|dc.description.abstract||The reception of Gerhart Hauptmann's dramas in nineteenth-century Russia began in
1889 with the Russian review of Vor Sonnenaufgang as performed in Germany.
Hanneles Himmelfahrt was the first play by Hauptmann to be staged in Russia
(1895), performed by the troupe of the St. Petersburg Theater of the Literary Arts
Circle; the play ran quite successfully, largely due to its social content, which
appealed to both the progressive and reactionary factions of the intelligentsia.
Hannele, followed by Die versunkene Glocke and Michael Kramer, was the most
successful of the six Hauptmann plays performed by the St. Petersburg company. By
1901, Novoe Vremia had proclaimed Hauptmann as Germany's leading dramatist.
Despite the early gains for Hauptmann's dramatic works at the St. Petersburg Theater,
where there were serious deficiencies in directing and stage technique, the
prominance of Hauptmann's plays would have been unthinkable without the main
vehicle which conveyed them, the Moscow Art Theater, without the significant
artistic support from Anton Chekhov or the repertory inclinations of Nemirovich-
Danchenko, and most of all, without the inestimable talents and favor of Russia's
greatest actor-director, Konstantin Stanislavsky. Approximately 1905-06 both a
literary trend away from Naturalism and, more importantly, political considerations
worked to the detriment of continued popularity for Hauptmann's plays. Following
the end of World War I, Russian interest in Hauptmann's works increased
significantly, as Die Weber drew considerable attention for possible use in promoting
political ends; Lenin himself directed that this play be performed on Soviet stages.
Russian interest in Hauptmann's works declined noticeably in the late 1920s, largely
due to the disfavor of Stalin's Commissar of Education Lunacharsky, who greatly
admired Hauptmann, but now viewed the vacillations and symbolism of the author
as negative. The early 1930s saw a culmination of attention to, and publication of,
Hauptmann's dramas, but, overall, a lengthy loss of interest ensued thereafter due to
political hostilities with Germany. Soviet scholarship and dramatic representation
mainly concerned Die Weber and Vor Sonnenuntergang after the war. Post-Soviet
Russia continues to hold Hauptmann in high regard, as indicated by its foremost
institution of higher learning, Moscow State University.||