Gorky at the Moscow Art Theatre with the cast, 1902
|Written by||Maxim Gorky|
|Date premiered||26 March 1902|
|Place premiered||Moscow Art Theatre|
|Setting||Bessemenov's house in Moscow, early 1900s|
The Philistines (Russian : Мещане, romanized: Meshchane) is the debut play by Maxim Gorky written in 1901. It was first published by Znaniye in 1902, subtitled: "The Scenes in the House of Bessemenov. The Drama sketch in 4 Acts".
The play premiered on 26 March 1902 at the Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Konstantin Stanislavski and Vasily Luzhsky, the latter taking the leading part of Bessemenov. The production enjoyed astounding success, even though every phrase considered 'too risky' had been cut out by the censors.
In the course of its first year 60 thousand copies of The Philistines were sold. In 1903 it was awarded the Griboyedov Prize.
The Book of Samuel forms part of the narrative history of Israel in the Nevi'im or "prophets" section of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament called the Deuteronomistic history, a series of books that constitute a theological history of the Israelites and aim to explain God's law for Israel under the guidance of the prophets. According to Jewish tradition, the book was written by Samuel, with additions by the prophets Gad and Nathan. Modern scholarly thinking is that the entire Deuteronomistic history was composed in the period c. 630–540 BC by combining a number of independent texts of various ages.
The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when they were exiled to Mesopotamia by King Nebuchadnezzar II. They are known for their biblical conflict with the Israelites. Though the primary source of information about the Philistines is the Hebrew Bible, they are first attested to in reliefs at the Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu, in which they are called Peleset ; the parallel Assyrian term is Palastu, Pilišti, or Pilistu.
Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, primarily known as Maxim Gorky, was a Russian and Soviet writer, a founder of the socialist realism literary method, and a political activist. He was also a five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Prior to his renown as an author, he frequently changed jobs and roamed across the Russian Empire; these experiences would later influence his writing. Gorky's most famous works were The Lower Depths (1902), Twenty-six Men and a Girl (1899), The Song of the Stormy Petrel (1901), My Childhood (1913–1914), Mother (1906), Summerfolk (1904) and Children of the Sun (1905). He had associations with fellow Russian writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov; Gorky would later mention them in his memoirs.
Samson was the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible and one of the last of the leaders who "judged" Israel before the institution of the monarchy. He is sometimes considered to be an Israelite version of the popular Near Eastern folk hero also embodied by the Sumerian Enkidu and the Greek Heracles.
Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin was a Russian writer best known for his novels The Duel (1905) and The Pit, as well as Moloch (1896), Olesya (1898), "Junior Captain Rybnikov" (1906), "Emerald" (1907), and The Garnet Bracelet (1911), the latter made into a 1965 movie.
Arshile Gorky was an Armenian-American painter who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. He spent most his life as a national of the United States. Along with Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Gorky has been hailed as one of the most powerful American painters of the 20th century. As such, his works were often speculated to have been informed by the suffering and loss he experienced in the Armenian Genocide.
Delilah is a woman mentioned in the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible. She is loved by Samson, a Nazirite who possesses great strength and serves as the final Judge of Israel. Delilah is bribed by the lords of the Philistines to discover the source of his strength. After three failed attempts at doing so, she finally goads Samson into telling her that his vigor is derived from his hair. As he sleeps, Delilah orders a servant to cut Samson's hair, thereby enabling her to turn him over to the Philistines.
Summerfolk is a play by Maxim Gorky written in 1904 and first published in 1905 by Znaniye, in Saint Petersburg.
The Philistines were a people who once occupied the south-western part of Canaan.
Igor Petrovich Veselkin was a Russian Soviet realist painter, graphic artist, scenographer, stage designer, and art teacher, professor of the Repin Institute of Arts, who lived and worked in Saint Petersburg. He was a member of the Saint Petersburg Union of Artists, and regarded as one of the representatives of the Leningrad school of painting.
Mother is a novel written by Maxim Gorky in 1906 about revolutionary factory workers. It was first published, in English, in Appleton's Magazine in 1906, then in Russian in 1907.
Serafim Nikolayevich Sudbinin was a Russian sculptor, painter, ceramicist and stage actor, associated with the Moscow Art Theatre.
Vasily Vasilyevich Luzhsky was a Russian, Soviet stage actor, theatre director and pedagogue, associated with the Moscow Art Theatre.
The Griboyedov Prize was a Russian literary award established in 1878 by the Society of Russian Dramatists and Opera Composers to honor Alexander Griboyedov. The opening ceremony was held on 11 February, on the anniversary of the great Russian playwright's death. The prize, collected through private donations, was awarded to the best play of the year, produced in Saint Petersburg and Moscow by either Imperial Theatres or their private counterparts. Despite of the fact that the Prize was launched in 1878, it was first awarded in 1883.
Sergey Alexandrovich Alexeyev was a Russian playwright, better known under his pen name Naydyonov (Найдёнов), another one being Rogozhin (Рогожин). His debut play, the semi-autobiographical Vanyushin's Children proved to be his most famous one and is considered part of the classic Russian drama legacy. It earned him the Griboyedov Prize which he shared that year with Maxim Gorky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. His other notable plays include The Life of Avdotya, praised by Maxim Gorky and Walls.
Maria Lyudomirovna Petrovskaya was a Russian stage actress associated with the Moscow Art Theatre, better known under her stage name Roksanova (Роксанова).
"The Teacher of Literature" or "The Russian Master" is an 1894 short story by Anton Chekhov.
Barbarians is a 1906 play by Maxim Gorky. It was written in the summer of 1905 in Kuokkala and first published by the 1906 Znaniye Collection. It came out as a separate edition via the Ditz Publishers.
The Last Ones is a 1908 four-act drama by Maxim Gorky.
Queer People is a four-act play by Maxim Gorky, also translated as Eccentrics. It was written during the spring and summer of 1910 and first published by the 1910 Znaniye Collection in Saint Petersburg. It came out as a separate edition via the Berlin-based Ladyzhnikov Publishers. On 2 September 1910 it received permission to be produced on stage the Russian Imperial Theatres.
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