Called to the stand
The origins of Russian documentary theatre
in Witness onstage
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Chapter 1 narrates the history of documentary theatre in Russia. Though the emergence of the form is traditionally traced back to a series of Royal Court workshops on verbatim playwriting in 1999–2000, this chapter refocuses the form’s own particular heritage, considering that Russia’s twenty-first-century documentary theatre-makers draw on the example of such twentieth-century theatre artists as the Symbolists and the post-Vampilov generation, in that they share a distinct investment in blurring the boundaries between lived experience and its theatrical representation. Situating Russia’s documentary theatre practice within its national and international historical context, Chapter 1 presents a framework within which to consider why the form came to prominence in the first two decades of the new millennium and explores how it operates in its particular cultural and temporal space.

Witness onstage

Documentary theatre in twenty-first-century Russia

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