Dramaturgical Resources


The Lower Depths

By Maxim Gorki

Over the course of the season, our assistant directors and student dramaturgs will be compiling dramaturgical resources relating to each production as it develops. Below are some links to websites which relate to the history of the play, the biography of the playwright, and sites that contextualize and, we hope, shed light on the directorial approach to the dramatic material.

We hope you find these resources of interest.

Maxim Gorki

Maxim (Maksim) Gorki (1868-1936)

Biographies of Maxim Gorki

Biography of Gorki on Wikipedia.

Always a good source, but also helpful here are the direct links to related items such as socialist realism, and to other political terms, events, or important people in Gorki's lifetime.

Another good online biography, can be found here.

The Lower Depths

A general description and article on the play can be found here.

And for those wanting to read it in the original Russian, here's the online Russian text.

Film Versions

Two famous film versions exist of the play. Here are links to the versions by:


The historical background of the play touches on Russian history, especially as it relates to the road to the Russian Revolution.

Specific topics include the consolidation of power by the tsars, the expansion of the country that led to war with Japan, the industrialization that allowed for the mobilization of the workers, and the attempt by the government, following the war, to remove certain freedoms granted to the working class.

Our production is strongly influenced by the political and social ramifications of Hurricane Katrina on the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

For a general overview of Hurricane Katrina, click here.

For an overview of the politics underscoring that tragedy, click here.

The renowned photographer, Robert Polidori, also has an audio portfolio of his trip to photograph New Orleans after Katrina which we recommend.

A superb portfolio by the Magnum photographer, Thomas Dworzak, entitled Ghost Town, shot for Time Magazine, is also recommended watching.