Kirill Serebrennikov has lost his post as the director of Moscow’s prestigious Gogol Center theatre, less than a year after the artist escaped jail on controversial fraud charges.
Moscow’s department of culture announced on Tuesday that they will not be renewing the director’s contract when it expires on 28 February. Serebrennikov has been the head of the Gogol Center since it opened in 2012, and transformed the small venue into one of Moscow’s most popular and avant-garde theatres, and a hotspot for the city’s liberal intelligentsia.
The announcement followed the Gogol Center’s eighth birthday celebrations on 2 February, which had included news on 2021’s artistic plan for three theatre premieres, a spoken word poetry performance, and a visual art exhibition. Tickets for all Gogol Center performances are sold out until March.
Serebrennikov was handed a suspended sentence in June 2020 after being found guilty of criminal fraud by a Moscow court. The case sparked outrage in Russia’s cultural circles, with critics slamming the charges as politically motivated.