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Lviv Theatres after 1945

World War II had a dramatic impact on Lviv and its inhabitants and altered their daily routines and cultural life. A subsequent change of government and the entrenchment of a new ideological regime had their toll on the city’s artistic life. The postwar period was a turning point in Lviv’s theatrical environment – some theater groups disappeared, new ones emerged; their work was heavily dependent on the ruling party, which influenced their repertory and staff policies. All these processes were part of individual lives and left a different trace in each of them. “Artistic City and City Art: Lviv Theaters after 1945” is an opportunity to hear their voices, get a better understanding of theatrical life in Lviv, as well as find out more about how theater interacted with the city, influenced it, or changed itself.

This collection of interviews contains 64 recordings produced in the period from November 2011 to November 2014. There’s open access to 57 of them. These are semi-structured in-depth interviews with representatives of the creative, administrative, and technical staff of Lviv theaters aged 47-90 (the average age of the narrators is 72). The conversations were based on the discussion of various thematic blocks with focus on the changes that occurred after 1945: the narrator’s joining the theater, initial impressions, theater workflow, theatrical environment (core staff, workplace relationships, etc.), repertory policy, material aspects of theatrical productions, working conditions, theater company tours, characteristics of the theater audience in Lviv, and the city’s landmarks. If necessary, questions were adjusted to specific interlocutors and their job functions. The methodology was designed by Natalia Otrishchenko.

Full transcripts and recordings are available within the UStories project. You can also read and listen to extracts from some interviews on the Lviv Interactive webpage. Interviews were conducted in Ukrainian or Russian.

Reference to the collection: Based on the materials of the UStories project of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, collection “Artistic City and City Art: Lviv Theaters after 1945”.

Reference to the interview: Interview with a theater specialization, age, recorded date of the interview. Interviewer: first name last name // Archive of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe “UStories”, collection “Collection title”, p. page number.

Example: Interview with a theater actress, 75, recorded on June 20, 2013. Interviewer: Maria Antoniuk // Archive of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe “UStories”, collection “Artistic City and City Art: Lviv Theaters after 1945”, p. 9.

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Lviv Theatres after 1945