Boyakov’s contract in the Moscow Art Theatre | Latest news The Moscow Post
30 November 2023

"Boyakov’s" contract in the Moscow Art Theatre

While the money of the Moscow Art Theatre is actively being "divided", its new artistic director, Eduard Boyakov, pretends that nothing is happening.

Incredibly, but it is a fact: the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has completed a large complex audit of the Moscow Art Academic Theatre named after M. Gorky (MKhAT in Russian) for 2018 - 2019, as well as for January-June 2020. This audit revealed serious violations in the use of federal property, spending money on labour. Violations were found even when using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation. Distortions were found both in the implementation of public procurement, as well as in the implementation of repair work. All the materials of the comprehensive inspection from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation were sent to the Prosecutor General's Office.

The question is, when did new artistic director Eduard Boyakov, who replaced famous Tatyana Doronina, manage to mess so much up and get involved in numerous scandals, including stories with scuffles and threats?

Looking ahead, we note that the actors of the Moscow Art Theatre have repeatedly sent appeals both to Vladimir Putin and to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation with a request to pay attention to the unhealthy situation at the Moscow Art Theatre named after M. Gorky, to return artistic director Tatyana Doronina to the Theatre, to expel Eduard Boyakov, to save the Moscow Art Theatre from amateurs.

The correspondent of The Moscow Post studied theatrical problems.

There is a very dubious financial activity under the leadership of Eduard Boyakov in the Moscow Art Theatre. In October 2019, the state contract No. 70-EP/223-19 for 600,000 rubles was published on the website of state and municipal procurement. It was approved by Boyakov, with the sole supplier, individual entrepreneur Maria Kublanova "for the provision of services". The technical task read as follows: "Collecting information about the order of interaction between assistants, the scheme of document flow between departments. 2. Collecting information about the organization of the information policy of the customer, about the formation of the image policy of the institution".

It caused confusion, why has the individual entrepreneur M. M. Kublanova to deal with the affairs of the state cultural institution entrusted to Boyakov? If Boyakov, due to a possible lack of education and qualifications, is not able to understand the flow of documents, then he is most likely not suitable for the position of head of a state institution, isn’ he?

Another surprising fact is the contract signed by the executive director of the Moscow Art Theatre named after M. Gorky, T. Yaroshevskaya with a certain N. Suvorov, according to which the latter must do the following for the artistic director Boyakov: number the pages; monitor the availability of tea, coffee, lemons, sugar, honey; open the head's office; turn on the computer; monitor the serviceability of office equipment, as well as fasten printed documents with a clip (not a paper clip).

The price of this contract is 206898 rubles.

Further, on the website of state and municipal procurement, notifications were posted about the purchase from a single supplier for 1 million rubles for the performance of the role of Ivan, as well as for the performance of the role of Marina in the performance of A. Konchalovsky "Scenes from Married Life". The roles in this play were performed by Alexander Domogarov and Yulia Vysotskaya.

However, in the spring of 2020, it turned out that the role of Ivan can be performed by Gosha Kutsenko, but more expensive: not for 1 million, but for three…

What else is curious?

Then the coronavirus came, they stopped giving performances, but the purchases in the Theatre continued! In the Moscow Art Theatre, which was closed for quarantine, daily cleaning was carried out several times, according to contracts, each such cleaning cost the treasury 3 million rubles.

There were other contracts, for example, for the maintenance of potted plants. In the time of Tatiana Doronina, one gardener took care of the plants in the Theatre.

But the website of state and municipal purchases displays only those that exceed 100 thousand rubles. You can't see the rest of the contracts. And only the auditors can see them.

Whether there are such contracts, how many of them, for what amount they were concluded and whether they needed to be concluded - the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation was asked to check this.

On July 31, 2020, the Ministry of Culture published orders No. 864, 865, 866 on the beginning of complex and other inspections of the financial and economic activities of the Moscow Art Theatre n. a. Gorky  on its website.

Unexpected appointment

It seems that all these metamorphoses with public procurement in the institution can be associated with the arrival of Boyakovsky. On December 4, 2018, it was very hot in the Moscow Art Theatre: on this day, the troupe learned that a new artistic director, little-known Eduard Boyakov, a native of Kizilyurt (Dagestan), had come to the Theatre. Mr. Boyakov has no specialized education, and in general, he is a journalist by his main profession. He graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of the Voronezh University, worked in various places in various positions, including the Department of Public Relations and Advertising of the Menatep-Impex company, as well as a certain CJSC Ajirus - the Russian branch of the Indian pharmaceutical company AGIO, where he worked as a manager. Then he took part in the project of art manager Marat Gelman for the development of contemporary art in Perm. He was also the art director of the Perm Stage-Molot Theatre, tried himself as the rector of the Voronezh State Institute of Arts. From there, he smoothly moved to the head of the mountain show named at the Rosa Khutor resort in the Krasnodar Territory.

A motley biography, to put it bluntly. But what was the reason that the then Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky decided to change famous Tatiana Doronina to the barely noticeable head of the Caucasian captives mountain show?

Former Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, who "offerred" Mr. Boyakov for the position in the Moscow Art Theatre

"The Theatre will maintain its patriotic, bright position. The Theatre will develop. The Ministry's support for the Theatre will be increased. Not a single performabce of the Theatre will be cancelled, "the Minister of Culture (at that time) Vladimir Medinsky promised, when he introduced Mr. Boyakov to the troupe.

After the appearance of Mr. Boyakov, Tatyana Vasilyevna got the position of "wedding general" - the president of the Moscow Art Theatre named after M. Gorky.  It should be noted that Tatiana Doronina still left the Theatre with a loud scandal. To say that there was discontent with the arrival of "not clear who" in the Moscow Art Theatre, means to say nothing. But the relationship of many artists of the Theatre with the new artistic director did not go well at once!

The new "broom" quickly showed its bad temper: one morning Boyakov appeared in the Theatre, tore down the poster of the play "Guilty without fault". He furiously stomped on a piece of paper, screaming hysterically: "I'll clean up the mess..." Starhit wrote about this in detail.

The actors were shocked. But who knew that in addition to the difficult character, Mr. Boyakov has many other features?

Brawl in the corridor of the Moscow Art Theatre

A few months passed, and soon a group of performers, dissatisfied with the policy of the new artistic director, visited the program of Andrey Malakhov named Live Broadcast (Pryamoi Efir - Rus.). They talked about how meanly they had treated Tatiana Doronina. The actress' letter was read out on the air. Then the performers told about what was happening in the Moscow Art Theatre in detail.

Apparently, Mr. Boyakov watched the program, because the next day an urgent meeting of the troupe was announced.

But not everyone was allowed to attend this meeting. Just before it, there was a brawl between artistic director Boyakov and performer Sakharov. It should be noted that Nikolay Sakharov is one of the old-timers of the Moscow Art Theatre, he has been working in the Theatre for more than 30 years!

Nikolay Sakharov also came to the meeting, but the guard refused to let him in. The actor began to be indignant, and at this moment the artistic director Boyakov appeared in the corridor.

He gently approached actor Sakharov and suddenly began familiarly slapping the actor's face with his hand. Surprised, Sakharov did not react at once...

Nikolay Sakharov has worked at the Moscow Art Theatre for more than 30 years

But then Boyakov makes a sharp movement, intending to deliver a stronger blow... However, he only scratches Sakharov's cheek. Boyakov is dragged away, but he screams heart-rendingly: "I will hit him!" This is how the Sobesednik describes this scene.

But why such a sharp reaction from the artistic director Boyakov towards the oldest actor of the Moscow Art Theatre Sakharov? It turns out that the day before, Nikolay Yuryevich gave an interview to one of the Moscow newspapers concerning what exactly was happening in the Moscow Art Theatre.

From the Theatre, Nikolay Sakharov went to the emergency room, where the doctor witnessed the injuries on his face. However, Boyakov did everything to hush up this ugly story.

"Half-witted Jourdain"

And then the trials began...The actors of the Moscow Art Theatre, who did not agree with the policy of the scandalous director, decided to defend their rights in the Presnensky court. In a collective claim, they accused Eduard Boyakov of purposeful discrimination, removal from roles and non-payment of allowances.

Actress Olga Dubovitskaya stretched a poster right outside the court building: "They are destroying the Moscow Art Theatre. They remove performances and performers. Hear us!"

The actress is supported by Alexey Biryukov, Yuri Bolokhov, Andrey Zaykov, Elena Katysheva, Anton Naumov and Stanislav Sytnik. They were persecuted as well.

Olga Dubovitskaya gave 36 years of her life to the Theatre

Olga Dubovitskaya listed her numerous roles. She also reminded that she had played in such performances as "The Blue Bird", "Othello", "The Taming of the Shrew". But she was also deprived of participation in several performances without explanation.

The chairman of the Moscow Trade Union of Cultural Workers, Lidia Fomina, told reporters that all discrimination against dissenters fits into the general policy of the new leadership, headed by the artistic director Boyakov, who wants to turn the academic Theatre into a House of Culture. This was described in detail by MK.

The artists say that after refusing to sign a fixed-term contract, they were deprived of both payments and performances.

"The day before the "Half - witted Jourdain" play I was removed from the role without explanation, - says the actor Anton Naumov. - Besides, an actor from the Bryansk Theatre performed in the "Zoika's Apartment" play instead of me.

Soon after my refusal to sign a fixed-term contract, I disappeared from the tour list of "The Master and Margarita" play.

Andrey Zaykov, who already under the new leadership was supposed to play a role in the play of Sergey Puskepalis named "The Last Term" was replaced by the decision of the artistic director Boyakov with another artist. Zaykov has already been withdrawn from 60 performances.

Actor Yuri Bolokhov admitted that he continues to play. But several performances with his participation were removed. The actor is outraged by the composition of the qualification commission: for some reason, this commission included the head of security, an accountant and employees of technical services.

Actor Dmitry Korepin got caught in the middle of it: he is an orphan, a native of Simferopol. And he had already been shown the door. Which means he'll have to vacate the dormitory room. But Tatyana Doronina stood up for Korepin. She asked Boyakov not to touch the actor.

However, Boyakov did not hear the request of the actress. This is understandable: actor Korepin harshly criticized the policy of the new artistic director when he refused to sign a fixed-term contract.

Eduard Boyakov did not fulfill another request of Tatiana Doronina, namely, not to touch the perfomance of "Three Sisters." But in the winter of 2019, an updated (Boyakov’s) version of this famous performance appeared in the Moscow Art Theatre.

The performers wrote their first appeal about the alleged "outrages" of Boyakov on June 25, 2019. They published a video message to Vladimir Putin. And they asked him to return Tatiana Doronina to the Theatre. The appeal of the actors says that Tatyana Doronina today "is deprived of all powers, including influence on the repertoire and artistic policy of the Theatre." Eduard Boyakov, in their opinion, kills the classical repertoire. In a short period of time, 80 employees left the Theatre. This is reported by

 Will Eduard Boyakov leave the same way as he came?

Later, on August 29, in their second appeal, the performers of the Moscow Art Theatre complained about the new artistic director to the Prosecutor's Office. They once again asked to investigate the situation with the removal of Tatiana Doronina from office. And with the free actions of the new artistic director.

15 trucks of stuff

By the way, before he had time to look around properly in the Theatre, Mr. Boyakov wrote a memo in which he gave an order to remove from the repertoire and dispose of the scenery of performances of the Doronin period, such as: "Bankrupt", "Guilty without fault", "The Invisible Lady", "All your Anton Chekhov", "Barefoot in Athens", "Georges Dandin", etc. But tens of millions of budget rubles were spent on the production of these performances... Boyakov is indifferent: in one of his interviews, he boastfully stated that "he took 15 trucks of stuff out of the Moscow Art Theatre." But he swore to be true to the traditions of the Moscow Art Theatre, to take care of the legacy of Tatyana Doronina. However, it turned out the opposite way!

The audience in their appeals to the Ministry of Culture asked to assess the material damage and lost revenue from ticket sales, because Boyakov's personal creations like "The Last Hero" had empty halls.

A flood of numerous appeals to the Ministry of Culture was also caused by the destruction of a photo exhibition dedicated to the anniversary of Tatyana Doronina by Mr. Boyakov. The Ministry of Culture promised that the photo exhibition will be digitized and placed on the Theatre's website. But then the answer came that it was impossible to restore the exhibition, because the photos are... damaged. And it is clear why: eyewitnesses watched as Mr. Boyakov smashed up a photo exhibition dedicated to the anniversary of Doronina. After he worked with this exhibition, the floor in the Theatre was left with mangled stands.

Now, the case of Eduard Boyakov is finally being handled by the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation.

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