The Stanislavsky Electrotheatre is participating in an act of solidarity with Alexei Malobrodsky, former general producer of the Platform project and former managing director of Gogol Center, who was charged June 22 with embezzling money intended for the staging of “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” The premiere of this performance took place in November 2012. It was seen by thousands of spectators, and was nominated for a Golden Mask award and is still in repertory at Gogol Center.
We are amazed that Alexei Malobrodsky was put behind bars in a confinement cell for the duration of the investigation, despite many letters in his defense and personal guarantees from such well-known people directors Sergei Zhenovach and Dmitry Krymov, chairman of the Theatre Union Alexander Kalyagin, and managing director of the Bolshoi Theatre Vladimir Urin.
We consider this an expression of disrespect for Russia’s entire theatre community. By participating in this act of solidarity we expect the voice of the theatre community, our voice, to be heard.
We demand:1. Rescind the arrest of Alexei Malobrodsky and Nina Maslyaeva and release them both from custody pending trial. 2. Conduct an impartial investigation into the affairs of Alexei Malobrodsky, Nina Maslyaeva and Yury Itin, who is being held under house arrest. 3. Invite theatre experts to participate in the investigation of the Seventh Studio case.
“Cataclysms in the theater, especially those with criminal overtones, reveal the absurdity of our life in Russia. Each time it happens it is as if someone has spun a magic top, and the rays of this top, inspired by provocative theatrical events, beginning with “Tannhauser” in Novosibirsk and ending now with the terrible attacks on leading figures of new Moscow theater, slowly focus a beam of light on the situation, demonstrating a terrible schism, a disconnect in the nation’s consciousness. This is the result of the whole Soviet experience and the post-Soviet era, a time of monstrous cold. This deep-freeze is the consequence of the entire history of our fatherland for the last hundred years. It is a century-old permafrost of consciousness, a monstrously, insanely impenetrable cold and rigidity. Inflexibility seeps through every crack. When you speak of charity, empathy and the presumption of innocence, you realize that the frigidity emanating from this century-old deep-freeze, which embraces our homeland, is one of our nation’s primary and most debilitating hereditary diseases. We know no way of dealing with it. All the same, of course, one must hammer with every tool society has at its disposal.
“I have known Alexei Malobrodsky from time immemorial, when we collaborated at the School of Dramatic Art. He appeared when Anatoly Vasilyev was expelled from the theater. Our mutual interaction, aimed at preserving the theater from destruction, showed him to be patient, wise, good and serious in his attitude to the matter at hand. As a result of the active communication in which we engaged during the years that he ran the School of Dramatic Art, I came to see an impeccably honest person, one who had absolutely no mercantile interests. Further, when he joined Kirill Serebrennikov on the adventure of creating Platform and Gogol Center, he always radiated a chivalrous attitude about the theater. I know Yury Itin and the bookkeeper Nina Maslyaeva to a lesser extent, but I am certain that they are first-class professionals and people. Their fate now is in need of solidarity from our guild. This is one of those rare moments when we all may attempt to join together and strike at this terrible, century-old deep-freeze that has engulfed our fatherland. Naturally I and the Electrotheatre join in solidarity with those who are now united as one to protect the honor and dignity of our national theatre culture.”