The Moscow Department of Culture announced a change in leadership at the Gogol Center theater. New managers were appointed to leading positions instead of artistic director Alexei Agranovich and director Alexei Kabeshev.
The Gogol Center's artistic director Kirill Serebrennikov, who emigrated from Russia after Putin's attack on Ukraine, called this decision equal to the “closure” of the theater:
«It's true. The Gogol Center is no more. It is over.
Its last performance will be I Don’t Participate in War after poems by Yury Levitansky.
Its last premiere was a performance titled Do Not Lose Your Faces based on Andrei Voznesensky’s poetry.
Its first edition by Taganka Theater lasted for three nights before being shut down by the authorities [in 1970].
This time, they went for the theater. For its stance. For honesty. For an attempt at freedom. For the peace dove that the theater projects on its curtain after each performance in protest of the war instead of traditional curtain calls with actors bowing to the public. For not canceling my performances. For remaining decent human beings.
The titles, I DON’T PARTICIPATE IN WAR and DO NOT LOSE YOUR FACES, are messages to you, our audience, and a call from all of us, the Gogol Center team, to remain human.
It's true. They are closing down a living theater. With full houses every night. With a following. With a unique repertoire. A world-renowned theater. A theater for people. As founders, they are acting within their rights. However, from the artistic perspective, it’s not just an act of sabotage; it is murder. Yet another ordinary murder. So please remember it for what it is.
DEUS CONSERVAT OMNIA».
On March 29th media reported that Kirill Serebrennikov had left for France. Later, in an interview with Euronews, Serebrennikov, commenting on the mood of Russians about the war, said many of them had become victims of «years of terrible propaganda» and called the military action in Ukraine «a terrible invasion».