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Metaphor, Mythology and Metonymy: Russian Scenography in the Yeltsin Era

Skinner, Amy


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Dr Amy Skinner
Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Practice


Arnold Aronson


The complex, metaphorical scenographies that are seen in the work of Russian designers during the 1970s and 1980s are a clear legacy of the Soviet period, where the necessities of censorship led to the emergence of specific modes of expression. The metaphorical scenographies of the late Soviet period are characterized by a clarity in visual idiom, an interest in the material qualities of the space or costumes and a striking use of atmospheric color. This chapter presents the analysis of two productions, exploring the operation of mythological and metonymic structures in the context of 1990s Russian scenography. The first is David Borovsky’s design for Nikolai Erdman’s satire The Suicide, directed by Yury Lyubimov at the Taganka Theatre (1990). The second analysis deals with a later, post-Soviet, production: Sergei Barkhin’s work on Ostrovsky’s The Storm at the Moscow Theatre of the Young Spectator, directed by Genrietta Yanovskaya (1997).


Skinner, A. (2017). Metaphor, Mythology and Metonymy: Russian Scenography in the Yeltsin Era. In A. Aronson (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Scenography (435-443). London: Routledge.

Online Publication Date Sep 11, 2017
Publication Date Oct 10, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2020
Publisher Routledge
Pages 435-443
Series Title Routledge Companions
Book Title The Routledge Companion to Scenography
Chapter Number 35
ISBN 9781317422273; 9781138917804
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