“Without Serebrennikov, the theater is not needed.” “Gogol Center” is threatened by “transformation”

The contracts of the artistic director of the Gogol Center Alexei Agranovich and the director of the theater Alexei Kabeshev with the Moscow Department of Culture end on July 3, and there is no certainty that they will be extended, a source close to the capital’s cultural department told RTVI. Among other things, the city authorities considered the option of merging the Theater. Gogol with another cultural institution.

“The fate of the theater is in question. The contracts of Agranovich and Kabeshev are ending, and there are no signs that they will be extended, ”said the interlocutor of RTVI.

At the same time, he believes, the situation in the next week “can turn in any direction.” At the same time, for the uninterrupted operation of the theatre, the troupe and staff must already know the plans of the founder (that is, the Moscow Department of Culture). Moreover, the source assures, Aleksey Agranovich himself does not intend to sign a contract for a new term if the contract with his director is not extended. Part of the theater staff also intend to work only with Kabeshev.

Alexei Agranovich declined to comment.

“Of course, we had some plans for the future,” the theater troupe told RTVI, “but we froze them until the announcement of decisions regarding our leaders.”

On June 23, art historian Ksenia Korobeynikova spoke about the possible closure of the Gogol Center in her Telegram channel. “Poka pick up the official reason [закрытия], but in reality, a theater without Kirill Serebrennikov is not particularly needed. My interlocutor in the depkultury reassured that the troupe would not be disbanded, and artistic director Alexei Agranovich was looking for a place for rehearsals and performances, ”- wrote she is.

An RTVI source did not confirm the search for a new venue for performances and rehearsals. At the same time, according to the interlocutor, the option in which the troupe and management in their current form will stop working is possible.

“I don’t quite understand the logic here,” says the source, “economically and financially, the Gogol Center is very successful, the halls are full. Is there a desire that this place, in principle, no longer exists?

The interlocutor does not have information about whether the Moscow Department of Culture has made any decision about the fate of the theater, but claims that he knows about the discussion of this issue. Among other things, he says, the depcult considered the organizational merger of the Gogol Center with another state cultural institution in Moscow – following the example of the Center. Meyerhold (CIM), merged with the School of Dramatic Art theater after the resignation of the CIM leaders in February-March 2022.

According to the interlocutor, it is possible that the decision on this or that “transformation” of the theater was made after the departure of the founder of the theater, Kirill Serebrennikov, abroad.

RTVI sent a request to the Moscow Department of Culture.

  • “Gogol Center” was opened on the basis of the reformed Drama Theater. Gogol in 2013, it was headed by Kirill Serebrennikov, at that time the creative director of the Platforma project and co-founder of the ANO Seventh Studio.
  • In 2017, Serebrennikov, as well as the then director of the theater (and the former general producer of the Seventh Studio) Alexei Malobrodsky, the former head of the Department of Theater and Folk Art of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation Sofya Apfelbaum and other defendants, a criminal case was opened on fraud, which became known as the “Theatrical Case “.
  • In 2017, Alexey Kabeshev, who was approved as director in 2019, began to perform the duties of Malobrodsky. In February 2021, Kirill Serebrennikov’s contract with the Department of Culture expired, and he was replaced as artistic director by the current creative director Alexei Agranovich. Under him, the theater continued to play the old repertoire, and also made new productions, including “I do not participate in the war” for the centenary of the poet Yuri Levitansky.

Alexey Krizhevsky

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