|Director Kirill Serebrennikov|
The Russian Association of Theatre Critics has named director Kirill Serebrennikov as Person of the Year for his “unprecedented dedication to theatre in circumstances of house arrest.”
Serebrennikov has been detained under house arrest since August 23, 2017, while undergoing investigation for “financial mismanagement” related to the interdisciplinary performing arts project titled The Platform. Prominent artistic personalities and professional associations in Russia, Europe, and the Americas have considered his trial a politically motivated case of selective justice, and called for his release. At the Europe Theatre Prize festivities in St. Petersburg last November, leading Russian and European theatre artists decried Serebrennikov’s continued detention and repression, which added a note of risk and danger to the prize ceremony.
According to the website of PEN America:
Serebrennikov has been an activist and government critic, making him a target of repression. He has protested against Russia’s involvement in the Russo-Georgian war of 2008, election fraud in 2011, persecution of the LGBT community, and arrests of Pussy Riot members, among other issues. He called Russia a country of “unabolished slavery” where people do not value freedom and a chasm exists between the people and power.
During Serebrennikov’s house arrest, two productions that he initiated were presented to the public: Così fan tutte at Opernhaus Zürich and Baroque at the Gogol Center in Moscow. His film, The Summer, was presented at Cannes Film Festival. The ballet Nureyev, which he directed, and his production of Small Tragedies were nominated for the Golden Mask, the Russian National Theatre Prize.