Sadovsky's Theater (Театр Миколи Садовського; Teatr Mykoly Sadovskoho). The first Ukrainian resident theater, established by Mykola Sadovsky in Poltava in 1906, with a cast drawn mostly from a young amateur drama circle in Nizhyn. From 1907 it was based in Kyiv. Sadovsky's Theater formed an important transitional step from the populist-ethnographic to a modern Ukrainian theater. From the modern repertoire Sadovsky's Theater staged Lesia Ukrainka's Kaminnyi hospodar (The Stone Host), Volodymyr Vynnychenko's Brekhnia (Lies) and Moloda krov (Young Blood), and Oleksander Oles's études. It was most successful, however, in its productions of Ukrainian historical dramas, including Mykhailo Starytsky's Bohdan Khmel’nyts’kyi, Liudmyla Starytska-Cherniakhivska's Het’man Petro Doroshenko, Borys Hrinchenko's Stepovyi hist’ (The Steppe Guest), and Spyrydon Cherkasenko's Pro shcho tyrsa shelestila (What the Steppe Grass Murmured About). Sadovsky's Theater was also acclaimed for its staging of Ukrainian operas—Mykola Lysenko's Aeneid, The Drowned Maiden, and Christmas Night, Denys Sichynsky's Roksoliana, Bedřich Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Stanisław Moniuszko's Halka, and Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana. It also performed productions of plays translated into Ukrainian, including Herman Heijerman's The Good Hope, Jacob Gordin's Mirele Effros, Nikolai Gogol's Revizor (The Inspector General), Aleksandr Ostrovsky's Dokhodnoe mesto (Easy Money), Juliusz Słowacki's Mazepa, and Gabriela Zapolska's Moralność pani Dulskiej (Madam Dulska's Moral Code). The theater was prohibited from performing E. Chirikov's Ievreï (The Jews) and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller's Wilhelm Tell. Besides Sadovsky, the directors were Ivan Marianenko, Severyn Pankivsky, Fedir Levytsky, and Yevhen Zakharchuk. The actors were Mariia Zankovetska, Liubov Linytska, Oleksander Korolchuk, Hanna Borysohlibska, Hanna Zatyrkevych-Karpynska, Olha Polianska-Karpenko, Mariia Malysh-Fedorets, Yelysaveta Khutorna, Les Kurbas, and Sofiia Stadnyk; the soloist singers, Olena Petliash-Barilotti, Trokhym Ivliv, Hryhorii Pavlovsky, Mariia Lytvynenko-Volgemut, and Mykhailo Mykysha; the designers, Vasyl H. Krychevsky, Ivan Buriachok, and Petro Diakiv; the conductors, G. Jelínek and Oleksander Koshyts; and the choreographer, Vasyl Verkhovynets. In 1916 Marianenko departed with many of the leading actors to form the Society of Ukrainian Actors. Kurbas also left, to found Molodyi Teatr. The Sadovsky's Theater productions subsequently deteriorated, and it ceased to exist in 1919; some of the cast joined the Stanyslaviv Ukrainian Touring Theater.
Vasyl’ko, Vasyl’. Mykola Sadovs’kyi ta ioho teatr (Kyiv 1962)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]