The Hairy Ape
Moscow, Russia, 1926
Alexander Tairov and Alice Koonen
Yank - Tsennin Ella - Koonen
music, a naval hymn by the Russian Red Army Choir, has been added
and is not part of the original silent clip.
The film, whose provenance is
unknown, contains clips of the theatre directed by Alexander Tairov
and his wife Alice Koonen. Called the Kamerny (i.e.
"Chamber") Theatre, it was founded in Moscow in 1914 in reaction to
the realism of the Moscow Art Theatre of Stanislavsky.
While the O'Neill's were living
at le Plessis, the Kamerny Theatre toured in western Europe with
The Hairy Ape, Desire Under the Elms, and All God's Chillun Got
Wings. O'Neill admired their work and met the Tairovs.
He wrote a letter praising their work which was published in The New
York Times on June 30, 1930.
There are four subtitles in the
short clips, identifying what is on the screen.
1. Actress Koonen acts Ella (Evidently Tairov
changed the name Mildred to Ella, a curious coincidence.)
2. Actor Tsennin acts Yank
3. The Pushkin Kamerny Theatre (Tairov's theatre)
4. Moscow Kamerny Theatre helps the theatre
school of the Artillery. (Evidently units of the army developed
various schools of the arts.)
photograph near the end shows Tairov standing just to the right of