Theater of the Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen

Theater of the Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (Striletskyi teatr). A touring theater (est 1916) under the artistic directorship of Kateryna Rubchak, consisting mostly of female actors from the Ukrainska Besida Theater, that enjoyed the protection of senior Ukrainian officers in the Austrian army (see Ukrainian Sich Riflemen) and employed actor soldiers for the male roles in its productions. For official purposes it used the name Ukrainska Besida Theater. Yevhen Kokhanenko and Mykola Bentsal were stage directors; among the male actors were Yosyp Hirniak, Vasyl Kossak, Petro Soroka, Amvrosii Nyzhankivsky, and Ivan Rubchak; among the female actors, besides K. Rubchak, were K. Pylypenko, Antonyna Osypovycheva, and Nataliia Levytska (Nataliia Nychka); Yaroslav Barnych was composer and conductor. The theater's productions—Ukrainian ethnographical plays, Western classical operettas, and the operas Halka by Stanisław Moniuszko and Kateryna by Mykola Arkas—were staged throughout Galicia and along the front until November 1918.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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