LECTURE BY VS. MEYERHOLD
“15 Theses for 15 Episodes”
(INSPECTOR GENERAL at the State MEYERHOLD Theatre)
- Gogol’s dissatisfaction with the theatrical interpretation of Inspector General in 1836 as the starting point for the 1926 production.
- Entertaining and denunciatory productions.
- Anecdotal and biographical aspects of the dramatis personae.
- Using the achievements of masters of film: [D. W.] Griffith, [James] Cruze, [Buster] Keaton, and [Charlie] Chaplin. Using their methods to overcome “jokes characteristic to the theater” [see book: p. 78]. New methods of actors’ play.
- Destroying the myth of Gogol’s hyperbolism.
- The text. A choice of variants. (Spoken text.) The elimination of asides in characters’ lines.
- Language style. Discovering the musical structure of the text.
- The fiction of the monologue. Its outdatedness and techniques for its abolition.
- The fiction of the division into acts. New theatrical divisions: the creation of episodes. Using this to emphasize the fundamental core of the comedy.
- Social aspects of the milieu. The development of new characters. Design of the material elements. THE STYLE OF EVERYDAY LIFE.
- Music. The selection and arrangement of musical material.
- Critical response.
- The widespread full-force attack by minor critics and its result. Audience response.
- Three types of critics: theater experts, reviewers of the parliamentary sort, reviewers who lack qualifications.
- Accusations against the production of three deadly sins: mysticism, eroticism, and asocialism. Our response.
Meyerhold’s debate points for “Debates about Inspector General”
From The Director's Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde by Dassia N. Posner