Alpers Boris

Alpers Boris

I don’t have the right to consider Boris Vladimirovich Alpers my direct teacher. In the strange realm which calls itself "dramaturgy and theatre criticism," he always occupied a more meaningful place than “teacher.” And as though we weren’t foolish during our years of study, we seemed to intuitively understand that. Behind Allers stood something larger than any present academic reduction of the theatre. Behind him stood Russian culture. These aren’t empty words. It wasn’t by accident that in the character, behavior, and spoken and written word of Boris Vladimirovich Alpers. Everything was whole and inseparable, an enormous erudition, not limited to the theatre – and precision in the most concrete, “technological” knowledge of theatre, a great mark of professional merit – and human character. 

Students are observant and mocking of the little things in strange behavior. But even Alpers’ straight and strict spine disciplined our unchecked observation. His calm, measured walk within the walls of the GITIS of those days suppressed foolishness and vanity. From the other teachers from the end of the 40s and the beginning of the 50s, we received knowledge adapted to official ideology. On those subjects, Alpers simply remained silent. He didn’t tell us about Meyerhold – the name “Meyerhold” was then forbidden. But by confluence of circumstances, I had at home B.V. Alpers’ own book, “Theatre of the Social Mask,” and happily, nobody kept me from reading it. The enormity of Meyerhold’s theatrical “galaxies" was given to us through the figure of Alpers as a vague sensation, but to Boris Vladimirovich – it was unmediated reality. 

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