The article deals with the history of the development of theatrical art in Poltava, thereto clarifying the place of the theatrical performances based on the stage plays of the Ukrainian playwrights known as “corypheses of the Ukrainian theater” – M. Kropyvnytsky, M. Starytsky and I. Karpenko-Kary in the creative history of the Poltava Academic Regional Music and Drama Theater named after M.V. Gogol in the XIX–XX centuries. Initially, the Poltava Free Theater was organized in 1808; it had its own building and functioned until 1812. A new, very important stage in the development of the Poltava Free Theater is connected with the activity of Ivan Kotlyarevsky, who was the director and wrote the plays “Natalka Poltavka” and “Moskal-magician”. In the second half of the 19th century, the development of drama was closely connected with the activities of theatrical groups Mark Kropyvnytsky, Mykola Sadovsky, and Ivan Karpenko-Kary. They often toured in Poltava in the late nineteenth – early twentieth century. M. Zankovetska and M. Sadovsky performed here. In 1901, the new building for the theater was built. In 1906, M. Sadovsky together with M. Zankovetska organized a mobile theater in Poltava, which toured Ukraine, and a year later moved to Kiev. The first performance in the repertoire of the newly formed theatrical troupe was “Martin Borulya” by I. Karpenko-Kary, where the main role was brilliantly performed by the author himself. During the twentieth century, in the repertoire of the Poltava Theater, which has been transformed many times, the following plays by the “corypheses” of Ukrainian drama have appeared: “Acted out fools!”, “The Prisoner” by M. Kropyvnytsky, “Marusya Boguslavka”, “Chasing two hares” by M. Starytsky, “The hired man”, “One hundred thousands”, “The evil spark will burn the field and disappear itself” by I. Karpenko-Kary and many others. Alexandra Hertsyk., Eugen Kokhanenko, Kateryna Osmyalovskaya were a superstars of the Poltava stage of the first half of the twentieth century. In the postwar period, among the greatest creative achievements of Poltava artists were performances of plays: “Chasing two hares”, “The Miserable”, “Martin Borulya”. The article considers different versions of the stage embodiment of plays by I. Karpenko-Kary and M. Starytsky. The activity of the best modern Poltava actors, People’s and Honored Artists of Ukraine of Ukraine, who brilliantly and clearly embodied the roles written by “theater of the corypheses”, was highlighted.
Keywords: Poltava Academic Regional Music and Drama Theater named after M. V. Gogol, “Theater of Corypheses”, M. Zankovetska, theatrical performances