Despite constant hindrance from government interference and control, the Russian theater has produced many memorable playwrights, schools of thought, and plays, whose influence can be seen throughout the world. Nikolai Gogol''s The Inspector, Maksim Gor'kii's The Lower Depths, and Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard remain staples of repertories in every language. The ideas of Konstantin Stanislavskii, Vsevolod Meierkhol'd, and Mikhail Chekhov continue to inspire actors and directors, and designers still draw on the graphics of the World of Art group and the Constructivists.
The Historical Dictionary of Russian Theater is the only reference work in English devoted exclusively to Russian theater and drama. It provides information on the popular plays and playwrights while also offering information on many persons, works, and phenomena omitted from standard encyclopedias. Through the use of a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, an appendix, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on directors, stage designers, actors, plays, playwrights, concepts, theater buildings, and troupes, this reference provides an unrivaled account of Russian theater.