G. Kariev's Biography

Kariev Gabdulla (born with the name and surname Hairullin Minnibai Hairullovich) was born May 8, 1886, in the village of Kulbaevo-Marasa in the Chistopolsky District of Kazan Province, now the village of Kulbaevo-Marasa. He was an actor, director and the founder of professional Tatar theatre. In the beginning he studied at a madressa in the village of Taktali, then in Uralsk, where he was acquainted with G. Tukay. He had his first experience in the dramatic arts in August 1907 with, “The First Muslim Mobile Troupe of Actors in Russia,” under the direction of I. Kudashev-Ashkazarski (Nizhni Novgorod). In 1908, he supervised his own troupe, “The Society of Wandering Actors,” which was later named, "Saiyar.” By drawing from his experience of Russian theatre and involving Russian directors in the production and pedagogical work as a collective, Kariev created a school for realistic dramatic actors. Kariev was considerably influenced by long-term dialogue and cooperation with progressive Tatar prominent figures of literature and education, such as, G. Tukay, G. Kamal, G. Ishaki, G. Kulahmetov, G. Teregulov, and by joint performances with G. Arablinski's Azerbaijan troupe, meetings with K. S. Stanislavski and actors of the Moscow Art Theatre. Kariev paid a lot of attention to his repertoire. Making considerable efforts to overcome censorship and to resist religious fanatics, he created his first plays, “Unfortunate Young Man,” "Bankrupt,” “Secrets of Our City,” and “First Representation.” G. Kamal, G. Ishaki, G. Kulahmetov, F. Amirhan, S. Kamal, and K. Tinchurin's play acquainted the Tatar spectator with the Azerbaijan dramatic arts and Russian and world classics (at first in alterations, then in translations). Thanks to the work of Kariev in Tatar theatre, N. V. Gogol, A. N. Ostrovsky, M. Gorky, F. Shiller, and N. Narimanov produced plays. As an actor, Kariev created a number of images which have become iconic standards in Tatar theatre. Kariev’s performances always were met with a ready response in the auditorium and caused fierce attacks from a reactionary press. As a director, Kariev followed the laws of vital truth and achieved a reconstruction of the realities of life in his scenes. At the same time, he aspired to transfer the thoughts of the playwright, to inform the spectator of the ideological sense of the work, demanded from actors a harmonious execution, and insisted on collective creativity. He gave a lot of attention to working with actors, including attention to their lines, and he was not only the professional, but also the spiritual instructor of the first Tatar actors. Gabdulla Kariev died on January 28, 1920, in Kazan. In 1988, in the village of Kulbaevo-Marasa, G. Kariev's memorial museum was opened in October.
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