The Provisional Abdication of Total Theatre
The halted production of Tretyakov’s I Want a Child marked the end of a period of intense experimentation with forms thought rational for influencing the audience as a whole. The idea of the total theatre with its myth of the representative auditorium had lost its attraction in Soviet Russia, at least for the time being, and at least in its politicised version. The age was post-revolutionary and pre-Stalinist at the same time. General issues could no longer be approached outside the framework of the taboos and musts of the current political line without incurring the intervention of the censors, but in private matters pluralism was flourishing. This situation is consistent with and may even partly explain the major shift of emphasis that occurred in the latter half of the 1920s from director to actor, from production to text, and, of course, from politics to psychology.1
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.