Annenkov's "The Storming of the Winter Palace"
In 1920, Iuri Annenkov (1889-1974) designed a massive production
to commemorate the third anniversary of the Bolshevik coup of
1917 (click on image). "The Storming of the Winter Palace" was
directed by the famous theatrical professional Nikolai Evreinov
and was subtitled a "mass action." This indeed it was, as the
list of actors required for the right side of the "stage" (the
production took place outdoors on the steps of and square adjacent
to the former Tsarist palace in which the provisional government
officers were meeting when the Bolshevik takeover occurred): 125
ballet dancers, 100 circus people, 1,750 supernumeraries and students,
200 women, preferably students, 260 secondary actors, and 150
assistants. Props included flags, tanks, armored cars, etc. Spectacles
such as these were not merely designed to commemorate Soviet power.
They were meant to usher in a new kind of theater, one in which
the distinction between actor and spectator was broken down. For
a video clip of some agit-theatre
productions of the early 1920s, click
BELOW: Another design for this same "mass action."