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Russian Theatre Digest March 2013

Non-Competition Program Maska Plus of the Russian National Award/Festival Golden Mask/ Festival Compatriots in Saransk/ Theatre Bridge Iowa-Moscow/ Stage Design Exhibition Seasons Summary #49/ International One-Man Show Festival Monocle/ International Competition for Young Opera Directors Nano-Opera

Non-Competition Program “Maska Plus” of the Russian National Award/Festival “Golden Mask”

Moscow’s theatre goers had another chance to see and form their opinion of what it was shown them. The program “Maska Plus” is not on the competition list, being rather a part of the supplement to the 19th National Theatre Award and Festival “Golden Mask” held in March. The selection of candidates for this national prize is done on quite rigorous requirements and format frames, so not every production even if it has gain public acclaim, can be eligible. Quire often there appear catchy, out-of-order spectacles, made at the junction of a number of genres by talented actors, young directors, graduates of theatre education institutions, independent companies and studios. The sideline festival’s program is exactly a way to learn more about them. The “Maska Plus -2013” participants were theatre companies from Vladikavkaz, Khanty-Mansiysk, Kirov, Kostroma, Krasnoyarsk and St-Petersburg. Aside from the Russian companies, in 2013 the Klockrike Theatre from Helsinki showed its version of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, and Double Edge theatre from Ashfield, Massachusetts, U.S. presented the production Grand Parade.

Festival “Compatriots” in Saransk

From March 16 to 21, 2013 Saransk (the capital of the Republic of Mordovia) hosted the 8th international festival “Compatriots”. Its inception the festival was to be a meeting place for the Russian theatres from the 14 republics, which were previously constituent parts of the Soviet Union, continued to perform in Russian after the break-up of the USSR. In the years after that the festival became important, attracting many Russian theatre groups from abroad. As what Natalia Staroselskaya, a theatre critic, the editor in chief of the Russian theatre magazines “Strastnoy Boulevard, 10” and “Another Lands”, as well as the president of the festival’s experts council says: ”This year we saw the record number of applications, including Brazil, Italy, Argentina and even from the African continent. Every time we had to turn them back for the reason that according to the “Compatriots” festival’s rules, it was a must for potential participants to have performances in Russian in their repertoires. We also had to exclude some of the foreign companies for another reason, because their productions did not meet the requirements of the festival’s standards.” See (in Russian): http://www.rg.ru/2013/03/16/reg-pfo/teatr.html

As a result, the festival’s participants were the Russian theatres from Odessa (Ukraine), Gomel (Belorussia), Pavlodar (Kazakhstan), Tiraspol (Moldovan Transdniestrian Republic), Noginsk (Moscow region), Saransk (Mordovia, Russia) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

Theatre Bridge Iowa-Moscow

On March 14, 2013 at 19.30 Moscow time and Iowa City, 10.30 local time direct broadcasts of one-act plays of the U.S. and Russian playwrights took place. This unusual “dramatists’ clam” as its organizers dubbed it, was the second stage of the three-years long of the project Book Wings undertaken by the Moscow Art Theatre School and University of Iowa’s Department of Theatre Arts International Writing Program (IWP).

In 2012 there was an online “meeting” of Russian and American poets, and in 2013 such a meeting was organized for the playwrights. The theme they discussed was called “The Contact.” Either country was represented by three authors. The Russian playwrights were Natalia Moshina, Marina Krapivina and Maxim Kurochkin. Their American opposite numbers were Victoria Stewart, Carlos Murillo and Sherry Kramer.

The plays they wrote performed by the students of two theatre schools were simultaneously shown on large screens in Moscow and Iowa and was put on the Internet.  The organizers of this project are confident that it will help create the uniform creativity space and mutual understanding of both nations’ art workers. See (in Russian)


Stage Design Exhibition “Season’s Summary #49”

On March 27, 2013 the display of the Moscow stage designers “Season’s Summary #49” at the gallery M’Ars. As its name indicates, the exhibition sums up the results of the 2011-2012 theatre season. Scale models, installations, stage outlines, photographs, stage costumes, puppets and interactive objects are on display. It is a unique show of the creative work of Moscow’s scenographers made for both theatres in the Russian capital and other cities and towns, as well as for foreign ones. Owing to the very idea to present production of the past season, the exhibition is an attraction for many visitors and theatre-goers, because there they can discover both luminary scenographers and beginner designers.

The exhibition is the 49th time. It is noteworthy that after its opening in 1964, despite all the political and economic challenges facing the country, the display never missed a year. The founder and organizer of the exhibition is the RF Theatre Union.

The exhibition will run until 10 April 2013 at the address:  Gallery M’Ars, Pushkarev Pereulok, 5, Moscow. Some links on the subject (in Russian):



International One-Man Show Festival “Monocle”

From March 1 to 8, 2013 St-Petresburg hosted 9th International One-Man Show Festival “Monocle.” The founder of the festival is the Theatre/Festival “Baltic House.

Competitive Festival "Monocle" is held every 2 years involving professional actors and students of the high theatre schools.
The winner of "Monocle-2013" was a solo performance Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran after Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s novel played by Yevgeny Kazakov, directed by Natalia Korlyakova (Theatre for Young Audience, Seversk, Russia).

Special Jury Prize "For Search for Talent and High Level of Acting" was awarded Britain actor Peter Tate, who presented a solo performance Odd Man Out he posed on his own story. See (in Russian) http://ptj.spb.ru/blog/vnachale-bylo-mono/

International Competition for Young Opera Directors “Nano-Opera”

From 25 to 29 March, 2013 Moscow musical theatre Helikon-Opera under Dmitry Bertman took the final stage of the international competition «Nano-Opera» for young opera directors.
In Russia such a contest took place for the first time. Its founders are the Department of Culture of Moscow, RF Theatre Union and Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre.
The competition is aimed to young opera director at the age up to 35. The terms of the competition could be found at  http://nanoopera.ru/?lang=en.

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