Vasylko, Vasyl

Image - Vasyl Vasylko Image - A group of former actors of the Molodyi Teatr in Odesa in 1927. First row (l-r): Y. Shevchenko, P. Dolyna, S. Manuilovych. Second row: O. Dobrovolska, P. Samiilenko, V. Vasylko, A. Smereka, S. Bondarchuk. Image - The Berezil theater's director's lab (1925). Sitting (l-r): Ya. Bortnyk, V. Vasylko, B. Tiahno, Z. Pihulovych, Les Kurbas, F. Lopatynsky, Yu. Lishchansky. Standing: P. Bereza-Kudrytsky, I. Kryha, A. Irii.

Vasylko, Vasyl [Vasyl’ko, Vasyl’] (real name: Miliaiev), b 7 April 1893 in Burty, Cherkasy county, Kyiv gubernia, d 18 March 1972 in Odesa. (Photo: Vasyl Vasylko.) Theater director and actor. He began his stage career in Sadovsky's Theater (1912) and then performed in Molodyi Teatr (1916–19), Kyidramte (1920–1), and Berezil (1922–6). In 1929–32 he lectured at the Kharkiv Music and Drama Institute (see Kharkiv Conservatory). He was artistic director of the Odesa Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater (1926–8, 1938–41, and 1948–56), the Kharkiv Chervonozavodskyi Ukrainian Drama Theater (1928–33), and theaters in Staline (see Donetsk Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater, 1933–8) and Chernivtsi (1944–8). Vasylko debuted as a director in Berezil in 1925, with Za dvoma zaitsiamy (After Two Hares, based on Mykhailo Starytsky). He also staged Ivan Kocherha's Marko v pekli (Marko in Hell, 1928), William Shakespeare's Macbeth (1938), and his own adaptations of Olha Kobylianska's Zemlia (The Land, 1947) and U nediliu rano zillia kopala (On Sunday Morn She Gathered Herbs, 1955). As a character actor he appeared in varied roles, from Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko's Shelmenko to Shakespeare's Banquo. Vasylko helped initiate the Kyiv Museum of Theater, Music, and Cinema Arts. A biography, by P. Kravchuk, was published in Kyiv in 1980, and his memoirs were published in 1984.

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

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