Theatre life in the village – a new kind of leisure for peasant youth in the 1920s


The purpose of the article is to highlight theatrical art as a form of organized cultural leisure of peasant youth during the 1920s. Research methods: problem-chronological, historical-systemic and analytical. Main results. It is found that drama circles and rural theatre were in great demand among young people and became the most popular form of leisure in the village. The organizers of group theatrical work were Komsomol activists and teachers. It is found that the latter, being an educated part of the rural environment, became more productive and effective in setting up appropriate work with peasant youth. There were organizational and financial problems in the practice of theatre companies and drama circles. It was one of the reasons for the low quality of youth theatre performances. At the same time, there were many successful amateur groups in the districts of the Ukrainian SSR. The author shows that the role and place of peasant youth in drama circles and rural theatres was determined by the political education policy of the ruling party. The filling of youth leisure by rural theatre was to perform several functions, including raising the general cultural level of the population, deepening political consciousness, anti-religious propaganda and levelling the dominant traditional forms of leisure for young peasant population. Taking into consideration the functions and tasks, set by the ruling elite before theatrical and dramatic circles, the themes of plays and performances were also appropriate. They tried to select the whole repertoire in the direction of general strengthening of the Bolshevik Party position in the countryside. Considering the possibility of influence of this type of art on young people consciousness formation, in the conditions of the totalitarian regime it was doomed to its political and ideological service. Practical significance: recommended for use in the study of rural youth leisure, the study of history of rural theatre as an original phenomenon in the village of the NEP period. Originality: the author generalizes the experience of creating leisure of rural youth of the post-revolutionary period in the conditions of ideological and cultural transformations. Scientific novelty: for the first time peasant youth is considered by the author as a subject of the formation of a new type of leisure of the Ukrainian village of the 1920s. Article type: review-generalizing.

Author Biography

Nataliia Poltavets, Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy

Ph. D. student at the Department of Archaeology and special spheres of historical science, Bogdan Khmelnytskyi National University of Cherkasy


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How to Cite
POLTAVETS, Nataliia. Theatre life in the village – a new kind of leisure for peasant youth in the 1920s. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, p. 71–80, dec. 2020. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 14 apr. 2021. doi:
History of Ukraine