Lubok theater

Lubok theater (лубковий театр; lubkovyi teatr). A pseudo-ethnographic, popular theatrical genre of a coarse artistic quality, performed by touring theaters. Approximately 70 lubok theater troupes existed during the 1880s and 1890s, with the actors and directors creating the repertoire themselves. To a certain degree lubok theater developed as an antipode of the ethnographic theater, which strove to portray village life in a realistic way or the Ukrainian heroic past in a colorful poetic form. Lubok theater twisted these portrayals into grotesque caricature and farce. It was not interfered with by the tsarist government, and some lubok theater troupes in Russian-ruled Ukraine were active until the New Economic Policy. Satires based on lubok theater performances were produced by the Berezil theater.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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