Gorki Theatre’s premiere of THE LAST WORD, the Creative Team

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Alisa Khazanova is an actor, film director and screenwriter.

Alisa started her career as a Bolshoi ballet soloist and performed in a wide-ranging classical repertoire. She is also a graduate of Martha Graham School of Modern Dance.

After a knee injury, she quit professional ballet and became an actor in film and theatre.

Among her works are such films as “977”, “Tale in the Darkness” (Cannes Festival official selection), “The Woman in Black” and “The Humorist”.

Her well-known stage performances include “Agata Returns Home” (Praktika Theatre) and “Shining” (Electroteatr Stanislavsky).

In 2017, Alisa co-wrote and directed her first feature film, “Middleground”. In 2022, she completed her second feature, “The White List”.

Alisa is currently based in London and Berlin.


Maxim Didenko is a theatrical director originally from St. Petersburg. His artistic research of Soviet totalitarian culture and society has allowed him to adapt the works of Boris Pasternak, Isaac Babel and Vladimir Sororkin to the stage.

Didenko is one of the most celebrated directors in Russia, and he has received numerous awards and nominations, including the Golden Mask, the National Theatre Award, the Golden Sophite, the Sergey Kuryokin Award, the GQ Award, “Best Director” for the ballet “The Overcoat” at the St. Petersburg Theatre Awards for Young Artists and “Best Artist Breakthrough 2014” at the Made in Russia Awards for “Pasternak: My sister – Life”.

After graduating from St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy, where he studied under G.M. Kozlov from 2004 to 2009, he was an actor at the Derevo Theatre (St. Petersburg-Dresden). His credits include: “Ketzal”, “Execution of Pierrot”, “Dreams of Robert”, “DiaGnoze”, “La Divina Comedia”, “Islands” and “Once”.

Since 2007, he has collaborated with the Russian Engineering Theatre Akhe and the Centre of Contemporary Art DAKH in Kyiv. In 2010, he organised The Drystone Pro-Theatre Union and celebrated several productions, performances and initiatives.

His directing credits in Germany include: “Slaughter House N5” (European Centre for The Arts, Hellerau, Dresden in 2020) and “Through the Eyes of a Clown” (National Theatre Mannheim in 2019). Other European shows include “Girl and Death” (Tabernacle Theatre, London, 2018). His show “Chapaev and Pustota”, based on Viktor Pelevin’s novel Buddha’s Little Finger, toured around Germany (Deutsches Theatre, Berlin, Hellerau, Dresden and Deutsche Erstaufführung-Kunstfest Weimar).

After Russia began its war on Ukraine, Didenko, who publicly supported Ukraine’s resistance and made pro-peace statements, chose to leave Russia to preserve his artistic and personal freedom. He now lives in Berlin.


Anna Narinskaya is a journalist, documentary filmmaker and exhibition curator.

Among her well-known projects are the exhibitions “200 Beats per Minute: The Typewriter and 20th Century Consciousness” and “Andrei Sakharov: One Hundred Years”. She came up with the concept for the Joseph Brodsky Museum in St. Petersburg and is the author of a famous series of columns in Novaya Gazeta.

These and her other works have won prizes both in Russia (Intermuseum) and abroad (Bologna Book Fair Prize).

In recent times, as repression in Russia has become more severe, Narinskaya has become involved in civic activism. In Particular, she was one of the organisers of the “March of the Mothers”, a protest against the repression of teenagers.

After the war started in Ukraine, Anna Narinskaya moved to Berlin.


Pavel Semchenko is a well-known, award-winning St-Petersburg-born artist, actor, performer, director, set designer and painter. He has worked with numerous Russian and European theatres as well as co-founded the internationally acclaimed engineering theatre Akhe.

For years, most of Semchenko’s creative practices were connected with Akhe. The range of these activities include installations, sculpture, wall paintings in public institutions, films, performances, exhibitions, illustrations and dance. Since 1996, Akhe’s activity has gradually shifted towards the theatre, and Semchenko, as part of the group, has visited almost all of the major festivals in Russia and Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australia.

Some of Semchenko’s awards as part of Akhe Theatre include the “Fringe First” at the Edinburgh Festival, best performance awards at the Perigueux and Nice festivals, as well as the most prestigious “Golden Mask” award in Russia. Pavel currently lives and works in Helsinki.


Vladimir Rannev is a composer and lecturer at St. Petersburg State University. In 2003, he graduated from the composition department of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied with Professor Boris Tishchenko. In 2003–2005, he studied electronic music at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne with Professor Hans Ulrich Humpert.

Rannev is a recipient of a Gartow Stiftung scholarship (Germany, 2002) and the winner of the Salvatore Martirano Award from the University Illinois (USA, 2009) and the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award (Switzerland, 2010).

His opera “Two Acts”, with a libretto by Dmitri A. Prigov, premiered in the Hermitage Museum in November 2012 and took the Grand-Prix of Sergey Kouryohin Prize in 2013. His opera “Prose“ won the Russian opera prize Casta Diva in 2018, the Prize of the Association of Theatre Critics and the National Theatre Prize “Golden Mask” in 2019.

Rannev’s music has been performed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Finland, Poland, Japan and the USA by various ensembles, including the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra, eNsemble, Studio of New Music, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, the vocal ensemble N’Caged (Russia), the ensemble Nostri Temporis (Ukraine), Orkest de Volharding, Amstel Quartet (The Netherlands), the ensemble recherche, the ensembles Mosaik, Les Eclats du Son, Integrales, LUX:NM, Clair-obscur, El Perro Andaluz, the choirs Singakademie Oberhausen, Cuntus Domus and AuditivVokal (Germany), Ums’Jip, KontraTrio, Ensemble Phönix Basel and Ensemble Proton Bern (Switzerland), the ensemble NAMES (Austria) and 2e2m (France).


Valentin Tszin’s experience ranges from martial arts to an education in acting (drama theatre and film) and work in the school of non-verbal, physical theatre, as well as experience as an independent director. In 2008, he became acquainted with the philosophy and art of Butoh. Since then, Tszin has perceived his artistic activity as an always unfinished, ongoing transformation. He has brought Butoh to new territories, such as dramatic theatre (his company PoemaTheatre), poetry (Festival de Poesía de Medellín), parametrics (opening of Zaha Hadid Dominion Tower), landscape art (Archstoyanie Festival), post-internet performance art (the Young Boy Dancing Group company), digital art (“Les Territoires Ephemeres” and “Singularity”), comic art (Comics Festival, Malbrouck), fashion (collaboration with Obscur/Sōderberg for Paris Fashion Week), as well as to numerous experiments in cinematography and video and in techno-culture, including projects for Atonal Berlin, CTM, Halle am Berghain, Smoke Machine, Ampere, Gamma Festival and many others. In 2017, Valentin began to develop his own “Das Gegenteil” Artistic Method. Tszin currently lives and works in Berlin.