Olga Partan


Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Program Coordinator, Russian Studies
Associate Professor of Russian Studies
Ph.D. Brown University


Fields: Russian Language, Literature, and Culture

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Email: opartan@holycross.edu
Office Phone: 508-793-3832
Office: Stein 457
PO Box: 46A
Office Hours:


English Publication


Vagabonding Masks: The Italian Commedia dell’Arte in the Russian Artistic Imagination

The iconic masks of the Italian commedia dell’arte—Harlequin, Pierrot, Colombina, Pulcinella, and others—have been vagabonding the roads of Russian cultural history for more than three centuries. This book explores how these masks, and the artistic principles of the commedia dell’arte that they embody, have profoundly affected the Russian artistic imagination, providing a source of inspiration for leading Russian artists as diverse as nineteenth-century writer Nikolai Gogol, modernist theater director Evgenii Vakhtangov, Vladimir Nabokov, and the empress of Russian popular culture Alla Pugacheva. The author presents a new perspective on this topic, showing how the commedia dell’arte has nourished a rich cultural tradition in Russia.

Russian Publication

Ty prava, Filumena! (Russian) Hardcover – 2012

Ты права, Филумена! Вахтанговцы за кулисами театра.

Книга Ольги Симоновой-Партан – безусловное событие в жанре мемуарной прозы. Внучка выдающегося актера и режиссера Рубена Николаевича Симонова (1899-1968), дочь известного режиссера Евгения Рубеновича Симонова (1925- 1994) и актрисы Валерии Николаевны Разинковой (1937—1980), она сумела ярко, эмоционально, со множеством удивительных деталей показать исполненную драматизма историю взаимоотношений родителей, страсти, кипевшие на сцене и за сценой театра

You Were Right, Filumena! Vakhtangovites Behind the Theater’s Curtains
“The book by Olga Simonova-Partan is unquestionably an event in the memoir genre. The
granddaughter of distinguished actor and director Ruben Simonov (1899-1968), the daughter of
renowned director Evgeniy Simonov (1925- 1994) and actress Valeria Razinkova (1937-1980),
she vividly, emotionally, and with many astonishing details brings to life the dramatic story of
the relationship between her parents and the passions that were boiling onstage and behind the
scenes of the theater.

Courses Taught at Holy Cross