Moscow Art Theater: Effects of Perestroika and the Free Market Economy on its Artists and Management (1994)

Moscow Art Theater: Effects of Perestroika and the Free Market Economy on its Artists and Management (1994)

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This paper details the history and current management practices (as of 1994) of the Moscow Art Theater, taking into consideration the effects of perestroika and the free market economy on its artists and managers.

The genesis of this study occurred during a trip to Moscow by Benjamin Mordecai in the fall of 1991. Mordecai's association with Soviet and now Russian theater began when he visited Moscow in 1987 with the American/Soviet Theater Initiative. He later produced a Russian tour of Lee Blessing's A Walk in the Woods in 1989 and was instrumental in bringing Oleg Yefremov, artistic director of the Moscow Art Theater, to the Yale Repertory Theatre in the fall of 1990 to direct an American cast in Chekhov's Ivanov.

During his visit in 1991, as Yefremov and Mordecai discussed the impact of the new economic and political conditions on Russian theater, Yefremov asked Mordecai, "What would you do in our position?" Mordecai replied that he could not presume to answer because he lacked a detailed knowledge of the Moscow Art Theater's history and management practices. Yefremov said simply, "Then why don't you find out?" This case study presents the first results of that "finding out."

Publication Date: 1994-05-15

Suggested Citation: Mona-Louise Hyre and Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, "Moscow Art Theater: Effects of Perestroika and the Free Market Economy on its Artists and Management (1994)," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Case 94-6, May 15, 1994

Keywords: Russia, Culturally Specific Organization, Financial Management, Free Market Economy, Leadership, Organizational Direction, Perestroika

Teaching Note: No