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The regional interactive encyclopedic portal «Bashkortostan»
Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan State autonomous institution of science of the Republic of Bashkortostan Bashkir encyclopedia


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BASHKIR DRAMA THEATRE named after M.Gafuri, state­owned academic (BSAT). Founded on December 4th, 1919 in Sterlitamak as the 1st Bashkir State Drama Theatre. In 1922, it was merged with the Exemplary Tatar­Bashkir Theatre and transferred to Ufa. In 1935, it was awarded the title of the academic theatre; in 1971, it was named after M.Gafuri. Awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1970). The first Dir. and Artistic Managing Dir. was V.Murtazin­-Imansky.

The artistic concept of the theatre of the early 20s was the synthesis of the European theatrical canons, realism and poetics of people’s theatre. The repertoire included the works of national literature, world classics, as well as topical propaganda plays.

Late 20s – early 30s became critical in the history of the theatre and were the result of the reformative work of Stage Dir. M.A.Magadeyev. Since that time, the theatre changed over to the literary Bashkir language, became a follower of the artistic system of K.S.Stanislavsky and declared its commitment to social realism. In 1930, the theatre took part in the All­Union Olympiad of Theatres and Art of the Peoples of the USSR in Moscow. In the 30s, the central place in the repertoire was given to the works of Soviet playwrights, reflecting the topical problems of that time, as well as plays, presenting the historical past of the Bashkir people.

Late 30s — early 50s – a difficult period in the development of BSAT. The “cleansing” of the repertoire and stage language, which began in the late 30s, broke out with renewed vigor after the Great Patriotic War under the slogan of the struggle against “bourgeois  nationalism”, “cosmopolitanism” and “formalism” in art. The landmark for theatre and drama became the so­called conflict­free theory; the “industrial play”, addressing narrow themes and superficial phenomena of the economic life of the Republic and the country, prevailed. In 1955, BSAT took part in the Decade of Bashkir Literature and Art in Moscow, where the following plays were staged: Othello by W.Shakespeare, Uncle Vanya by A.P.Chekhov, The Dark-complexioned by G.Amiri and V.G.Galimov after the same name novella by M.Gafuri, Lone Birch by M.Karim.

The productions of V.G.Galimov (Chief Stage Dir. between 1956–71) focused on the historical fate, views and spiritual world of the Bashkir people. In this period, the creative activities of Stage Dir. Sh.M.Murtazina flourished; she embodied the best traditions of the Russian realistic school and the advanced experience of world stage art in her per­ formances. The 70–80s is a period when major performances dedicated to modern themes were staged. Capacious true­ life characters, as well as disturbing social, moral and ethical prob­ lems were embodied in the performances staged by L.V.Valeyev who was the Chief Artistic Dir. of the theatre between 1971–81. The Red Pasha by N.Asan­ bayev in the produc­ tion of Valeyev was staged at the Inter­ national Theatre Festival (Damascus, 1986), where it was highly appreciated by the theatrical community. The artistic principles of G.A.Tovstonogov were introduced into the creative work of the theatre by Stage Dir. V.K.Sayfullin whose works reflected the problems of the era and understanding of moral poverty of society. R.V.Israfilov (Chief Stage Dir. between 1981–97) in his first productions already combined bold innovative solutions with careful attitude to national traditions and classical heritage.

Between 1985–2005, performances were staged, which reflected social­political and social­economic changes in the modern society (democratic norms, freedom of speech, policy of openness in public life). The focal point of evolving artistic ideas and stage forms became the performances staged by Israfilov: In Muddy Season by A.K.At­nabayev, Pardon after the same name novella by M.Karim, Thirteenth Chair­man and The Last Patriarch by A.Kh. Abdullin. Performances Generous Cuckold by F.Crommelynck, Do You Love — Don’t You Love? and Bibinur,  ah,  Bibinur! (in 1996, the performance was awarded the RF State Award in field of Literature and Art) by F.M.Bulyakov were distinguished by satirical features. The genre of eccentric comedy evolved in these and other works of satirical nature, including farce and tragifarce, which defined the new properties of the na­ tional stage poetics and stylistics in the atmo­ sphere of the modern culture – postmodernism.

Since mid. 2000s, theatre has mastered the new forms and means of stage expressi­ veness: eccentric comedy My Wife’s Name is Maurice by R.Shart, psychological thriller One Flew Over  the Cuckoo’s Nest by A.A.Abushakhmanov after the same name novel by K.Kesey. The topics of religion, moral laws of Islam are raised in the plays Interrupted Wedding by Z.K.Atnabayeva, Mulla and Is It a Sin to Love? by T.G.Minnullin.

Significant events of the last decade were the performances In the Lunar Eclipse Night (2011; Winner of the Grand Prize of the International Festival of Turkic­speaking Theatres Tuganlyk, Ufa, 2012), The Dark- complexioned after the same name novella by M.Gafuri (2014; holder of the award in the nomination Best Costume Designer of the All­Russian National Award of festival Golden  Mask,  Moscow,  2016),  Jute  by O.Zhanaydarov (2015; Winner of the CHELoVEK of Theatre International Festival, Chelyabinsk, 2016), Yusuf and Zuleykha by Yu.G.Safiullin based on The Legend of Yusuf by Kul Gali (2015), Towards the Dream by A.F.Ishbuldina based on the story Do not leave, Mother! by A.G.Bay­ mukhametov (2016; Winner in the nomination The Best Stage Direction of the International Festival of Modern Drama Kolyada­plays, Yekaterinburg, 2017), Antigona by Zh.Anuy (2016; Winner in the nominations Best Actor of festival Tuganlyk, 2017), etc.

Famous actors and Directors are: Z.K.Atnabayeva, T.D.Babicheva, Z.I.Bik­bulatova, Kh.Bukharsky, Z.S.Valitov, F.S.Gafarov, I.I.Dilmukhametov, N.I.Ir­sayeva, G.Kh.Karamyshev, Kh.I.Kuda­shev, G.M.Mingazhev, A.K.Mubarya­kov, G.A.Mubaryakova, Sh.R.Rakhma­tullin, G.Z.Suleymanov, Kh.G.Utyashev, G.G.Fakhreyev, O.Z.Khanov, B.A.Yu­supova.


Publication date: 13.03.2020
Last updated: 11.03.2021