Yevgeny Bagrationovich (Bagratovich) Vakhtangov (1883 – 1922) was a Russian and Soviet actor, theater director, and the founder and director of the Student Drama Studio (Vakhtangov Theater after 1926).
Yevgeny Vakhtangov was born on February 13, 1883, in Vladikavkaz into a wealthy aristocratic family of a tobacco manufacturer Bagration Sergeyevich Vakhtangov and his wife Olga Vasilyevna Lebedeva.
Since 1901, Yevgeny Vakhtangov has participated in amateur drama circles as an actor and director. Throughout the years, he has felt the strong influence of the Moscow Art Theater. In the same years, he has published stories and articles about the theater in the Vladikavkaz newspaper “Terek”. In 1909, he entered the theater school in Moscow. And after leaving school in 1911, he was accepted into the staff of the Moscow Art Theater.
The sharpness and refinement of the stage form coming from Vakhtangov’s deep involvement with his characters’ spiritual life were clearly manifested both in his roles (Tackleton in “The Cricket on the Hearth” or Feste in “Twelfth Night”) and in the performances staged by him at the First Moscow Art Theater Studio, among them “Peace Festival” or “The Sin Flood” by Berger.
In 1919, Vakhtangov headed the directing section of the Theater Department of the People’s Commissariat of Education. After the revolution, Vakhtangov’s diverse directorial activity would develop rapidly.
Fundamental for Vakhtangov’s directorial work were the idea of the inextricable unity of the ethical and aesthetic purpose of the theater, the unity of the artist and the people, and the keen sense of modernity that meets the content of the dramatic work and its artistic features, thereby defining its unique stage form.