One of Russia's greatest twentieth-century poets, Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) was a Futurist, early Bolshevik, and champion of the avant garde. An early revolutionary, he became increasingly disillusioned with Soviet society, and three of his plays - all of which were banned until after Stalin's death - reflect his changing assessments of the Revolution. They are collected here with his first, more personal work, Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy. This volume includes Mystery Bouffe, a mock medieval mystery play written in 1918 to celebrate the first anniversary of the Revolution; The Bathhouse, a sharp attack on Soviet bureaucracy subtitled "a drama of circus and fireworks"; and The Bedbug, in which a worker with bourgeois pretensions is frozen and resurrected fifty years later, when the world has been transformed into a material paradise. Mayakovsky's first play, Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy, reveals the poet's propensity for painful self-dramatization and his flair for grotesque imagery. Fresh, inventive, and shot through with zany humor, Mayakovsky's plays represent a radically new kind of theater.