In an article in Novaya Gazeta published today [ru], Marina Tokarev shares the story of Moscow’s Meyerhold Centre, which recently received a letter from the Prosecutor’s Office, asking for “a written explanation” of their theatre performances.
The request names 12 different plays / operas (including Wagner’s Tannhauser, which recently encountered problems with Russia’s Ministry of Culture [story in English here], and Antony & Cleopatra, among others).
In addition, the letter demands to know “whether there are scenes in the above performances foul language, promoting immoral behaviour.”
“There is a feeling of a black hole into which all of us are gradually being pulled.”
Sasha Sotnik shared the story on his Facebook page and commented:
People may call me spiteful, petty, and nasty [for saying this]. But it is also true that many artists (actors, directors, producers, playwrights) have long asserted that “politics is not our business, we stay out of politics, we need to save the theatre, we have to feed the actors” and so on.
But, he continues, this incident only confirms “the postulate [of Pericles] that ‘just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics won’t take an interest in you”.
“And now… it is coming for you. But you will continue to shun politics.”