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Pro-Kremlin Activists Disrupt 'Coming Out of the Closet' Play in Moscow

Pro-Kremlin activists have for the second time in a week stormed a private event in Moscow, this time wreaking havoc at an LGBT play in Moscow on Wednesday evening.

Members of the fringe NOD and SERB nationalist groups, known for attacks on opposition activists and art exhibits, most recently disrupted a seminar on how to deal with law enforcement during protests on Aug. 21. 

The groups barged in on Teatr.doc’s performance of “Coming Out of the Closet” — billed as a story about “life, love and modern-day Russian gays’ search for truth” — a member of one of the groups said.

The theater called the police, who reportedly took into custody the play’s director, Anastasia Patlay, as well as one theatergoer and two activists.

Patlay photographed at least one activist wearing an anti-gay poster waving an orange and black-striped St. George ribbon outside the theater.

SERB member Igor Beketov, who uses the name Gosha Tarasevich, claimed that underage viewers were allegedly in the audience. Russia banned so-called “homosexual propaganda toward minors” in 2013.

“These [gays] hung posters with photos from performances with swearing on stage and provocative posters toward Russian President V[ladimir] Putin in the foyer of the theater,” Tarasevich wrote on social media.

Theatergoer Anton Tkachuk faces 15 days in jail on charges of petty hooliganism, the police-monitoring OVD-Info website reported. Patlay told the Mediazona news website that she had been brought to the police station for questioning, but wasn't detained.

The play continued following the disruption and ended in rapturous applause, Teatr.doc’s assistant art director Zarema Zaudinova said.

Teatr.doc was officially founded by a large group of like-minded playwrights and directors in 2002, most prominent among them the deceased husband-and-wife pair Yelena Gremina and Mikhail Ugarov. 

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