The Mayakovsky Theater company, subject of my piece “Vanishing Act,” has been informed it must vacate its historic premises by May 1, according to updates posted on Facebook by people connected to the theater. Based on interviews conducted with theater employees, the company’s relocation will likely result in its dissolution.
Temporary premises have been established at the Tajikistan Cinema, an abandoned and out-of-the-way movie theater on the southern outskirts of the city. Sources say it is completely inadequate to the theater company’s needs, despite a promise by the President that the theater would be refurbished.
The Mayakovsky Theater company is Tajikistan’s premier Russian-language theater group. Established in 1937, the company currently inhabits an historic neo-classical building on Rudaki Avenue constructed sometime in the early 1920s. Originally the Dom Kolkhoznika, the building was the site of the signing of the treaty officially incorporating Tajikistan into the USSR.
The government plans to demolish the building to make way for new construction, but has declined to release any details on just what that new construction will be. The theater’s demolition is in line with a wave of destruction of Soviet-era buildings in the nation’s capital, part of a master plan to “reinvent” the city, according to EurasiaNet.org.