ACAR protests against dismissal of Valery N. Raykov, general manager of the Saratov Youth Theatre
Mid of January, the local government of the Saratov region (Russia) removed the general manager of one of the most prominent Russian theatres. He was indicted to be responsable for a fire accident in the theatre in October 2012. Valeriy Nickolayevich Raykov, who was leading the Saratov Youth Theatre named after Kisselev since 30 years to high national and international reputation, was fired contrary to the wishes of the theatre staff.
Alfira Arslanova, Secretary General, ITI-Russia:
“The dismissal took place after the fire in the theatre which happened in October last year, in spite of fire-prevention was found in accordance with norms and regulations and the theatre manager wasn’t charged with anything. The Governor of Saratov Region neither gave an official reply to the theatre nor considered it necessary to answer many appeals of prominent Russian and foreign professionals of performing arts in defense of a person who spent more than 30 years serving theatre famous in Russia and abroad for its productions.
There are letters from Professional Guild of Theatre Managers of Russia, Theatre Union of Russia, employees of Saratov Youth Theatre and stage director Matthias Langhoff. They are written by professionals in support of their colleague, whose prolonged absence from the theatre does only harm to both the theatre centre and theatre-lovers.
ITI Russian National Centre voices a protest against this kind of ill treatment of performing arts professionals on the part of bureaucracy and demands local authorities of Saratov Region to start dialogue”
Ann Mari Engel, President of ACAR and Vice President of the ITI wrote in an open letter to the Governor of the Saratov Region:
“We want to join the Russian centre of the International Theatre Institute in its protest and request to reinstate V.N.Raykov in the position of theatre manager. We regard this arbitrary decision; made against the wishes of the theatre company, to be a violation of the freedom of the arts. We urge the authorities to start a constructive dialogue with the theatre and to listen to all the voices from the international theatre community.”
Alexander A.Kalyagin, President, People’s Artist of Russia
A.E.Polyankin, President, Professional Guild of Theatre Managers of Russia
Interational supporters: Letter from Matthias Langhoff (German/French director)