Vol. 3 No. 2 (Fall 1982)

BEARS AND BEAVERS: CANADIAN STAGE PRODUCTIONS OF RUSSIAN PLAYS

J. Douglas Clayton

The author presents a survey and statistical analysis of English and French-language productions of Russian plays in Canada. Although the first production was He Who Gets Slapped by Leonid Andreev, Chekhov came to dominate the repertoire, followed by Turgenev, Gor'kii and Gogol. There were, however, some remarkable experiments with plays such as Roar China! and Erdman's The Suicide.

Un survol et analyse statistique des mise-en-scènes canadiennes de pièces russes en anglais ou français. Quoique la première pièce russe presentée au Canada fusse He Who Gets Slapped de Leonid Andreev, Chekhov a ensuite dominé le répertoire canadien, suivi de Turgenev, Gor'kii et Gogol. On note, cependant, quelque mises-en scène experimentales marquantes telles que Roar China! et The Suicide de Erdman.

In the past few years a great deal of progress has been made in examining various aspects of the Canadian theatrical experience - research on the history of the theatre in Canada, on Canadian plays and playwrights, but one looks in vain for any substantial research on foreign plays in translation in the Canadian repertory.1 Yet it seems self-evident that Canadian theatres have continually had recourse to non-Canadian material to fill out their repertory, and that here too is an aspect of Canadian theatre requiring research. The following study examines the reception of Russian plays in the Canadian theatre and is motivated by the belief that a study of the reception of foreign material in the Canadian repertory will help to define the character of Canadian theatre.2 Although the data is not yet exhaustive, a large enough sample of productions on the professional, amateur, and university stages has been collected for one to make certain generalizations about the choice of plays, the differences in preference between the English-language and French-language stages, and certain tendencies in Canadian theatre. If there are gaps in the information, then they are likely to be found in West Coast productions, university productions, and French-language productions in general. I have restricted myself to productions in English and French only up to 1980. It is possible that some Russian plays were staged in other languages, such as Yiddish and Ukrainian. As far as I am aware, there has never been a Russian-language theatre in Canada.

Although it seems certain that the first productions of Russian plays in Canada took place after the First World War, there is indirect evidence of two pre-war productions which are of interest. It seems that a production of Henri Bataille's Résurrection, adapted from Leo Tolstoy's novel of the same name, was seen in Montreal before 1910.3 Most likely, this was a Parisian production on tour. The other production is referred to by Fred Jacob who, writing in the Canadian Forum in 1926, tells us that Laurence Irving, son of Sir Henry, had toured Canada with a production of a play he had written called The Unwritten Law, which was an adaptation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.4 If this information is reliable, then the first two presentations of Russian material on the Canadian stage were not Canadian in origin, but tours by foreign companies, and both plays were adaptations of Russian prose classics. It was perhaps not unnatural that audiences who had read the great Russian prose writers should want to see them enacted on stage, just as a later generation was to see them on film. The practice of adapting Russian prose, whether novels or short stories, to the stage has continued to our time.

The real reception of Russian plays on the Canadian stage dates from after the first world war. The first Russian play ever to be staged was He Who Gets Slapped by the symbolist dramatist Leonid Andreev, which is a theatrical piece set in the backstage of a circus. It was produced at the Royal Alexandra Theatre on 23 November 1923 and was one of only four plays in English produced during the 1920s, the others being Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (19 May 1926 at Margaret Eaton Hall), another play by Andreev, The Sabine Women, set in ancient Rome (23 March 1925 at Hart House Theatre), and an adaptation of Tolstoy's short story What Men Live By (April 1928, London, Ontario). There is also evidence that Tolstoy's Redemption was put on by the Montreal YMHA in the 1920s.5 The 1920s saw some pioneering work, including the first production of Chekhov, whose work was to become the most enduring feature of the Canadian repertory. No doubt directors were held back in using Russian material by the dearth of good translations, and perhaps also by their ignorance of Russian theatre trends. True, in March 1924 Gladys Wookey wrote an ecstatic article in Canadian Forum on the contemporary scene in Russia in which she mentions the Moscow Art Theatre, Beliaev, the Chauve-souris (a Moscow cabaret), Tairov, and cubist Shakespeare among the marvels of Russian theatre in the young Soviet republic. She also discussed Chekhov: '... there is a vast difference between Tchekoff's plays which form most of its [the Moscow Art Theatre] repertory, and realism as we know it in Ibsen and Hauptmann. The fixed gulf between East and West; mystic and industrialist; Tchekoff and Shaw.' 6 Wookey's enthusiasm was, for the time being, a voice crying in the wilderness, for in 1929 an article in Canadian Forum informs us that out of 290 productions given in little theatres in Canada in the previous ten years, only two were of Russian plays.7

The 1930s brought with them not only continued activity in the little theatres and the development of the Dominion Drama Festival, but also a greater interest in Russian plays, no doubt spurred by the search for new texts. The decade peaked in 1937, in which seven Russian plays were put on, and saw a total of 33 English-language productions. Several of these were noteworthy. Thus, the thirties saw Canadian premieres of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (Montreal Repertory Theatre, 1938), and The Seagull in an abridged version (Hart House Theatre, 1938). Chekhov's The Proposal and The Bear (or The Boor) became staples of the DDF, the former receiving eight productions, and the latter four.8 There was something of a vogue for Russian theatre in the thirties, as witnessed by the two articles by Malcolm Morley in Curtain Call, in which he reported on a visit to the Moscow Theatre Festival in 1935. Morley wrote, 'In Russia the theatre is a vital art. Probably nowhere else in the world has it reached the same measures of greatness. Certainly the performances there are far and away beyond what are being offered in England today.' 9 The vogue was doubtless partly inspired by the growth of various left-wing movements in Canada at the time. As Sandra Souchotte has pointed out, the workers' theatre which flourished in Canada drew at least part of its inspiration from the Soviet experience.10 An interesting fruit of this branch of the theatre was David Pressman's 1937 production of Sergei Tretiakov's Roar China! - an attempt by the Theatre of Action to recreate the 1926 production of that play at the Meyerhold theatre in Moscow. It is ironical to note that by 1937 this type of mass spectacle, a salient example of the 'dramaturgy of fact' proposed by LEF - the Left Front of Art - had long been excluded from the Soviet stage, and that only one year later the Meyerhold Theatre was to be closed and Meyerhold purged. Another quite inspired choice of play during the thirties was Aleksandr Pushkin's Festival in Time of Plague, one of his so-called 'little tragedies' written by the Russian poet in 1830. Pushkin's text was, in point of fact, an adaptation of a scene from John Wilson's The City of the Plague about the Great Plague of London in 1665. Pushkin's playlet was translated (or retranslated) into English verse by Irena Groten and produced by the Sixteen-Thirty Club of Montreal. It went on to win the DDF award in Winnipeg in May, 1938.11

The war years and in general the decade of the forties saw a sharp decline in the number of productions of Russian plays. In part this was associated with the decline of the theatre in Canada as Canadians turned their attention to more sombre matters. Partly, however, it must be attributed to the changing attitudes in Canada towards Russia as the Soviets were transformed from uneasy neutral to war-time ally to cold-war opponent. A lone production of the war years symbolized the temporary alliance with Communist Russia: The Distant Point by Aleksandr Afinogenov was presented by the Montreal Repertory Theatre in 1943. Along with another play by Afinogenov, Fear, which had been produced on the West Coast in 1935, and the already-mentioned production of Roar China!, it was the only Soviet (post-revolutionary) play to be seen on the Canadian stage until the fifties. The 1940s did witness the first full presentation in Canada of The Sea Gull, directed by Robert Gill at Hart House Theatre in 1948. Toronto audiences had already seen The Three Sisters for the first time in Canada in 1943. It was not, however, a Canadian production, but the Katharine Cornell production from the Barrymore Theatre in New York.12 The Globe and Mail consoled itself with a story on the Canadian actor Alexander Knox, who played Tuzenbakh.13

The 1950s were a decade of renewed interest in the Soviet Union and, by extension, in things Russian as Stalin's death was followed by the thaw, the publication of Doctor Zhivago, and so on. It was also a time of revival and growth in the Canadian theatre. This was expressed in a greatly increased number of productions of Russian plays - forty-nine, as opposed to only eight in the forties. As regards Chekhov, the first homegrown production of The Three Sisters, directed by Jack Landau, took place at the Crest Theatre in 1956. Landau followed it up with The Cherry Orchard in 1958 and The Seagull in 1960. The Cherry Orchard was also produced by Denis Carey for the 1959-60 season of the Canadian Players. Landau was American and Carey British; perhaps non-Canadian directors were more willing to risk undertaking a Chekhov play than Canadians for their pioneering efforts were rewarded with only faint critical acclaim.14 The year 1959 also saw the Canadian première of Turgenev's A Month in the Country. Another interesting development of the late fifties was the creation of a Canadianized version of a Russian classic. Nikolai Gogol's Government Inspector had first been played by the Montreal Repertory Theatre in 1933 and had also been produced by the Theatre of Action in 1939. In 1958 the Crest Theatre presented Mavor Moore's adaptation, entitled The Ottawa Man, about which more later.

In the fifties a new medium - television - appeared and gave a boost to the popularity of Russian classics in Canada.15 The CBC presented Chekhov's The Bear in 1952 and Gogol's The Government Inspector in 1952-53, and in 1959 broadcast one of only two productions of Chekhov's Ivanov. A production of Uncle Vanya followed in 1964. Television also played a major role in introducing Russian drama to French-speaking Canadians. The French-language theatre has throughout the period studied been much more reticent than the English-language stage in introducing Russian plays into its repertoire. For example, during the first fifty years of its existence, Winnipeg's le Cercle Molière did not produce a single Russian play, and, of the total of 263 productions of Russian plays recorded, only thirty-seven were in French.16 True, there is evidence of two French-language productions of Russian plays before World War II - Gogol's Marriage (Un Homme difficile à marier, 1926) and a stage version of Dostoevskii's Crime and Punishment (Crîme et Châtiment, 1939).17 These productions appear only as isolated incidents without further consequences for the history of Russian drama in Canada. Hence, the Radio-Canada productions of Chekhov's Swan Song (Le Chant du cygne, 1953), Uncle Vanya (Oncle Vanya, 1958 - the only French-language Canadian production ever) and The Cherry Orchard (Le Cérisaie, 1961), broke new ground in introducing Chekhov and, by extension, Russian dramatists in general to French-Canadian audiences. However, probably the most significant French-language theatre production of a Russian play during this early period was Jean Gascon's The Sea Gull (La Mouette) which opened at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in November 1959. In his review in Le Devoir, Pierre de Grandpré stressed the boldness of the choice: 'Jouer Tchekhov pour notre public, voilà qui est plus hardi que de monter trois farces de Molière. Et aller repêcher dans Tchekhov justement cette "Mouette" sans action ... c'était lancer un défi au sort.' 18

In the 1960s the Russian Classics - Chekhov, Gogol's The Government Inspector and Turgenev's A Month in the Country - became firmly established in Canadian English-language repertory alongside Shaw and Ibsen. Overall there were some fifty-three English-language productions of Russian plays in the decade, as well as eleven in French. This was the decade when Russian dramatists were first played at Stratford, beginning with John Hirsch's production of The Cherry Orchard. Despite an unappreciative review by Nathan Cohen in The Star, this production proved to be an enormous success at the box office, playing to 98% houses, and was acclaimed by the Telegram as 'Stratford's best production' (of the year). Hirsch, the Telegram's reviewer went on, had found an appropriate style, in a 'production that fairly boils with laughter and life.' Hirsch's was a light, comic Chekhov, presented with 'an almost Brechtian alienation effect, that enables us to examine these fascinating people with intense interest but with virtually no emotional involvement.'19 Hirsch appears to have found the ideal Chekhov poised between realism and theatricality, a discovery aided, perhaps, by the exchange of the proscenium arch with the realistic expectations it evokes for the thrust stage. Hirsch's success with The Cherry Orchard was followed in 1968 by Jean Gascon's well-received English-language version of The Seagull.

In the French-language theatre a significant production of the sixties was The Three Sisters (Les Trois Soeurs) at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, directed by a guest from the Soviet Union, I.M. Raevsky of the Moscow Art Theatre (1966). To judge by the review of the production in the Globe and Mail, Raevsky's direction was typical of the conservative style for which the Moscow Art Theatre has become notorious in the Soviet Union: 'For the discipline it imposes on the actors, for its awareness of the flowing stream of humanity passing unawares through crises and turning points that only in retrospect reveal their importance, and for the clear appreciation it expresses of the decency of every human being, for such things Mr. Raevsky's direction is to be welcomed. It is not imaginative. It skirts the deeper psychological complications and insinuations, especially of the sexual stresses. But it has technical authority and a basic emotional integrity.' 20 Despite its ambiguous success, the Raevsky production, which had Yvette Brind'amour, Hélène Loiselle and Nathalie Naubert as the three sisters, must be reckoned a landmark in the history of Russian drama in Canada.

Essentially, the seventies and early eighties continued the situation created in the sixties, that is to say, the Russian classics had become embedded in the English-language Canadian repertory, but were much less frequently played in French. Chekhov's major plays, for example, were played widely - at Stratford (including the John Hirsch production of The Three Sisters, starring Maggie Smith), at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Globe, Regina, the Neptune, the Tarragon, the Théâtre du Trident, the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, among others. In fact, it seems that the Canadian public may even be becoming weary of Chekhov, who is in danger of becoming a cliché of the Canadian stage. Outside the Russian classics, however, the introduction of Russian plays has been spasmodic, to say the least, with but occasional productions of plays of the Soviet period, mostly bizarre selections in the Socialist realist style, for example, Volodin's Five Evenings, Arbuzov's The Promise, Kataev's Je veux voir Mioussov. True, some attempts have recently been made to branch out with productions of more esoteric and less conventional Russian plays, especially in university theatres. Thus, Erdman's The Suicide has been produced three times in the late seventies and early eighties; Bulgakov's Molière, a theatrically innovative work of universal importance, was produced at Dalhousie University in 1978; and in 1981 the Sock and Buskin at Carleton University produced Maiakovsky's The Bathhouse.

To sum up the picture of the reception of Russian plays in Canada, one may say that there appear to be two principal factors at work in the process: the national and international political context, and the preferences and tendencies of the Canadian theatre. The role of the political situation can be seen in the widespread interest in Russian theatre in the 1930s - a byproduct, I have suggested, of the left-wing sentiment prevalent during the depression. By contrast, the period of the cold-war, 1945-1950, showed a dearth of productions, even of the Russian classics. Equally striking is the 'blip' in the second half of the 1950s - in 1956, six productions, in 1958, five, but in 1957 only one - a clear reflection of the crushing of the Hungarian revolution by the Soviets in 1956. In this respect, it appears that to some extent the terms 'Soviet' and 'Russian' were synonymous in people's minds. As important as the political aspect, and somewhat related to it, is the question of the types of play preferred in the Canadian theatre. Out of a total of fifty-two different Russian plays presented on the Canadian stage, eighteen are plays or adaptations of prose works by Anton Chekhov. Even more strikingly, the total number of productions of Chekhov is 195 or 74% of the total. The most popular play of all is The Proposal (34 productions in English, 3 in French), followed by The Bear (30 productions in English, 5 in French). Of the full-length plays, Chekhov's major plays are by far the most popular: The Seagull (25 English productions, 4 French); Uncle Vanya (19 English productions, 1 French); The Three Sisters (18 English productions, 2 French); The Cherry Orchard (14 English productions, 2 French). The only plays by other writers which are in the running are Turgenev's A Month in the Country (7 English productions, 1 French); Gor'kii's The Lower Depths (6 English productions, 1 French), and Gogol's The Government Inspector (9 English productions). From this it is clear that Canadian directors and audiences have shown an overwhelming preference for the plays of what Soviet scholars like to call 'psychological realism', a category which would exclude only Gogol from the list given. In short, the Russian plays selected fit in with, and perform, a function rather analogous to Ibsen and Shaw in the repertory. Of the plays from the post-revolutionary period, orthodox 'socialist-realist' plays such as those by Afinogenov, Kataev, Volodin, and Arbuzov, written after the crushing of the experimental writing in Russia at the end of the 1920s, tend to dominate. The occasional revivals of Andreev are very scattered and cannot be made to fit a trend, but one can say with certainty that the early popularity of Tolstoi's plays in the thirties has faded irrevocably with his reputation as a guru of non-violence.

The few experimental, non-realist Russian plays which have been produced in Canada stand out as lone beacons: Evreinov's Theatre of the Soul, reportedly produced by the Vancouver Little Theatre Association in 1932, Roar China!, previously mentioned, and Erdman's The Suicide. For a number of decades Canadian theatre critics and directors appear to have equated Russian theatre with Stanislavsky.21 This mistake was reinforced by visits to the Soviet Union and of Soviets to North America, for the Soviet theatre has itself become one of the most conservative since the declaration of Socialist Realism in 1932 as the only permissible style; the practical equivalent of Socialist Realism in terms of acting and directing turned out to be a recrudescence of Stanislavsky, who was considered passé in the twenties. It is only since the seventies that we in the west are beginning to appreciate the extraordinary theatrical experiments of Meyerhold, Evreinov, Vakhtangov and Tairov, of which Gladys Wookey got a glimpse in 1924.

There is another feature of the Canadian reception of Russian plays which deserves comment, namely the high frequency of adaptations. I have already suggested that one problem in the slow penetration of Russian material into the Canadian repertory was probably the lack of translations in acceptable Canadian English. The solution most frequently adopted has been for directors to have the plays 'adapted' to Canadian conditions. Mostly, one suspects, it is a question of removing the British accent and making the texts more playable. This appears to have been the solution adopted, for example, in the 1980 Shaw Festival production of The Cherry Orchard (adapted by Trevor Griffiths). A step further is to have new translations made to measure. This was done by Stratford for The Cherry Orchard (1965), translated by Tyrone Guthrie and Leonid Kipnis, Uncle Vanya (1978) translated by John Murrell, and The Seagull (1980), also translated by Murrell.22 Another translation of The Seagull was made by David French and Donna Orwin for Bill Glassco's 1977 production of that play at the Tarragon theatre.23 The French-Orwin translation in particular shows what can be achieved when a playwright and a scholar collaborate on a translation. The text is in perfectly colloquial, appropriate English which conveys every nuance of the sense of the Russian yet avoids any tinge of slavishly copying the phrasing of the original. Murrell's translation of Uncle Vanya, by contrast, is much less satisfactory. It wanders from the sense of the original and manages to be clumsy in phrasing and syntax at the same time. One hopes that the French-Orwin translation, at least, will come into wider use. As Glassco notes in his introduction: 'Many who saw the production were excited by the clarity and freshness of the text which managed to be uniquely Canadian without losing contact with Chekhov's Russia.'

There is, however, a more radical solution than the original translation which has been adopted by a number of Canadian directors in order to bridge the gap between the Canadian audience and Russian material. This is the total adaptation, or rewrite, in which the scene of the events in the play is transferred to Canada. As we have seen, Mavor Moore used this approach with considerable success with Gogol's Government Inspector, renamed The Man from Ottawa (première 1958). Jack Karr described the result as follows: 'Mavor has turned the Clerk [Khlestakov] into a pompous little remittance man from England, has him stranded in a dismal Manitoba town without a penny to his name, and has had him wined and dined - and bribed - by the town fathers in the mistaken belief that he is a Mountie sent from Ottawa to probe into their corruption.' 24 Moore's adaptation was successful enough to be given three more productions.

In French we find a similar tendency to adapt Russian material to Canadian realities in the 1977 production of Les Trois Soeurs at the Théâtre de la Manufacture. The milieu of the play is transposed to Val d'Or, and the sisters are renamed Giselle, Isabelle and Angèle. The change reflects the oft-repeated thought of the similarity in outlook between Quebeckers and Russians, as Adrien Gruslin writes: 'L'affinité thématique entre l'oeuvre du dramaturge russe et l'histoire du Québec est incontestable. L'adaptation opère une transportation adroite et intéressante. Si elle s'éloigne dans les détails du modèle original, c'est pour mieux devenir québecoise. Seuls les puristes y trouvernt à redire, d'autant que l'essence de Tchékhov est totalement respectée.' 25

A third type of adaptation is represented by plays which integrate Russian material into a totally new spectacle. These may be adaptations of Russian novels, such as Alexander Hausvater's Solzhenitsyn, seen in Montreal in 1978, Neil Simon's The Good Doctor, based on Chekhov's short stories and presented in Calgary in 1977, Gabriel Arout's pieces Cet animal étrange, and Des Pommes pour Eve, both popular on the Quebec stage, and the CBC's dramatization of Ward Six. Such productions, though of interest for us, are really peripheral to the central problem of Russian plays on the Canadian stage, but do illustrate the strong tendency to adapt and mutilate Russian works to make them assimilable, or to bridge a perceived gap between Canadian audiences and the Russian world. The Russia which is created in such works is, of course, a never-never land which has very little in common with the reality.

It would be clearly exaggerated to claim a position of central importance for Russian plays on the Canadian stage, although their frequency appears high compared to German, Spanish and Italian playwrights. It is only a limited number of classics by Chekhov, Gogol and Turgenev, and, perhaps Gor'kii's The Lower Depths, which have become firmly established in the repertory, and then only on the English-language stage. In French a production of a Russian play is still something of a rarity. For example, Gogol's The Government Inspector has never been staged in French in Canada. Moreover, those plays which have been chosen for production in Canada show clearly a bias towards the naturalism which has been the typical idiom of the Canadian theatre, and which favours even the products of Socialist Realism over more theatrical pieces. One suspects that, outside the universities, Canadian directors have little inkling of what Russian drama has to offer in the work of such playwrights as Mikhail Bulgakov, Vladimir Maiakovsky, Nikolai Evreinov, Samuil Aleshin, Leonid Leonov, and others.

Notes

BEARS AND BEAVERS: CANADIAN STAGE PRODUCTIONS OF RUSSIAN PLAYS

J. Douglas Clayton

1 With the exception of the brief discussion of Ibsen in Canada in MURRAY D. EDWARDS, A Stage in our Past Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968.
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2 Periodicals researched include Curtain Call, Cue, and Canadian Theatre Review. I would here like to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to Heather McCallum and the staff at the theatre section of the Toronto Metropolitan Library, whose lists of productions and microfilms of reviews proved invaluable, as well as to all those heads of drama departments across Canada who responded to my request for information about university productions of Russian plays.
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3 See MARCEL HENRY, Le Théâtre à Montréal: Propos d'un huron canadien Paris: Henri Falque, 1911, pp 157-164.
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4 FRED JACOB, 'The Stage,' Canadian Forum VII 74 November 1926, p 60
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5 See Cue: Montreal Repertory Theatre Magazine of the Theatre, XIV, 3 January 1944, p 15.
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6 GLADYS WOOKEY, 'What We Owe The Russian Theatre,' Canadian Forum, IV 42 March 1924, p 177
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7 'The Little Theatres: Statistical,' Canadian Forum, IX 106 July 1929, p 365. Unfortunately the details of the productions are not given.
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8 The Boor was listed among the plays suitable for school drama: 'farce; modern or Russian costumes.' See MARGARET E. NESS, 'How to go about it: A practical clinic on play production,' Curtain Call IX 6 March 1938, p 17.
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9 MALCOLM MORLEY, 'Mime in Moscow,' Curtain Call VII 5 February 1936 pp 7-8. See also Morley's article 'Festivalia,' Curtain Call VII 2 November 1935 p 1 (photos pp 10- 11).
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10 SANDRA SOUCHOTTE, 'Canadian Workers' Theatre, Canadian Theatre Review 9 pp 169-172 and 10 pp 92-96. See also TOBY GORDON RYAN, Stage Left: Canadian Theatre in the Thirties Toronto: CTR Publications, 1981, pp 112-113 on Stanislavskii and her descriptions of the productions of Roar China and The Inspector General pp 134-139, 199-205.
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11 The text was published in Curtain Call IX 8 May 1938 pp 11 - 13.
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12 See New York Times 27 December 1942.
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13 Globe and Mail, 23 April 1943
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14 See for example, HERBERT WHITTAKER'S review 'Crest Faces Problems With Cherry Orchard,' Globe and Mail 30 January 1958 p 9; NATHAN COHEN, 'Mr. Landau Directs This Play But ... He Doesn't Know What It's All About!' The Telegram Toronto 1 February 1958.
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15 No consideration has been given here to the role of CBC radio in the dissemination of Russian drama in Canada. It is clear that this would be an additional fruitful avenue of research.
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16 Concerning the Cercle Molière, see Le Cercle Molière: cinquantième anniversaire St Boniface, Manitoba: Editions du Blé, 1975.
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17 JEAN BÉRAUD, 350 ans de théâtre au Canada français Montréal: Cercle du Livre de France, 1958 pp 187 and 237
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18 Le Devoir 12 novembre 1959
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19 Telegram 27 July 1965
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20 Globe and Mail 16 April 1966
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21 See, for example, the review of Robert Gill's Sea Gull by E.G. WANGER, 'Chekhov Sea Gull Lacks Brilliance, But Settings Fine,' Globe and Mail 29 November 1948 p 10.
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22 Of these, one has so far been published: ANTON CHEKHOV, Uncle Vanya, tr. John Murrell Toronto: Theatrebooks, 1978.
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23 ANTON CHEKHOV, The Seagull, tr. David French Toronto: Playwrights Co-op, July 1977
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24 Daily Star 22 May 1958
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25 Le Devoir 13 janvier 1977
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Appendix

Checklist of Russian Plays or Adaptations of Russian Material which have been produced in Canada with year of production. The checklist extends to the end of 1980. Some significant later productions are given in brackets, as well as tours by foreign companies, but are not included in statistics given in the text.


AFINOGENOV, ALEKSANDR NIKOLAEVICH (1904-1941)
Strakh (Fear) English: 1935
Dalekoe (Distant Point) English: 1943


ANDREEV, LEONID NIKOLAEVICH (1871-1919)
Tot, kto poluchaet poshchechiny (He Who Gets Slapped) English: 1923, 1933,1957,1977.
Prekrasnye sabinianki (The Sabine Women) English: 1926, 1950


ARBUZOV, ALEKSEI NIKOLAEVICH(1908- )
Moi bednyi Marat (The Promise) English: 1968, 1972
? (Le Bateau pour Lipaia) French: 1978


BULGAKOV, MIKHAIL (1891-1940)
Mol'er (Molière) English: 1979


CHEKHOV, ANTON PAVLOVICH (1860-1904)
Bezottsovshchina (Platonov; A Country Scandal; Ce fou de Platonov) English: 1969; French: date unknown
Chaika (The Seagull; La Mouette) English: 1937 (abridged), 1948, 1953, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1973, 1973, 1974, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1978, 1979, 1979, 1979, 1979, 1980, 1980, 1980, 1980, (1981), 1 undated; French: 1955, 1968, 1977, 1978
Diadia Vanya (Uncle Vanya, Oncle Vania) English: 1938, 1951, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1964 (TV), 1965, 1967, 1971, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1978, 1978, 1978; French: 1958 (TV)
Iubilei (The Jubilee, Le Jubilé, The Anniversary) English: 1938, 1954, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977; French: 1967, 1971
Ivanov English: 1959 (TV), 1966 1 undated
Lebedinaia pesnia (The Swan Song, Le Chant du cygne) English: 1938, 1959, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1977, 1977; French: 1953 (TV), 1978
Medved' (The Bear, The Boor, The brute, L'Ours) English: 1931, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1950, 1952, 1952 (TV), 1953, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1969, 1973, 1975, 1975, 1975, 1975, 1977, 1977, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1980; French: 1954, 1960, 1960, 1978, 1979
Na bol'shoi doroge (Highroad) English: 1937
0 vrede tabaka (On the Harmfulness of Tobacco, Les méfaits du tabac) English: 1960, 1964, 1969, 1974; French: 1978
Predlozhenie (The Proposal, A Marriage Proposal, Une demande en mariage) English: 1934, 1935, 1937, 1937, 1938, 1938, 1939, 1939, 1940, 1940, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1955, 1955, 1960, 1962, 1962, 1966, 1967, 19672 1967, 1968, 1969, 1969, 1969, 1973, 1975, 1975, 1977, 1977; French: 1959, 1978, 1979
Tri sestry (The Three Sisters, Les Trois Soeurs) English: 1943, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961 (TV), 1973, 1966, 1968, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, (1981), 1 undated; French: 1966, 1977
Vishnevyi sad (The Cherry Orchard, La Cérisaie) English: 1926, 1952, 1952, 1958, 1959, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1977, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1 undated; French: 1961 (TV), 1970
? (The Wasp) English: 1935
? (Tbe Artist) English: 1934, 1935
Palata No. 6 (Ward six - adaptation) English: 1959 (TV)
Des Pommes pour Eve/Apples for Eve (GABRIEL AROUT - based on Chekhov) English: 1978; French: 1978
Cet Animal étrange (GABRIEL AROUT - based on Chekhov) French: 1967 (TV), 1969, 1979
The Good Doctor (NEIL SIMON - based on Chekhov) English: 1977, 1 undated (1970s)


DOSTOEVSKII, FEDOR MIKHAILOVICH (1821-1881)
Prestuplenie i nakazanie (The Unwritten Law, Crîme et Châtiment - dramatizations of Crime and Punishment) English: (1914 - visiting troupe), 1961; French: 1939
Idiot (L'Idiot - dramatization of novel) French: 1970
Krotkaia (Une femme douce - dramatization of a short story) French: 1959
Vechnyi muzh (L'eternel mari - dramatization of a short story) French: two productions, undated


ERDMAN, NIKOLAI ROBERTOVICH (1902-1970)
Samoubiitsa (The Suicide) English: 1976, 1980, (1981)


EVREINOV, NIKOLAI NIKOLAEVICH
V kulissakh dushi (Theatre of the Soul) English: 1932


GOGOL, NIKOLAI VASIL'EVICH (1809-1852)
Dnevnik sumasshedshego (Pas d'amour - dramatization of Diary of Madman) French: after 1957 Revizor (The Inspector-General; The Government Inspector) English: 1933, 1936, 1939, 1952-53 (TV), 1954, 1967, 1973, 1974, (1981), 1 undated (Adapted by MAVOR MOORE as The Ottawa Man: 1958, 1959, 1966, 1967, 1972; Adapted as That Man from Moscow: 1970) Zhenit'ha (The Marriage; Un homme difficile à marier) English: 1956; French: 1926


GOR'KII, MAKSIM (1868-1936)
Meshchane (Les Petits Bourgeois) French: 1967
Na dne (The Lower Depths, Les Bas-fonds) English: 1948, 1965, 1965, 1967, 1967, 1977; French: 1959
Vassa Zheleznova English: (1981)
Zykovy (Tbe Zykovs) English: 1973


GRIBOEDOV, ALEKSANDR SERGEEVICH (1795-1829)
Gore ot uma (Chatsky) English: 1974


KATAEV, VALENTIN PETROVICH (1897- )
Den' otdykha (Je veux voir Mioussov) French: 1967, (1981)
Kvadratura kruga (Squaring the circle, La Quadrature du cercle) English: 1936, 1956; French: 1958


MAIAKOVSKII, VLADIMIR VLADIMIROVICH (1893-1930)
Bania (The Bathhouse) English: (1981)


OSTROVSKII, ALEKSANDR NIKOLAEVICH (1823-1886)
Na vsiakogo mudretsa dovol'no prostoly (Diary of a Scoundrel) English:1956, 1979, 2 undated


PUSHKIN, ALEKSANDR SERGEFVICH (1799-1837)
Pir vo vremia chumy (Festival in Time of Plague) English: 1938


SIMONOV KONSTANTIN MIKHAILOVICH (1915 - )
Tak i budet (The Whole World Over) English: 1956


SOLZHENITSYN, ALEKSANDR ISAEVICH (1918 - )
Solzenitsyn (Based on works of A.I. Solzhenitsyn by ALEXANDER HAUSVATER) English: 1978


TOLSTOI, LEV NIKOLAEVICH (1826-1910)
Chem liudi zhivy (What Men Live By, Michael)English: 1928, 1934, 1935, 1939,1940,1956 Vlast' t'my (The Power of Darkness) English: 1936, 1975 Zhivoi trup (Redemption) English: 1920s


TRETIAKOV, SERGEI MIKHAILOVICH (1892-1939)
Rychi Kitai! (Roar China!) English: 1937


TURGENEV, IVAN SERGEEVICH (1818-1883)
Mesiats v derevne (A Month in the Country, Un Mois à la Campagne) English: 1959, 1965, 1966, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1973; French: 1964


VOLODIN, ALEKSANDR [Lifschitz] (1919 - )
Piat' vecherov (Five Evenings) English: 1969