On 14 February 2019, Boris Ilyin presented his new book Melpomene on the Threshing Floor. Collective and State Farm Theatres of the Vologda Region, 1935-1951.
For many years Ilyin has been studying the history of the theatres in the Vologda region. A particular area of interest is the collective and state farm (kolkhoz and sovkhoz) theatres that worked in the USSR in the 1930s and 1940s.
At a meeting at the Russian State Art Library (RSAL), Boris Ilyin told about the history of the creation of his book, which took 10 years. The main source of information was periodicals. The author studied about 12,000 newspapers, primarily local and regional, where they noted theatre tours and published rare photos of artists and scenes from performances.
Extended work in the archives, studying accounting documents, and various extant reports made it possible, bit by bit, to restore the difficulties of the nomadic life, repertoire, tour schedule, and the addresses of the performance sites.
At the meeting, Boris Ilyin presented a video reconstruction of excerpts from performances of the collective-state-farm theatre and commented on the unique photographs included in the book.
In his speech, he thanked RSAL for supporting his research for over than 10 years.