Title of the article:



Vera К. Кrylova

Information about the author/authors

Vera K. Krylova — PhD in Arts, Senior Research, Institute of the Humanities and the Indigenous Peoples of the North of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrovsky St. 1, 677027 Yakutsk, Russia. E-mail: kvkrepressgur@mail.ru


History of Arts




Vol. 55


pp. 231–248


June 11, 2019

Date of publication

March 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



The article discusses the changes that occurred in the wake of revolutionary events of October 25 (November 7), 1917 in Petrograd, which in many ways transformed the meaning and content of the theater. The goal of the revolution was to destroy not only the entire bourgeois system, but also the cultural heritage that had been created in Russia for centuries and above all, the religion. And since power of theater`s impact on human psychology is well-known from the ancient times, it was determined to be one of the main tools in the fight against religiosity, especially of the Russian people. In that regard, one cannot pass over the fact that during a period of transformation of sociocultural processes of the 1920s and 1930s, theatrical activity turned out to be particularly effective in changing the consciousness of Russian society. The religious persecution was total, Soviet government having thought through every detail to sow discord within the church under the guise of fighting hunger, and thereby eradicating spirituality in people as soon as possible. Thus, under the conditions of building a new political system, for the first time in the entire centuries-long history, art came to be an object of politics, state-building belonging to the field of propaganda. The ideologists of Marxist-Leninist materialism, including A. V. Lunacharsky, A. A. Bogdanov, as well as V. I. Lenin, bore in mind a tremendous extent of theater`s influence on the audience, while considering primary matter, not spirit. To achieve their goals, they sought to use acting talent in the production of such anti-religious plays as “Savva” by Leonid Andreev, hence their close attention on it. Thus, gradually, steadily by means of theater among other things, proceeded the process of affecting the religiosity, as one of the characteristic features of the Russian society of the time. The process was not loyal, but ferocious due to the fact that within the shortest time the Soviet government needed to destroy spirituality in people replacing it with revolutionary expediency.


theater, religion, split of the church, revolutionary expediency, a play “Savva” by Leonid Andreev, religiosity, theater and politics, spectators, transformation of the stage image.


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