Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich

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Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich
Fedor ioannovich01 reconstruction.jpg
Forensic facial reconstruction of Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich, by M. Gerasimov (1963).
Written by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy
Date premiered 12 October 1898 (1898-10-12)
Place premiered Suvorin's theatre, Saint Petersburg
Original language Russian
Genre Historical drama

Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (Russian: Царь Фёдор Иоаннович, old orthography: Царь Ѳедоръ Іоанновичъ) is a 1868 historical drama by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy.[1] It is the second part of a trilogy that begins with The Death of Ivan the Terrible and concludes with Tsar Boris.[2] All three plays were banned by the censor.[3] Tsar Fyodor is written in blank verse and was influenced by the work of William Shakespeare, Casimir Delavigne, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton.[4] It dramatises the story of Feodor I of Russia, whom the play portrays as a good man who is a weak, ineffectual ruler.[5] The trilogy formed the core of Tolstoy's reputation as a writer in the Russia of his day and as a dramatist to this day.[1] It has been considered Tolstoy's masterpiece.[5]

Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich was first performed in an amateur production in Saint Petersburg in 1890.[6] It received its first professional production at Suvorin's theatre in Saint Petersburg on 12 October 1898, directed by P. P. Gnedich.[7] Two days later on 14 October, the play was performed as the inaugural production of the world-famous Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Constantin Stanislavski, with Ivan Moskvin in the lead role and Vsevolod Meyerhold as Prince Vasiliy Shuisky.[8] Since then the play has been revived frequently.[3] Incidental music was written for the play by Alexander Ilyinsky.


  1. ^ a b Banham (1998, 1115) and Moser (1992, 270).
  2. ^ Moser (1992, 270).
  3. ^ a b Hartnoll (1983, 831).
  4. ^ Eriksen, MacLeod, and Wisneski (1960, 832) and Worrall (1996, 86, 88).
  5. ^ a b Eriksen, MacLeod, and Wisneski (1960, 832).
  6. ^ Worrall (1996, 86).
  7. ^ Hartnoll (1983, 831) and Worrall (1996, 40, 86, 88).
  8. ^ Banham (1998, 1115), Benedetti (1999, 386), Braun (1995, 11), Hartnoll (1983, 831), and Worrall (1996, 85-102).


  • Banham, Martin, ed. 1998. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 0521434378.
  • Benedetti, Jean. 1999. Stanislavski: His Life and Art. Revised edition. Original edition published in 1988. London: Methuen. ISBN 0413525201.
  • Braun, Edward. 1995. Meyerhold: A Revolution in Theatre. Rev. 2nd ed. London: Methuen. ISBN 0413727300.
  • Eriksen, Gordon, Garrard MacLeod, and Martin Wisneski, ed. 1960. Encyclopædia Britannica 15th Edition. Volume 11.
  • Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. 1983. The Oxford Companion to the Theatre. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP. ISBN 0192115464.
  • Moser, Charles A., ed. 1992. The Cambridge History of Russian Literature. Rev. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 0521425670.
  • Tolstoy, Aleksey Konstantinovich. 1922. Tsar Fiodor Ioannovich: A Play in Five Acts. Trans. Jenny Covan. The Moscow Art Theatre Series of Russian Plays ser. Ed. Oliver M. Sayler. New York: Brentanos. Available online.
  • Worrall, Nick. 1996. The Moscow Art Theatre. Theatre Production Studies ser. London and NY: Routledge. ISBN 0415055989.

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