Russia: Theatre director says culture ministry vets new plays

Russia_ValeryFokin

A prominent Russian director has said theatres are required to approve new plays with the culture ministry, raising concerns of a return to censorship in a more conservative cultural climate.

Valery Fokin, the award-winning artistic director of St Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky theatre, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station classic plays were not subject to oversight, but that a culture ministry commission vets each new work by a new author.

“Earlier there weren’t any questions … Now a public commission has to read this work, express its opinion, bring this opinion to officials, who are sitting on the other side of the wall since they’re all in the same place, and then the officials either approve it or don’t approve it, supposedly referencing the public council’s opinion,” he said.

Fokin later told Fontanka.ru that the Russian culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky, had called him to say the ministry did not censor plays and that if the theatre had received any calls from it, they must have been made by officials on their own initiative.


Photo: Valery Fokin, courtesy of the Alexandrinsky Theatre. In the background: The Alexandrinsky Theatre, courtesy of Wikipedia.


Sources

» The Guardian – 15 January 2016:
Russian theatre director says culture ministry vets new plays

» Last news from Russia – 13 January 2016:
«Whether allowed or not allowed» in the Alexandrinsky theatre spoke about censorship

» Last news from Russia – 13 January 2016:
Medinsky said the artistic Director of the theater, there was to be no censorship by the Ministry of culture no


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