|On January 28th, 1874, one baby boy named Karl Theodore Kasimir was born in a little trading center by the name of Penza, the 8th grandchild of German descent. In 1895, this boy changed his name to Vsevelod Emilevich Meyerhold when he converted faith and decided he wanted to be Russian. Talk about an identity crisis.After a year of studying law at Moscow University, he decided that just was not his bag, so he went to drama school (Classic story of all the greats, huh?). He quickly established a name for himself within the theatre circuits in Moscow, and when Stanislavsky and his comrades kick started the Moscow Art Theatre (1898, to be precise), Vsevelod was asked to join in on the fun, and became a member of the company.He participated in many productions, and was very memorable in many of his roles for his distinct manner of acting ('grotesque' and 'angular' were two descriptive words used- interesting, no?).There was speculation that in the end, he left the Moscow Art Theatre, because he was not listed as one of the shareholder sof the company, but I think that he was just an artist with such strong, independent ideals, that he was not digging Stanislavsky's realism rules for the theatre.|
So, this crazy guy went out in 1902 and started his own company with a pal from the MAT named Alexander Kosheverov. They started off doing experimental theatre in their desired practice, and Meyerhold developed a knack for experiemntal theatre, and was breaking down barriers left and right with the spectrum theatre encapsulated. Skip ahead to the year 1906, when Meyerhold put up a production of Fairground Booth by Blok, where Meyerhold decided to ditch the ideas of static poses and flat settings altogether. I guess they just weren't revolutionary enough for him. Now how could a flat background and unmoving parts not be revolutionary? I don't know, but Meyerhold took these ideas and ran full speed with them, and this brings us to his oh-so-famous production of The Magnanimous Cuckhold, which solidified many of his theories and practices on acting, and the really cool use of biomechanics for the actor.