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22 December 2018, 00:12

In 2018, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation supported 42 projects in the sphere of performative, including 34 individual projects, six national and two international cooperation projects. This number includes theater festivals, tours of foreign companies in Ukraine and of Ukrainian companies abroad, professional schools, competitions, trainings, laboratories, residences, choreographic festivals, inclusive and social projects, one theatrical research, pre-production of performances, and in fact, creation and presentation of new theater productions to the audience. We decided to focus on the premieres of 2018-2019 season, because these performances will remain on stage (and not only there) for at least one or two seasons more. As well as the tastes of the theater audience, the projects included in the collection are quite heterogeneous. But all of them are devoted to topical issues that interest both artists and society at the same time.

Tamara Trunova’s production of Natalka Vorozhbiy’s “Bad Roads” play became one of the first supported by UCF premieres. This project is one of the first theatrical expressions about war in the East of Ukraine, that was produced on the big stage of the Ukrainian theatre. Play was written for the Royal Court Theatre in London, where it was produced in November 2017, so the premiere at Scene 6 in Kyiv is the first one outside the Great Britain. Natalia Vorozhbit wrote this play in parallel with the "Cyborgs" script (directed by Akhtem Seitablaev), collecting stories and testimonies of real people during trips to Eastern Ukraine. However, while the “Cyborgs’ is a movie about myth and victory, the “Bad Roads” is a play about the very life that will always defeat the death.

Another Foundation-sponsored production directed by Tamara Trunova, released two months later, is a stage version of famous anti-utopia by Oleg Sentsov. “Numbers” is a story about imprisoned society that tries to overcome its fears, receive utopian freedom, but continues run in circles. Oleg Sentsov is the Ukrainian movie director, active Maidan participant. In addition, he assisted Ukrainian military in Crimea. In May 2014, he has been arrested on suspicion of preparing a terrorist act, and the Russian court subsequently sentenced him to 20 years' imprisonment. In May 2018, Sentsov went on a hunger strike demanding to release all Ukrainian political prisoners, and continued hunger strike for 145 days. For now, he is looking forward to see the production of his play “Numbers” .

DIALOGUES, an impressive promenade exhibition by UZAHVATI! Theatrical Company, was first presented in old libraries of Kyiv and Odesa this autumn. DIALOGUES is an innovative staging with the effect of presence and immersion into the performance plot which makes spectators involved as participants of such performance. There is no conventional auditorium, since the performance takes place in different locations at the same time, while spectators are more actively engaged in the performance.

The Last Sunday of August / Multidimensional Project in Miners’ Prism is an innovative pilot theatrical project of the Lesia Ukrayinka Theatre, Lviv. Based on the research and contents coming from the mining regions of the Lvivsko-Volynskyi Basin and Donbas Basin, HORIZON 200 post-documentary performance was staged in the theatre. In addition to the premiere, spectators had an opportunity to enjoy ‘Miners. Specific Poetry’ media installation and ‘I’m not a miner’ street exhibition demonstrated in Lviv during a month. The artistic programme was also accompanied by documentary screenings and lecture and discussion events.

In November, the project "Richard III" finished with the first night of the play on the stage of the popular capital theater "Golden Gate". The project also included a professional school and a laboratory for theatre directors and playwrights. "Richard III" is a performance created by the Ukrainian-German team: Director — Cornelia Krombholz (Magdeburg, Germany), playwright — David Schlizing (Magdeburg, Germany), musical concept — Anna Gluhenka, the role of Richard III was performed by Kateryna Vyshneva. The play entered the theater repertoire and will be on stage in the capital for several years. It is planned that in the future the production will take part in festivals, theater competitions and awards.

Kharkiv theater "Arabesques" showed two pre-premiere shows of the play "Romeo. Juliet. Classic Comedy", dedicated primarily to its audience. It was the audience, because it was the first time in 25 years of its existence that the Kharkiv theater received funding from the state budget. The project "How (NOT) to go to the theatre" focuses on the study of the Kharkiv theatres and their audiences, so in addition to the performance, the organizers held a panel discussion and a master class on "professional" review of theatricals with the participation of Katazhyna Pivonska (Warsaw) and Maria Monteque (London).

A newly crated Kharkiv theatre "Neft" also presented its two premiere performances. Descendants of the famous theater "Beautiful flowers" created "Orpheus: PublicTalk " in the form of a critical performative project combining physical theater and animation. Minimalistic stage scenery, complex motiondesign and live music — this is the way the authors of the project reveal the causes and motives of such a phenomenon as "conscious loneliness". The play "Orpheus: PublicTalk" tries to answer the question of choice of the younger generation not to create a family and not to give birth to children.

The project of the team of the youngest Ukrainian theater "Suffering on Goncharivka" is fundamentally different. Shows took place in the framework of the project "Kvitka Day", which seeks to give the classic Ukrainian culture "a new breath". For this purpose, the work of Grigory Kvitka-Osnovyanenko was inscribed in modern artistic and urban contexts. The purpose of the performance-concert was the celebration of the 240th anniversary of the birth of the writer in his hometown of Kharkiv. The result was a massive combination of the classical play of Kvitka-Osnovyanenko, the non-classical approach of the theater "Neft", unique music and Kharkiv colouring. As the authors of the production note, "no bloomers, only Noir."

Soon Kharkiv will see the premiere of a play on domestic violence "The one who dies." Actors and members of the independent theater "Publicist" are convinced that often parents, consciously or unconsciously, physically and psychologically traumatize children, without thinking how this trauma will affect their future life. To draw attention to this problem, the authors of the project created a multimedia performance based on the story of Marianna Kiyanovska and organized a children's camp. During the training, together with a psychologist, actors and the director, the children worked on the creation of stop motion animations, which were included in the list of means for the play creation.

Also this winter the Lviv puppet theatre will present the play "Tango of Death" of Valentyna Tuzhyna based on the book by Yuri Vynnychuk. The project intends to become a platform for discussion of socially important issues between the theater and audience. Recently, the theater has already held a performance of work in progress, a demonstration of the design of dolls, scenography and costumes specially made for the performance. The project is intended to provoke a dialogue between the theater and the audience about the possibility and prospects of "adult" performances in the children's theater, as well as to present future accompanying programs of works of art.

The spring of 2019 will see the premiere of the opera-verbatim "Dragon" at the Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, the pre-production of which was held with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. The production based on the play by Yevgeny Schwartz will be an independent production of the Chief Director of the Odessa Opera Yevgen Lavrenchuk in co-authorship with the composer Anton Baibakov and the playwright Pavel Ar'e.


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