Text and Performance: Director's Concepts Anatomy of the Fairy-Tale «Twelve Months»


  • Alexei Zykov Sobinov Saratov State Conservatory




literary text, director's interpretation, performance of a play, modern theater


The article analyses the reasons of possible director’s "invasion" into the literary text. The main thesis of this contribution focuses on the author of drama piece who initially understands the problems of its scenic embodiment. However, it is not enough: the director rearranges some parts of a piece, removes some of them, replaces the fragments with other theatrical "texts" and so on. The problem of "relationship" between the author of performance and the author of the piece is essential for the modern theater when the pieces of the past centuries are performed.

The author of the article pays his attention to the reasons and limitations of the director's "invasion" into the literary text using the example of Marshak’s composition "Twelve months". Being simultaneously the director and choreographer of the performance, the author attempted to analyze the work on the performance "from within". Marshak's piece (1943) exhibits a bright fantastic plot, it has been written using succinct literary language. However, its epic narrative form makes its staging very tricky today. The analysis of the piece, including the identification of the main and accompanying plot lines, spaces of action, functioning of characters, shows that it has a big text volume, a considerable number of characters (37) and multiple scenes of action (4). At the same, the dynamics of a show, compact performance as well as its low budget are essential for the modern theater.

Adaptation of the piece to the realities of our age becomes the reason of the "invasion" into the text. The invasion "frame" includes director’s rejection of using additional subject lines accompanied by the simultaneous strengthening of the main one, reduction of the fairy-tale’s "population", due to the "transfer" of functions of certain characters onto the others, concentration on the main scenes, and removal of some minor scenes. The author describes such changes in several tables, showing that the director’s "invasion" into the text of the piece neither changes its main subject lines nor distorts the main idea. This can be understood as the "invasion limits".



How to Cite

Zykov О. (2021). Text and Performance: Director’s Concepts Anatomy of the Fairy-Tale «Twelve Months». TEXT AND IMAGE: ESSENTIAL PROBLEMS IN ART HISTORY, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.17721/2519-4801.2016.1.04