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In the early years of Soviet power a new type of theatre was born in the country: the children's theatre. At present over twenty million schoolchildren attend performances at children's theatres annually.

The theatres play an important role in the ideological and aesthetic education of children. Their productions touch upon the most burning problems of today; they present a truthful and realistic picture of life in modern times, they stage plays about the heroic past, shaping the child's aesthetic tastes, establishing norms of communist morality and a high spirit of patriotism and internationalism.

The theatres are most influential in helping the schools to instil1 in the pupils an interest in and appreciation of literature's classical heritage. The theatres have a definite tradition in staging classical plays. There are special means of helping the school in the study of these plays after the children have attended a performance. Each theatre has its own thematic plan. Thus the Saratov Children's Theatre builds its classical repertoire according to a main theme: young people of times now past. Its classical repertoire includes The Insulted and Humiliated2 by Dostoevsky, A Profitable Position3 by Ostrovsky, Three Sisters by Chekhov and Shakespeare's Hamlet. The Moscow Central Children's Theatre's repertoire includes Dead Souls by Gogol, Boris Godunov by Pushkin and a stage version of Dickens' Oliver Twist.

Younger children prefer puppet shows. Here they are introduced to the treasures of folk and fairy tales of the peoples of the Soviet Union and the world. The State Puppet Theatre is actually an artistic and methodological centre for all of the country's puppet theatres.

The work of the children's theatres is closely linked to the schools. Every theatre has an educational section staffed by pedagogues. They take part in organizing school theatricals, drama clubs and special theatrical concerts; in a word, they help to bring the theatres directly to the schools.


1) What role does the children's theatre play in the ideological education of children?

2) How do theatres help the schools to instil in children an interest in literature's classical heritage?

3) Why is the State Puppet Theatre an artistic and methodological centre for all other puppet theatres?

4) In what way is the work of the children's theatres linked to the schools?


1. instil - внушать

2. The Insulted and Humiliated - "Униженные и оскорбленные"

3. A Profitable Position - "Доходное место"

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