SWEDEN/STOCKHOLM Praising his creative work and recruitment of female managers, 40 theatre workers have expressed their support for Eirik Stubo, the former chief executive and artistic director of Dramaten – the Royal Dramatic Theatre – in an open letter. Stubo was sacked by the board of Sweden’s national theatre on April 8 for failing to address longstanding allegations of harassment linked to the #MeToo movement. The crisis at the theatre was sparked by a documentary about the late actor Josefin Nilsson that detailed the abuse she experienced in a relationship with an actor at the theatre in the 1990s.
RUSSIA/MOSCOW The saga of Moscow’s Gogol Theatre continues. After 18 months, artistic director Kirill Serebrennikov and colleagues were unexpectedly released from house arrest on April 8 while awaiting trial on charges of embezzlement. A week later Serebrennikov attended this year’s Golden Mask awards hosted by the Bolshoi Theatre, where he collected director gongs for Gogol’s Little Tragedies and the Bolshoi’s controversial Nureyev, which ran while he was still under detention in 2017 (the Taganka’s musical Sweeney Todd and the Bolshoi’s Billy Budd were other winners). The charges relate to claims that millions of rubles had been siphoned off projects including Serebrennikov’s 2012 Gogol production for Seventh Studio of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a production memorably claimed by state prosecutors to have never existed despite the glaring fact it was nominated for a Golden Mask.
RUSSIA/MOSCOW Police have closed down a brothel based in a Moscow theatre building after complaints by neighbours. Offering the services of ‘joy therapists’, the brothel operated out of the same complex in the city centre where the 25-year-old Novy Balet (New Ballet) Theatre is based. As in many parts of Moscow, the theatre forms part of a larger block of flats, and Novy Balet employees say they were unaware of the brothel’s existence. newballet.ru
CANADA/OTTAWA The new Indigenous Theatre programme has been denied federal funding just a month before announcing its inaugural season on April 30. Kevin Loring, the Indigenous Theatre’s first artistic director, announced the C$3.5 million (£2.01 million) shortfall in a letter on Facebook. He said that he had considered resigning, but was instead committed to ensuring the first season would go ahead later this year, albeit in a “greatly diminished capacity”. The programme was created in 2016 by the Ottawa-based National Arts Centre to partner with theatre companies nationwide to establish platforms for indigenous performing arts. nac-cna.ca/en/indigenoustheatre
IRELAND/DUBLIN Audience interaction notches up a level as Dublin Theatre Festival asks its audience to choose a play to stage this year. An ‘active spectators group’ aged between 18-25 have applied to meet in Dublin to select from several potential projects presented by artistic director Willie White. The project is part of Be SpectACTive! – an EU-wide project to encourage audience engagement. One of its strands includes 50 local groups of active spectators involved in co-programming and co-managing activities, where 1,500 participants select 350-plus shows between 2018-22. Dublin Theatre Festival runs September 16-October 13. dublintheatrefestival.ie bespectactive.eu
JAPAN/TOKYO A 360-degree version of West Side Story is underway at Japan’s IHI Stage Around Tokyo, premiering in August 2019. The musical is a co-production by Tokyo Broadcasting System Television and Imagine Nation, the Dutch-based pioneers of hi-tech in-the-round experiences. The Tokyo audiences will sit on a vast rotating platform. Directed by David Saint and choreographed by Julio Monge, the production is well timed for the cultural run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. tbs.co.jp/stagearound/theater/english.html
The International section is edited by Nick Awde. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org