Material witness
History, belief, and the theatre of enactment
in Witness onstage
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Chapter 4 addresses the intricate relationship between commemoration and enactment through consideration of the play Pavlik – moi Bog (Pavlik – my God, 2008) which uses the legend of all-Soviet pioneer hero Pavlik Morozov as a vehicle through which to explore the resonance of history and mythology in one’s experience of everyday life. This chapter illustrates how the play instigates a process of exposure through which the intimate interlacing of past and present, mythology and reality, is brought to the fore. In its attempt to untangle the threads of national and personal histories, Pavlik – my God exemplifies how Russian documentary theatre encourages audience members to question their own presumptions about the past and, in doing so, the nature of belief in the present.

Witness onstage

Documentary theatre in twenty-first-century Russia


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