Yura, Hnat [Юра, Гнат], b 8 January 1888 in Fedvar (now Pidlisne), Oleksandriia county, Kherson gubernia, d 18 January 1966 in Kyiv. Theatrical director and actor. He began his professional career in S. Maksymovych's troupe in 1907 and then worked in the Ruska Besida Theater (1913–14) and in Molodyi Teatr (1917–19), in which he led the traditional (nonexperimental) faction. He helped found the touring theater Franko New Drama Theater in Vinnytsia in 1920 and was its artistic director until 1961 (see Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater). Yura often staged productions from the repertoire of Molodyi Teatr, and he also staged numerous plays from the contemporary European repertoire. As an actor he was best known in the role of simpletons, including Tereshko and Kramariuk in Ivan Karpenko-Kary's Suieta (Vanity) and Zhyteis’ke more (The Sea of Life), Kopystka in Mykola Kulish's 97, Luka in Maksim Gorky's Na dni (The Lower Depths), and Schweik in Pryhody bravoho soldata Shveika (The Adventures of the Brave Soldier Schweik, based on Jaroslav Hašek). He also acted in the films Prometheus (1936), Zaporozhian Cossack beyond the Danube (1937), Karmeliuk (1938), and Taras Shevchenko (1950). In 1945–61 Yura taught at the Kyiv Institute of Theater Arts. His autobiography is titled Zhyttia i stsena (Life and the Stage, 1965); a biography, by Yurii Boboshko, was published in Kyiv in 1980.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]