MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to allocate grants to 11 of Russia's oldest theaters and drama schools. At a meeting with the directors of the country's leading theaters and drama schools, Putin said: "The money is in the 2006 budget. The first tranche will be more than 400 million rubles [about $14 million] for the next three years."
The first to receive the grants will be such established theaters as Moscow's Maly Theater, which specializes in classical drama, and the Chekhov Art Theater (MKhAT), as well as St. Petersburg's Tovstonogov Drama Theater and some others. The drama schools selected for the grants include, among others, the Russian Academy of Dramatic Art (GITIS, Moscow) and the St. Petersburg Drama Academy.
A total of 405 million rubles a year has been allocated for the grants. The government will supervise the size of the individual grants, and how they are paid and spent.