Edward Braun, London: Methuen, 1969, 336 pp; repr., 1978. (English)
  • O Teatro de Meyerhold, ed. & trans. Aldomar Conrado, Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1969, 244 pp. (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Nasledie. 1. Avtobiograficheskie materialy. Dokumenty 1896-1903, ed. O.M. Feldman, Moscow: OGI, 1998. 744 pp. [1]. Review: Syssoyeva (TDR 2010 EN). (Russian)
  • Meyerhold, et al., Meyerkhold i drugie, ed. O.M. Feldman, Moscow: OGI, 2000. (Russian)
  • Lektsii: 1918–1919, ed. O.M. Feldman, intro. B.I. Zingerman, Moscow: OGI, 2000. 280 pp. [2]. Review: Syssoyeva (TDR 2010 EN). (Russian)
  • Nasledie. 2. Tovarischestvo novoi dramy. Sozdanie Studii na Povarskoi. Leto 1903–vesna 1905, ed. O.M. Feldman, Moscow: The New Publisher, 2006. 664 pp. Review: Syssoyeva (TDR 2010 EN). (Russian)



  1. Andrey Smirnov, Sound in Z: Experiments in Sound and Electronic Music in Early 20th-century Russia, London: Koenig Books & Sound and Music, 2013, p 117.

See also