Theatre in Passing (Book)

A Moscow Photo-Diary

Theatre in Passing explores spaces of performance in contemporary Moscow. Inspired by French philosopher Michel de Certeau’s model of a 'second, poetic geography' in which the walker – the everyday practitioner – invents the space observed by the voyeur, this book takes the reader on a tour of spaces of performance in contemporary Moscow. Through text and photography, the city’s 'theatrical geography' is uncovered, from the Bolshoi Theater in Theater Square to hidden gems like the recently restored Kuskovo estate. With additional sections on street theatre and other public gatherings, Theatre in Passing is a must-read book for anyone curious about the theatrical architecture and geography of Russia’s capital.


Elena Siemens is associate professor of modern languages and cultural studies at the University of Alberta.

Chapter 1: Destination Moscow 
Chapter 2: History as Carnival

Chapter 3: The Big Picture

Chapter 4: The Hermitage: Proceed with Caution 

Chapter 5: Zhivago in the Suburbs 

Chapter 6: Scenes from the Putsch

Chapter 7: The Jump
Chapter 8: Back to Versailles 

Chapter 9: Theatre Goes to the Museum

Chapter 10: Dark Origins

Chapter 11: The Last Mohican

Chapter 12: From Meyerhold to Now

Chapter 13: Shakespeare on Sretenka

Chapter 14: Three Chekhovs

Chapter 15: Is it Art?

Chapter 16: Show Time

Chapter 17: MXAT on the Rocks

Chapter 18: Posing with Dolls

Chapter 19: Adventure 

Chapter 20: Tverskoy Boulevard in the Winter

Chapter 21: Birthday in Moscow

Chapter 22: Summertime

Chapter 23: Impossible in Nothing 

A fascinating and unconventional examination of the interrelationships of performance, geography, and everyday life in contemporary Moscow.

Robert Crane

The ‘episodic’ nature of the publication allows the reader to dip in and out of random chapters, according to their wish. Particularly charming is the sense of real-ness that is conveyed.

Justine Gill, Slavonic and East European Review
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