Fomenko, who staged more than 60 plays in Russian and foreign theaters during his career, died Thursday in Moscow, his theater said. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
Fomenko began his career as an actor in 1958. He became a director in the 1960s, staging performances at several Moscow theaters. Some of his productions were banned by Soviet authorities for being politically provocative. He moved to then-Soviet Georgia and then to Leningrad in the 1970s, eventually taking the helm of the Leningrad Comedy Theater in the 1970s, but lost the job in 1981 after another fallout with authorities.
In 1993 Fomenko founded his own theater, building a troupe from students at Moscow’s theater academy, where he also worked as a teacher. The Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theater quickly became popular thanks to his innovative approach to works by Shakespeare, Chekhov and other classics. The company performed at different Moscow locations before finally moving into its own quarters in 2000.