Blouse was an influential agitprop theatre collective in the early Soviet Union.Boris Yuzhanin created the first Blue Blouse troupe under the auspices of the Moscow Institute of Journalism in 1923.Their example encouraged similar workers’ theatre companies across the country and worldwide; by 1927 there were more than 5,000 Blue Blouse troupes in the Soviet Union with more than 100,000 members.In the autumn of that year, the original troupe began a tour in Erwin Piscator’s theatre in Berlin that provoked a rapid growth of agitprop troupes across Weimar Germany.

The blue workers’ uniforms, in which the actors performed, gave the troupe its name, under which they also published a magazine, which contained scripts and detailed descriptions of staging, costumes, and the troupe’s other theatrical techniques, along with news reports and current affairs. Its variety style made many demands on its performers, requiring “a young deft man trained in physical culture, trained in the striking word, in the cheerful, bold and hard-hitting song and couplet, in the contemporary rhythm of the grotesque and simplistic,” its magazine explained.