The second studio of the Moscow Art Theatre (Small Stage)
22 Tverskaya Street
Subway station «Tverskaya»
Here, in April 1925, the director B.I. Vershilov proposed the staging of the novel The White Guard for the Moscow Art Theatre to Mikhail Bulgakov. Bulgakov plays with this biographical episode in Theatrical Novel, in the scene of the dialogue between Sergey Maksudov and Ksavery Ilchin. The building no longer stands.
‘And under the rumble of thunder, Ksavery Borisovich said ominously: - I read your novel…’ After the partial publication of Bulgakov’s novel, The White Guard, in the magazine Rossiya in 1925, the Moscow Art Theatre turned their attention to the author. At that moment, the theatre was faced with the critical task of finding a play on a modern theme, and Pavel Markov, the head of the literary section of the theatre, chose Bulgakov: ‘The Moscow Art Theatre discovered Bulgakov in 1925. Just the first meeting with him left a remarkable impression of a sharp, original and, at the same time, extremely deep person. The White Guard appeared in one of the ‘thick literary journals’, and the theatre began considering the possibility of turning it into a play. Bulgakov gladly accepted the theatre’s proposal…’ Bulgakov spent nearly eight months on the staging of the novel – he began work on the play in January 1925 (even before the Moscow Art Theatre contacted him) and finished before the beginning of August. Bulgakov worked on the play in Moscow, and in the summer, in Koktebel, in M. Voloshin’s famous house. The play The White Guard contained sixteen scenes in five acts. At the end of August 1925, Bulgakov was invited to read the play to K.S. Stanislavsky. The premier took place on 5th October 1926.