ETC Photo Documentary: In Focus Ukraine. European networking with Ukrainian theatres and artists

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Supported by

Opening of the Future of Europe Conference

Dubravka VrgoÄ?, President of the ETC, General Director Croatian National Theatre & World Theatre Festival Zagreb

Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić, Lower Saxony Minister of Science and Culture

Joachim Klement, ETC Board Member & General Director Staatstheater Braunschweig


Introduction In Fokus: Ukraine.................................................................................................................. Theatres and theatre directors from the Ukraine ...................................................................................... Young theatre makers from the Ukraine ................................................................................................. 15 The structure and development of the Ukrainian theatre by Pavlos Arie .................................................. 22 Summary of the ETC conference and Fast Forward festival .................................................................... 2 Workshops and panel discussions ......................................................................................................... 2 Performances Fast Forward festival and opera ....................................................................................... Quotes .................................................................................................................................................. 32 Partners / Contact ................................................................................................................................. 33


INTRODUCTION IN FOKUS: UKRAINE The topic of our annual international theatre conference was the future of Europe. But how can we talk about the future of our continent, when in our very present time, new military conflicts have been breaking out on the Eastern border of Ukraine to question the geographical, cultural and historical belonging of its European identity. What does this mean for us theatre professionals? How do we relate our work to the current events through artistic means and through the freedom and liberty of the arts? The concerning political situation in the Ukraine gave reason to strengthen ties between the European Theatre Convention (ETC) with theatres and artists coming from the country currently in crisis to build bridges and connect with partners in the ETC network. Calling upon the responsibility of arts and humanities to envision a future for an open and equal Europe, the situation and work of Ukrainian theatre makers and theatres was hence made a focal point of our conference “The Future of Europe”, which took place during the Fast Forward theatre festival at the State Theatre Brunswig during four days end of November 2014. An invited delegation of artists and theatre directors from Ukraine presented their work, connected with the over 200 festival and conference participants and partners from across Europe and engaged in an exchange of view on current artistic, cultural and political issues. Theatre from Ukraine is not very known in the rest of Europe. Despite the fact, as we learned in our conversations with Ukrainian theatre colleagues, that theatre has a very long and rich tradition in Ukraine with over 130 public theatres across the country (nearly as many as in Germany, whereas in Ukraine live half as many people). The invited guests from Ukrainian public theatres as well as the independent and fringe theatre scene therefore jointly stressed the valuable important exchange with European colleagues and the influence culture has on the political developments in their country. After first encounters and discussions, ideas for continuous European theatre networking were elaborated to strengthen new relations, to further bridge the artistic life between Ukraine and the rest of Europe in the coming year and especially to offer young Ukrainian theatre makers professional perspectives in an international context. With our project “In Focus: Ukraine” we wish to contribute to creating plurality in public theatre spaces and emphasize the fundamental values of freedom and democracy.

Heidi Wiley ETC General Secretary


STANISLAV MOISEIEV Artistic director of Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre, Kiev

NELLI KONNIENKO Director of the Les' Kurbas Centre Kiev

OLEKSANDR KRYZHANIVSKYI Director and general manager of the New Theatre on Pechersk

ANDRIY F. BILOUS Artistic director of Kiev Academic “Molodij” Theatre, drama teacher, actor

VOLODYMYR KUCHYNSKY Founder and Artistic Director of the Les Kurbas Theatre (Lviv), Director, Actor

Theatres and theatre directors from the Ukraine

Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre Kiev

The Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre, established in 1920 in Vinnitsa, was the first professional theatre stage in Ukraine. In 1927 it moved to the centre of Kiev. It has been the working place for some of the most famous Ukrainian artists such as Ostap Stupka, Anatoliy Hostikoev, Bohdan Benyuk, Oleksiy Bohdanovych or Natalia Sums’ka. Bohdan Stupka, the well-known actor not only in Ukraine, but also in Poland and Russia, was the artistic director of this theatre for many years. In 2012 he was succeeded by Stanislav Moiseiev, who also regularly directs performances. The theatre consists of a main stage with 800 places and the ‘Serhiy Danchenko’ chamber stage with 150 places. Today, the theatre’s drama repertory plays more than 50 performances, representing the richness of theatrical art containing both contemporary and classical plays such as “An anthem of democratic youth” (S. Zhadan), “The Living Corpse” (L. Tolstoy), “The Seagull” (A. Chekhov), “Marriage” (N. Gogol), “Edith Piaf. Life in a credit” (Y. Rybchynsky), “Zorba the Greek” (N. Kazandzakis) etc. (

STANISLAV MOISEIEV * Artistic director of Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre, Kiev Born in 1959 in Kharkiv (Ukraine), Moiseiev began his artistic career in Shchepkin Sumy Drama Theatre. In 1988 he became chief director of the Transcarpathian Musical and Drama Theatre (Uzhgorod). He directed classic works of world drama and national heritage, including works such as: “Scapin Tricks” (Moliere), “Zone” (Kulish), “Phaedra” (Raci-

ne). In the early 90's Moiseiev cooperated with Kyiv State Youth Theatre, “Bravo” Kyiv Theatre, Ivan Franko Kyiv Academic Drama Theatre and Lesya Ukrainka Kyiv Russian Drama Theatre. In 1996 he became the head of Kyiv Young Theatre. His first staging “Don Juan” by J.-B. Moliere attracted a lot of attention and has often presented Ukrainian performing arts at prestigious theatre festivals. Moiseiev focuses on classical drama, experimenting with known texts by transforming them into completely modern performances. Until today, he staged more than 60 performances in Ukraine, Slovakia and Hungary (“Hamlet” by Shakespeare, “Hedda Gabler” by Ibsen, “Uncle Vanya” by A. Chekhov - awarded Grand Prix at the Chekhov Festival in Poland, “Mary Stuart” by F. Schiller, “Merchant of Venice” by Shakespeare, “Round Dance of Love” by A. Schnitzler to name only a few). During the last two years in Ivan Franko Theatre Mr. Moiseiev staged “Flower Thistle” by N. Vorozhbyt, which was successfully played at the Tbilisi International Theatre Festival on September 26, 2014. His last performance “This is her destiny…” based on the eponymous poem of Taras Shevchenko was dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Ukrainian Genius birth. S. Moiseiev is also an associate professor at the National University of Theatre, Film and Television (Kyiv). Since August 2012 he the artistic director of Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre. * Due to unexpected circumstances Mr. Moiseiev was regretfully not able to attend. His work and theatre was presented at the conference.

Theatres and theatre directors from the Ukraine

Kiev Academic "Molodij" Theatre Kiev

The Kiev Academic “Molodij” Theatre was founded in 1979. It is a theatre lead by a young team which is trying to dialogue with modern and young audiences – young not only by age, but also by the soul with the goal to discover new talents, experiment, develop and conquer peaks of the performing arts. Its programme offers performances for every taste with works of the best classic and contemporary authors: Anuj, Beckett, Bunin, Halseran, Karpenko-Kary, Kvitka-Osnovyanenko, Ostrovsky, Saroyan, Schiller, Schmitt, Schnitzler, Chekhov and others. It also actively works with modern Ukrainian authors and engages young directors and actors for this. A new, third stage – the mikrostage – dedicated to present work of debuting theatre talents was opened in the beginning of this year. “Molodij” Theatre cooperates with European theater directors including performances such as "Until Mom Comes" (French director Christophe Fortiye), "Take, love and run!" (British director Caroline Steynbeys). Productions are regularly invited to many well-known international festivals and are multiple winners of the prestigious Ukrainian theatre prize "Kyiv Pectoral". (

ANDRIY F. BILOUS Artistic director of Kiev Academic “Molodij” Theatre, drama teacher, actor Laureate of the Alexander Dovzhenko National State Prize (2004), Honored Artist of Ukraine (2014). Since 2012, the artistic director of Kiev Academic “Molodij” Theatre. Stages of his career: From 1994 until 1998 training as actor of drama theater and cinema, Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Film and Television National University in Kiev, Workshop S. Tkachenko. 1999-2004 drama theater director, Workshop V. Sudyin. Hits and events of the last two seasons have become his productions - "Enigmatic Variations" (author: E.E.Schmitt) and "Intrigue and Love" (author: F.Shyller). His directing style is a real vanguard of modern times. Andriy Bilous gravitates to what many are even afraid to approach (for fear of being branded "unfashionable"). He stretches to the text, subtext. To the hidden encrypted. Variability and "fertility" of acting nature. He is trying to extract the inner music from the stage text. He used to refrain from using catchy external devices. Andriy Bilous has set himself a difficult mission: building human theatre with eternal values.

Theatres and theatre directors from the Ukraine

Les’ Kurbas State Centre for Theatre Arts Kiev The Les’ Kurbas State Centre for Theatre Arts, created by a decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on December 12, 1994, began its work in 1996. The center takes into account new practices of the contemporary cultural world, which foresees the "totality" of function, an easy interchangeability of "elements", the parallel development of theory and practice, and the principles of multi-levelness and simultaneity. The Centre consists of three divisions: scholarly-research, culturalogical, and artistic-theatrical search laboratories. Preference is given to the generation of ideas, to young talents and new methods and methodologies, and to ex-perimentation in the broadest of artistic realms (it is impossible to research theatre today outside of a unified artistic context). The Centre aims to provoke experimentation and to create globally-constructive models for Theatre as a builder of a national spiritual environment, featuring a new Language. The intellectual thought of a new Ukraine and its culturology and art research, should reintegrate themselves into the European and world contexts from which they were separated for well-known historical reasons. The Centre's activities include five strategic directions: 1. The development of a contemporary dialogical model: Ukrainian culture - world culture 2. The writing of the history of 20th century Ukrainian theatre in the context of world artistic culture, through the utilization of new methodologies. 3. The creation of a wide-ranging system of culturalogical projects as a mechanism for the reintegration of national culture into the world context. 4. The formation of innovative models for theatrical and artistic education. 5. Analysis of state cultural policy, proposals of alternative and innovative cultural forms. (

NELLI KORNIYENKO Director of the Les' Kurbas Centre Kiev She holds a doctorate in art criticism. Member-correspondent of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, laureate of the Les’ Kurbas Prize, and Chevalier of the Order of Princess Ol’ha. Candidate’s dissertation is entitled "Les' Kurbas, the Direc-

tor", doctoral dissertation is entitled "Theatre as a Diagnostic Model of Society. Some Universal Mechanisms of the Self-Organization of Artistic Systems". Korniyenko worked at the Sociology Division of the Institute of the Theory and History of the Arts (Moscow) and at UNESCO United Publishers (Moscow-Paris). From 1992 on she has lived in Ukraine and is employed by the National Academy of Sciences and the Les’ Kurbas Centre. Author of close to 200 scholarly works, including the following monographs and books: Theatre Today - Theatre Tomorrow, Les’ Kurbas: A Rehearsal of the Future, Ukrainian Theatre at the Brink of the Third Millennium: A Search (Images of the World, Valuable Orientations, Language. Prognosis, Gordon Craig and his Theory of “Ideal Theatre”, Ukrainian Theatre of the 1920s-1990s (The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, London-New York, Toronto), Hryhorii Skovoroda: Hypothesis on Happiness, Olena Rerykh’s Noosphere, Mass and Elite Culture in the “Interior” of Post-Modernism. Special interests include national cultures (Armenian, Abkhazi, Assyrian, Jewish, Uzbek, Roma, Lithuanian, among others). Has lectured in the US, Canada, Poland, Israel, Russia, and elsewhere. Works at an intersection of disciplines: art criticism, the sociology of art culture, culture studies, synergetics, semiotics, and hermeneutics. Has been translated into 32 languages.

Theatres and theatre directors from the Ukraine

New Drama Theatre on Pechersk Kiev The New Drama Theatre was born by a group of graduates trained at the Karpenko-Kary Institute for the Art of the Theatre and Cinema, Kiev, the group of master-class by Professor N.Rushkovsky. In 1999, the New Drama Theatre was founded. There are 12 actors in the theatre’s company, all with an average age of 25-30 years. The leader of theatre – artistic director and manager is Alexander Kryzhanovsky, who works with this group since 1995, being a performer at the master-class. The New Drama Theatre’s repertoire is mainly based on classic authors (international) and famous modern novels and plots. The last productions staged by the New Drama Theatre on Pechersk: “Master and Margarita” – M. Bulgakhov “The Servant of two lords” – C.Goldony (director – S.Salvato, Italy, comedy Del Arto) “The Low of Tango” – H.-L. Borges, Cartassar “5 stories by Victor Pelevin” – V. Pelevin “Ionych” – the story, letters and dairy’s fragments – A. Chekhov Themes staged at the theatre focus on the study of human nature, relationships in the modern world and presents itself as a modern European theatre that works with a variety of forms and styles, using the elements of contemporary dance, video, and installation,.The company was a recipient of the Kievs’ka Pectoral’ award for “Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakhov and “The Lamancha’s Man” and has performed in famous international theatre festivals (Germany, Russia,United Kingdom, Sweden, Belarus, Lithuania,USA) and developed joint projects with the Italian Cultural Institute, the Swedish Institute, the Goethe Institute, the Theatre Union of Russia and many others. For nine years New Drama Theatre on Pechersk collaborates and creates co-productions with LivingArtCollective Melo (Sweden). (

OLEKSANDR KRYZHANIVSKYI Director and general manager of the New Theatre on Pechersk Kryzhanivskyi been working in the theatre since 1980 as an actor and later as a director. He worked in several theatres in Kyiv such as Variety Theatre, Youth Theatre, Theatre on Podol and in «School of Dramatic Art" Theatre in Moscow. From 1982 to 2000 he was a trainer in a courses at the “Theatre art” department at Kyiv National University of theatre, cinema and television. Since the early days of its founding in 2000 he works as an art director and general manager of the New Theatre on Pechersk. His creative biography includes over 50 roles as an actor. Kryzhanivskyi staged more than 30 performances as director and participated in many international theatre festivals in Mexico, Greece, Finland, Russia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Egypt, Jordan, Sweden, Costa Rica, Germany and Turkey. He even has an experience in the film industry - played more than 30 roles in films.

Theatres and theatre directors from the Ukraine

Les KurbasTheatre Lviv Lviv The Les Kurbas Theatre Lviv was founded in 1988 as the “Lviv Youth Theatre” by Volodymyr Kuchynsky and a troupe of young actors and artists, seeking to create a new and challenging arena for theatre practice in the midst of a changing Ukrainian world. Their initial explorations in theatre gave voice to the silenced Ukrainian poets Vasyl Stus, Vasyl Symonenko, Lina Kostenko, and Ivan Svitlychnyi, and through this exploration, they began to resonate with their own distinctive voice. Since then their actor-centric theatrical exploration has evolved in response to personal and social history—from antiquity to present—in union with art, artists, other theatres, and a remarkably diverse span of genres and authors. Poetry, mythology, novels, dramas, fables, philosophy and “texts for theatre” have all found their way onto their explorative playing fields through authors such as Ukrainka, Dumas, Skovoroda, Dostoevsky, Plato, Chekhov, Pirandello, Schmitt, Antonych and KLIM…. These works have been performed widely in Ukraine and the world over, and having been invited to numerous festivals and tours, they have taken home awards on many of these occasions. Through all its years, The Les Kurbas Theatre has produced over 50 productions, raised several generations of actors—some of whom are still with the theatre, some of whom have gone on successfully to other theatres, and some of whom have created their own theatres. (

VOLODYMYR KUCHYNSKY Founder and Artistic Director of the Les Kurbas Theatre, Director, Actor He worked as an actor at the Maria Zankovestka Theatre before going to study directing with Mark Zakharov and Anatolyi Vasiliev at the Institute of

Theatrical arts (GITIS) in Moscow. In 1988 he founded the Kurbas Theatre and became its Artistic Director, a position he has held ever since. The author of many projects and festivals, Kuchynsky has directed over twenty works at the Kurbas Theatre, and additional productions at the Ivan Franko Nathional Theatre in Kyiv and Taras Shevchenko Theatre in Kharkiv, which was originally the home to Les Kurbas’ “Berezil Theatre.” In 2001 his studio merged with the Lviv Ivan Franko National University (LNU) where he has lead courses in acting and directing. He has also conducted master classes in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Italy, the UK and the United States. In the latter, he has lectured, given classes or been hosted by the Theatre, Literature or Ukrainian departments of Columbia University, Yale, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania. His work has been celebrated in Ukraine and internationally; he has been awarded prizes for his direction and artistic contribution to Ukraine, in addition to a shelf full of “best director” awards from international festivals, he is the recipient of the Shevchenko Prize, The Kurbas Prize, and he was the first ever recipient of the Vasyl Stus Prize. Volodymyr Kuchynsky is an “Honored Artist of Ukraine”, a title given by the Ukrainian Government to acknowledge excellence in achievement in one’s field.


YULIIA FEDIV Project and cultural manager

IRYNA CHUZHYNOVA Head of Theatre Platform NGO, theatre critic, curator, deputy of editor-in-chief Ukrainian Theatre Magazine



DIANA AISHE Theatre director, educator in language through drama projects, translator and interpreter

Young theatre makers from the Ukraine

YULIIA FEDIV Project & Cultural Manager

ІRYNA CHUZHYNOVA Head of Theatre Platform NGO, theatre critic, curator, deputy of editor-in-chief Ukrainian Theatre Magazine

Yulia is persuaded that artistic means are the best means in order to address social and political issues on all levels. Yuliia is now working on development of socio-political theater in Ukraine. Her project mission is to create a platform for peaceful dialogue between Ukrainian citizens and existing Ukrainian ministries and other administrative agencies. Sociopolitical theatre should encourage representatives of different regions of Ukraine (focus: South-Eastern and Western regions) to participate in the democratic processes and the civil society formation. The participants of her project are volunteers, internal displaced persons from Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Since 2012 she also coordinates another socio-cultural project for children in need “Our Kids Inclusion Project”. It is a socio-cultural project including film adaptation and final performance with children and teenagers from different backgrounds. The project is directed towards children in difficult life situations respectively children having experienced trauma to help them to meet their own body as well as to discover their own artistic talents (music, dance, theater, circus, sports, and design).

In 2006 Iryna Chuzhynova graduated from KarpenkoKariy Kyiv National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television – “Specialist in drama studies, critic and lecturer”. From 2006 to 2010: postgraduate education in The Institute of Arts (part of National Academy of Sciences). She is an author of more than 300 publications in newspapers and magazins about Ukrainian and European theatre process. Chuzhynova participated in many Ukrainian and international festivals, work-shops and seminars. In 2013 she created the Theatre Platform NGO together with young Ukrainian theatre critics Viktor Sobiianskiy, Nadia Sokolenko and Anastasia Gaishynets. Theatre Platform is a non-governmental, non-profit civic organization established primarily as unbiased alternative institution in order to change the context of theatre art of the XXI century. The key NGO’s figure is the curator. International Summer School “Director – Playwright – Dramaturge: The Creation of Idea” and The Les Kurbas Festival of Young Ukrainian Directors are the biggest projects of Theatre Platform during 2014.

Young theatre makers from the Ukraine

Born in 1985, Ivano-Frankovsk (Ukraine), Igor graduated 2008 from the Directing department of the theatre faculty of the Kiev National University of theatre, cinema and television. Educational projects: “The last Leaf” of O’Henry, “Pious” of V.Stefanik, “The Shoemaker's Wonderful Wife” of F.G.Lorca, “Mina Masailo” of M.Kulish, “Stolen happiness” of I.Franco , “Khanuma” of A.Tsagareli, “4.48 Psychosis“ of Sarah Kane (award to the best actress at the Directing college festival in Moscow), “Oresteia” of Aeschylus. Professional works: “Mother and Daughter” of A.Mardan (Kyiv Theatre of Saksaganskiy, 2007), fantastic drama “The forest song” of L. Ukrainka (Ivano-Frankovsk Theatre, 2008), drama “Two for the seesaw” of W.Gibson (Cherkasy Theatre, 2009). Since 2010 works as director in Donetsk National Theatre where he staged: erotic tragifarce “Bachelors” of H. Levin, sitcom “Perfect wedding” of R. Hawdon, melodrama “Cemetary club” of I. Menchell, social and political tragifarce “Aunt Motya has arrived...” of M. Kulish, melodrama “Filumena Marturano” of E. de Phillipo, heroic epos “The Blind” of T.Shevchenko, thriller “A trap for lonely man” of R.Thomas. In 2013 graduated from the Diplomatic Academy (Moscow)

Andrii was born in 1993 in Rivne, Ukraine. Being a student in High School, he was already acting and studying at the Studio Theatre "The Little Prince", in Rivne City Palace of Children and Youth, where he gained basic knowledge and understanding of the theatre nature, it's rules and technology. After, he entered The Kiev National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television of I.K.KarpenkoKary (workgroup of Eduard Mitnitsky and Andrii Bilous), and entered the path to become a theatre director. This path gives him the chance to find the balance between his fantasy and surrounding world. Studying in his workgroup gave him skills, needed for creating theatre the way he feels. These days, the result of his art research are two theatre works: “The White Nights” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (“The Free Stage” Kiev, Ukraine (2012) The Kiev National Academic Theatre of Drama and Comedy (2012-2013)) and William Gibson's “Two for the Seesaw” (The Kiev National Academic Theatre of Drama and Comedy (2014).



Young theatre makers from the Ukraine

DIANA AISHE Theatre director, educator in language through drama projects, translator and interpreter

She has set her goals in creating a European-oriented, high quality Ukrainian theatre production based on mix of tradition and experiment. From 2008 till 2011 she was an artistic director and founder of theatre studio Aparté, Dnipropetrovsk (produced over ten experimental plays by S.Beckett, H.Pinter, D.Ives, P.Lagerkvist, O'Henry, H.Levin, H.R.Jimenez); two projects with plastic theatre „White Noise“ and music band „A La Ru.“ She is a lecturer at JCD ETRC (Kyiv) sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and English Through Drama course educator at The Les’ Kurbas National Centre for Theatre Arts. She became a director of Aparté project in Kiev: experimental plays in non theatrical spaces (museums, galleries, cafes etc.) based on classical and modern texts as well as acting improvisation. In spring 2014 she staged the play „Partners in Crime“ by E. E.Schmitt as her first professional theatre production at Dnipropetrovsk Academic T.G.Shevchenko Ukrainian Music Drama Theatre. After successful premiere of this show she has been invited again, this time to stage H.Ibsen's „Hedda Gabler“ in spring of 2015.

Conference venue IHK

Guided walk trough the city

The venue

The structure and development of the Ukrainian Theatre presented at the conference by Pavlo Arie

Upon the suggestion by the organisers of this forum, I decided to concentrate my attention on several important issues that focus on the social role of Ukrainian theatre in society. It’s absolutely obvious why this issue is of interest to our European colleagues. Theatre is able to react on social and political processes in the society and its reaction comes very quickly. And for a certain time and to some extent it can be considered as a quality of modern European theatre. The ability to influence these processes, is according to the opinion of some ideologists of modern theatrical movements, one of the most relevant goals of modern art. Preparing myself for this introductory report and in order to avoid subjectivism, I made some research, read scientific and critical publications and also made some consultations with theatre makers and my dramaturgical colleagues.

Structure of Ukrainian theatre In order to give the most appropriate picture of the results from my research, I would like to tell you first about the structure of Ukrainian theatre. Later it will be easier to understand why it’s important. First of all there are public theatres, which are fully funded by the state or local government that is to say by the taxpayers. There is also a non-public theatre scene, which consists of the so-called free theatre, independent theatre festivals, as well as so-called project theatre.

Public (State)Theatre The State Theatre is the most widespread form in Ukraine. Since the off scene-theatres are almost never funded and not supported by the state, they are not stable and in most cases disappear as quickly as they appear. Today, in Ukraine with a population of approximately 46 million inhabitants, exist 137 state and municipal theatres. More precisely, in the Ukraine there are 44 drama theatres, 41 theatres dedicated to children and youth (including 29 puppet theatres), 31

music and drama theatres and 10 musical comedy theatres as well as very small theatres. Compared to Germany, with its rich 150 state and municipal theatres for 80 million people, the situation in Ukraine is quite decent. Many other European countries may not have what we have in Ukraine. The largest number of Ukrainian theatres is concentrated in Kiev, followed by Odessa, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk (with 5 to 8 theatres operating in each city). Professional theatres in Ukraine give about 30 thousand performances per year. The vast majority of touring productions (with approx. 4 thousand performances per year) are staged in Ukraine - and abroad about 200 each year. There are 10 -12 theatre festivals funded mostly by state and local budgets every year. The average number of opening nights at public theatres is 4 - 5 per year. For example, in the small city of Kherson, the three theatres there can have up to 12 opening nights during a year. To say that the financial support for Ukrainian theatres is insufficient would not really be appropriate, better is to say - there is no financial support. The most part of the money goes for salaries for actors and theatre professionals and leaves the infrastructure and creative work of theatres in poor condition. Theatres must look for funding to create and stage productions separately from other sources. According to one of the famous Ukrainian theatre critics Oleg Verhelisa the efficiently operating ones are 20 out of 137 theatres. Only about 20 theatres are working on new art forms and are able to produce a quality product. The rest are busy eating their budgets and present Ukrainian society with cultural products of dubious quality. Particularly high attendance of audience is achieved by an easy perceivable repertoire and lots of performances, also due to quite a lot of opening nights. The current Ukrainian theatre is not differentiated and not adapted to a special interest of the public, all-uniformly monotonous and entertaining. Let us not forget that in Western countries, which we wish to join,

Structure and development of the Ukrainian theatre

no matter alone or with the whole country – there are many theatrical aesthetic directions styles and schools positioning themselves for certain subcultural social groups, looking for their specific audience, in short, are for people with a large variety and diverse tastes and even include special needs for people with different levels of education and capabilities. Searching theatre, experimental theatre, theatre as a science, as a laboratory - in Ukraine those theatrical forms almost don’t exist nowadays. For example, one of the few innovators such as director Andrei Zholdak lives and works outside of Ukraine. It is also worth mentioning the theatre maker and director Vlad Troitskyi of the private Centre for Contemporary Art "Dach". The project has successfully existed for over a decade and in 2013 announced the end of its existence. Nevertheless there is still one resonant and sharply-social performance "Oedipus. Dog House " that is continuously staged. Ukraine has no national policy on theatre as a subject of cultural policy. Ever since the Soviet totalitarian Ukrainian theatre did not have a critical dialogue with the public, it was transformed into an instrument of communist propaganda or a place with a depoliticized, aesthetic and artistic search. And even up to now Ukrainian theatre could not develop a reactive function of a social process barometer. So, it’s difficult to speak about any impact on processes in the life of the Ukrainian people. Ukrainian theatre is located on the territory marginality and even when it dares to make sharp remarks, it is not heard and nor seen. This theatre is in permanent compromise with the government which feeds it. Sometimes theatre defines the topic without catching up. In rare cases, there are some attempts at state theatres to be relevant. But there is no expectation of artistic radicalism anyway.

Private Theatres The most promising perspectives in this regard has the so-called non-governmental private and project theatre. In particular I want to highlight the activities of two non-governmental festivals that concentrate solely on contemporary and new drama: the Lviv International Festival "Drama.Ua" and the Kyiv festival "Week of Modern Drama". These festivals have been

around for quite a long time and have a significant effect on the education for a new wave of young playwrights and directors. In addition I would like to highlight the Kiev "Theatrical Platform" with a diverse activity, including their festival "Young directing". Also, there is the contemporary arts centre "Dach" and the contemporary arts festival "Gogol Fest" with its interesting and bold theatrical part. For sure these institutions play a role of the socio-cultural barometer in Ukrainian society.

Modern drama How modern theatre reacts on the challenges that arise today in front of the Ukrainian society and the state as a whole? Probably the best in this regard can be… The answer to the question: Whether modern Ukrainian plays are staged in Ukrainian theatres? Here are statistics that were given by the theatre critic Irina Chuzhynova, who happens to be in the room here today with us: Overall, it can be said Ukrainian theatres stage 80% classic and 20% of modern drama , out of these 20% 5% are of modern Ukrainian drama, and the remaining 15% - are modern international drama... I'd add that perhaps out of those 5 percent of this modern Ukrainian drama only one or two refer to the very recent contemporary drama. That is what is sharply social and up to date. In comparison in Germany for example, the proportion of very recent contemporary drama ranges out of 100 up to 30 percent in some theaters. Agree it’s a striking difference. The average is about 20 percent in the whole of Germany. Among Ukrainian theatre programs, posters announcements are only for classics, and the genre used are often comedy performances even when the actual genre of the play was defined in another genre by the author. To describe more than one hundred different theatres in Ukraine, more than a third of which is located in the capital, one word to use - entertainment. Comedy and melodrama even serious academic drama theatre occupy approximately 70% of the effective repertory. The lack of a governmental policy in relation to contemporary drama can definitely be considered as main cause of entertaining, totally apolitical Ukrainian theatre. When we look at posters with modern Ukrai-

Structure and development of the Ukrainian theatre

nian drama of the repertory, the number of them is so small and unstable that it is even difficult to determine. Although in Ukraine there are about 50 playwrights, and many of them are young or relatively young. Over the past three years, with the support of various funds more than 5 publications of containing collections of new drama works there were edited and issued. Though, most of these texts have never been staged. Ukrainian producers have little interest in modern drama written by Ukrainian authors. Modern playwrights have to be paid fees, which is on the other hand not the case if you choose to stage "forever living" classics. Although some active authors already have written about 20-30 plays, if they are staged, these performances usually do not have much success and resonance. Before the collapse of the USSR, the Ministry of Culture bought the plays. To do this, its theatre department worked with playwrights and 5 to 7 experts who were stubbornly looking for young talents. Now this institution is cancelled. There is no drama school. There is no college that prepares playwrights and practice workshops in Ukraine. However we must mention the long-term educational project which had the support by the British Council London Royal Court Theatre. It ran from 2010 – 2012 and the effectiveness of the project cannot be overestimated. In Ukraine, during this period there appeared a group of playwrights who can write now sharp social quality texts. Some of these texts were even staged in state and free public theatres. As in Ukraine young directors and playwrights have in general not yet formed associated tandems, I would consider that also a fact that certainly would substantially speed up the reaction of the theatre for social and political developments and changes in the country. In particular on the stages of modern Ukrainian theatres in the capital there are a few playwrights represented, and as noted by critics, none of these works can be called modern. Neither content and the actual situation, nor the writing style has anything to do with contemporary approaches. Let me quote some words by some Ukrainian critics In purely theatrical sense, where only such undoubted categories as pulse or rhythm of today’s life are important, the generation of our playwrights creates something suspicious and moldy, dated the dnnnay before yesterday, that is unable to touch the present.

But it wouldn’t be so bad if the directors knew where to look for texts that show the present. They do not know - this is very annoying, although it can be forgiven. But then, according to critics, what cannot be forgiven is an absolute unwillingness to speak from today's stage using language of today. Ukrainian theatre is a wild pitch that has thickly overgrown with weeds – critics think. Young theatre makers are almost invisible in there. Poignant new plays are not seen either. Modern Ukrainian art exists on the periphery of society. It lives in parallel to the society, not being involved into a dialogue with it. But worse than this, is that Ukrainian theatre rejects the possibility of talking to contemporaries in their language. Instead it is being touched by its spirituality, not paying attention that it turned into fiction or a ghost. Our theater doesn’t take a risk of working with new drama, justifying it by a lack of public interest, as viewers are accustomed to go and see what they already know. Not believing that tickets will be sold for new drama, theatres just prefer not to take it into their repertory. Here is another interesting quote: Unfortunately, theatre is poisoned with national pathos, messianism and small city spirit. Ukrainian theatre really has to answer a question: which way it has to go and which needs of what kind of society will it satisfy? A national society or a civil society? Conservatism and moralizing or a sharp social dispute? Many modern Ukrainian producers live by the principle: "There is no prophet in our own country." They think that there is no Ukrainian good playwright and there won’t be any to appear. In Moscow, St. Petersburg there are some. Or if you are recognized abroad, or at least in Moscow than you are also known in Ukraine, otherwise you are not interesting. Although, it is not always like that. There are examples where modern Ukrainian plays with Ukrainian themes were staged in British theatre but they are still not staged in the home country. One example dedicated to the Holodomor play "Granary" by the famous Ukrainian dramaturg Natalia Worozhbit, the play was placed on stage of the British Royal Shakespeare Theatre and in Ukraine it was staged 5 years later.

Structure and development of the Ukrainian theatre

This historic event , without exaggeration, took place not at the initiative of the state theatre but due to a project of the Lviv International Festival of modern drama "Drama.UA."

ant thing – it won’t be worse! Here's what you can read in the eyes of an ordinary artist of an average Ukrainian theatre. Let me read another quote of a Ukrainian critic:

But we cannot ignore the fact that little new drama starts winning its space in Ukraine. The leaders in this process are theatres based in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Kherson. But again, I'm talking about formats and drama festivals form of stage readings of texts rather than staged performances. But even this format has won its audience. In Lviv during the month of September at the festival "Drama.UA" opened a new project "the first stage of modern drama". The theme of the current season at this theatre is "War" and it exists in the territory of one of the municipal theatres, which in itself creates a conflictual situation. How long will it continue to exist ? It is hard to say. Ukrainian producers do not believe that the audience will accept a modern play. While in Europe and even in Russia there are whole modern drama theatres, in Ukraine such theatres don’t exist. Open a new name – it is a risk. Directors do not trust young playwrights enough to offer them the stage. A striking exception is Lviv Theatre Kurbas led by Vladimir Kuchinsky. As part of the theatre program, there is a project called "Theatre playwright." The project dramaturges have the opportunity to fully participate in professional theatrical processes; they work with actors, artists, theatre technicians, try out themselves as stage directors and run their texts on stage as performative readings with real viewers. Indeed this is a unique and outstanding experience. National drama develops when there is a systematic description and understanding of the realities and what is going on in a country. According to the Ukrainian filmmaker Alla Rybikovoyi, attempts to interest the international theatre community should be preceded by the realization that now – the present – is important in our lives for us. When Ukrainian will do this and do this in a talented way, then we will become interesting for the world.

There is no governmental strategy to adapt staff changes in state and municipal theatres. Due to the system, some relatively young directors (who are now in their forties or a bit older) such as Dmitry Bogomazov, Yuri Single, Andrew Prikhodko and others are employed in different Kyiv theatres and it is them who make some productions also in other cities. But we need competition and new directors. They need to be driven from their "warmed" places. But this does not happen. Administrators convert their theatres in a private underground business where they are afraid to let others decide, and have no influence nor the control of young creative people.

State Theatre as part of the old post-Soviet system Perhaps you can ask: Whether the Ukrainian theatre wants to change? Changes can cause violations of your comfort zone. That is bad, but the most import-

International cooperation I cannot deny Ukrainian theatre in the context of European theatre. It is difficult to be proud of a constant cultural exchange in this area, but it is still there. Especially a great contribution to these exchanges is made by cultural and artistic centres of many countries that support the implementation of its classical or modern drama in the Ukrainian theatre scene. Especially active are to name a few institutions – the Goethe-Institut, British Council, the East European Performing Arts Platform (main partner in Poland), Polish Institute. Also, the Austrian Cultural Center at the Embassy of Austria in Ukraine and the Russian Avant-Garde drama "Lyubimovka." Of course there is nothing wrong with such cultural expansion, on the contrary. But the Ukrainian government officials – are they engaged in the field of culture? This issue is still being left open. Important is the activity of the Polish and East European Russian Platform "Lyubimovky" which is bilateral, that is to say they are interested not only in its product promoting Ukraine but getting acquainted with Ukrainian theatre and modern Ukrainian drama on their territory. Also this year there was a festival of modern Ukrainian drama in the Czech Republic in Brno. Czech dramatic texts were translated by six contemporary Ukrainian authors and the staged in readings, the Czech audience heard and saw Ukrainian texts about the problems that concern Ukrainians

Structure and development of the Ukrainian theatre

today, including the Maidan revolution and the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Some shifts also occurred in Germany with a raising interest about Ukraine. In particular, for now two consecutive years Ukrainian theatre actors were selected to participate in the International Theatre Forum at theatre festival "Berlin Theatertreffen" which takes place every year in May, and which was led by Uwe Gössel. He is currently involved in the educational theatre festival "Week of Contemporary drama" that happens these days in the capital of Ukraine - Kiev. Here there are present various models of European theatre, including German. A year ago, Uwe Goessel conducted for example also with the support of Goethe-Institut a series of workshops and lectures on modern European theatre in the Western Ukrainian Lviv within the dedicated international contemporary

drama festival "Drama.UA." Another notable event is the first production for many, many years of modern Ukrainian drama in a German theatre. The premiere performance of "granularity" of the play by the young Ukrainian playwright Dmitry Thorns took place in June 2014 at the State Theatre in Karlsruhe. The topic of this performance is devoted to the Orange revolution that took place ten years ago. It is obvious that somewhere in our conscious we realise to be invited to major theatre forums in the world there should be a stable national drama and dramaturgy or powerful works of theatre directors. This would attract Western audiences. Do we have it? The answer is open. I can only say that there is a potential in Ukraine but there is a lack of a common desire to be ourselves.

PAVLO ARIE Modern Ukrainian playwright and conceptual artist

Author of more than a dozen plays in Ukrainian, Russian and German language. Pavlo Arie’s plays have been repeatedly published in various publications, as well as in the form of individual books, some of them have been staged. His plays have been translated into German, English, Russian, French, Polish, Czech and Slovak and presented at theater festivals such as: «PLAYS FROM EUROPE 2010" Theater Biennale Wiesbaden (Germany), "Drama UA», «Kurbalesіya" (Ukraine), International theatre festival «Drabyna», project “New writing with Royal Court 2012” „Konfrontation Festival" 2014 Lublin etc. Winner of the prestigious Ukrainian literary competition "The Coronation of the word in 2011". Since 2011 cooperates in the international programme of the London based Royal Court Theatre with playwrights. From 2011 onwards appointed curator of the dramaprogram by international Art Workshop and Festival “Drabina“ (Ukraine. From 2012 the curator of the annual competition of modern Ukrainian drama 'Drama.UA'. In 2013, award for the best Ukrainian theater piece on historical theme by Kyiv National Shevchenko University. Received scholarships from the GoetheInstitut, scholarship and participant of the International Forum of the “Theatertreffen” in Berlin. 2014 scholarship and participant of the East European Performing Arts Platform Lives in Germany and Ukraine.

SUMMARY ETC CONFERENCE AND FAST FORWARD FESTIVAL BRAUNSCHWEIG, 27- 30 NOVEMBER 2014 Meetings, networking sessions, workshops and follow up discussions held with Ukrainian and ETC participants

Topics discussed • European networking with Ukrainian theatres and theatre makers • Organisation of Showcase with Ukrainian Theatres in Ukraine • Development and strengthening of collaboration between ETC with Ukrainian theatres

Project “ETC Ukrainian Theatre Showcase” During networking sessions a proposal to organize a Showcase of Ukrainian theatres in Kiev next year was discussed as possibility to continue the exchange and collaboration between ETC and Ukrainian theatres and as well as the fringe scene. Together with the invited Ukrainian delegation, ETC wants to initiate and prepare such a project. The Ukrainian working group out of Ukrainian delegation, which took part in the Conference (including also the Ivan Franko National Theatre) hereafter the “Working Group” will upon their return to Ukraine consult with each other and other relevant parties and actors and draft a concrete project proposal. “ETC Ukrainian Theatre Showcase” will be held during four days ETC Delegation to Kiev will include appr. 20 international professional theatre makers including members of ETC board. 4 theatres in Kiev will be hosting performances (their own, from Lviv and from the fringe companies and other theatres if relevant) The date of holding Showcase will be subject to discussion of the Ukrainian partners Performances for the “ETC Ukrainian Theatre Showcase” will be selected out of the list of performances prepared by theatre directors who host the project in their venues. The theatre directors make first proposal as for repertoire they want to present, in case there are doubts, ETC is gladly giving selection advice. In addition a night program / or separate section shall include proposals of performances coming from the independent scene and made by young artists Selected performances shall be chosen also in view of ‘suitability’ for international presentation (in terms of size) Motivation to organize an ETC Ukrainian Theatre Showcase: allowing international theatre community to discover Ukrainian contemporary drama and current artistic tendencies strengthening and continuing dialogue between European and Ukrainian artists reinforcing relations between civil society through theatre art and fostering cultural exchange and knowledge transfer




CHAMPS D`APPEL FIELDS OF CALL Directed by Francois Lanel (France)

BAAL by Bertolt Brecht Directed by Dániel D. Kovács (Hungary)

RULETM Directed by Emke Idema (Netherlands)

STEPPENGESÄNGE - PRAIRIE CHANTS Directed by Adele Dittrich Frydetzki, Kristina Dreit, Marten Flegel, Anna Froehlicher (Germany)

FORECASTING Directed by Giuseppe Chico & Barbara Matijevic (Italy, Croatia, Belgium, France)

LES JUSTES / DIE GERECHTEN / THE JUST by Albert Camus Directed by Mehdi Dehbi (Belgium)

DER FALL M. - EINE PSYCHATRIE-GESCHICHTE / THE CASE OF M. - A PSYCHIATRIC STORY based on themes and texts from Franz Kafka, Ödön von Horváth, Elly Maldaque & Gustl Mollath Directed by Florian Fischer (Germany)

THE RAKE´S PROGRESS opera by Igor Strawinsky Directed by Christopher Alden


Champs D´Appel





Les Justes

The Case of M. - A Psychiatriic Story

The Rake´s Progress


Press “A focus of the meeting was Ukraine, from where we had invited five theatre artists and five theatres. This was agreed upon before the country became a conflict zone. One colleague reported that in Donetsk his performances are staged in Russian now. Theatre and art, which continuously stand for respect of different styles and interpretations, could probably contribute to offer “Change through rapprochement”, just as Willy Brandt’s Eastern politics back in the times of cold war achieved to make Europe more human, according to Klement.” Jochim Klement, Braunschweiger Zeitung, 02 December 2014

“At the Fast Forward festival the Staatstheater Braunschweig presented new works of a young European directors generation of directors for the fourth time. The seven European guest performances could be seen on different stages with sixteen shows throughout four days. During the same time, the annual meeting of the European Theatre Convention (ETC) took also place in Braunschweig this year. Under the title “The Future of Europe” the Staatstheater hosted 80 theatre makers from 19 European nations. With the key topic “In Focus: Ukraine”, the conference took account of the most recent political developments in Ukraine.” Theater der Zeit,, 01 December 2014

Feedback from Ukrainian participants "I have a better understanding about the situation in Europe, some myths were destroyed, some presumptions confirmed. Now we plan our activity for next year taking into consideration the knowledge we gained, tips and pieces of advice we received. "I am now even more confirmed to continue my chosen way to create a new scientific approach to theatre as open, nonlinear and self-organised system with a high level of freedom. "There are lots of new artistic ideas, both in terms of the internal organization of the institution, but also in terms of new strategies and programs to attract more viewers to the theatre. "I had the opportunity to communicate with art managers, theatre directors, festival organizers who shared their position concerning Ukrainian theatres. I had the possibility to widen my contacts. "We have to find a common language, as our language was “historically divided”. "Perspectives for a future of European networking with Ukrainian theatres would be an exchange of ideas and practices involving all working aspects: directing, dramaturgy, theatre critics, use of new approach in theatre life via social networking. There should be an audience and society orientation, not just an orientation for theatre people. "Let the cooperation spirit be with us."


The project was initiated by the European Theatre Convention in collaboration with the Staatstheater Braunschweig

With thanks for the support of the project European networking with Ukrainian theatres and theatre makers by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Thank you! We want to thank our numerous partner organizations that helped us realizing our project, disseminating the information about it in Ukraine, sharing the call for application and connected us with our new partners. Amongst many others our special thanks goes to the German Federal Foreign Office, Ukrainian Embassy Berlin, Goethe-Institute Kiev, British Council Kiev, East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP), International Theatre Institute (ITI) Germany, On-the-move. About the European Theatre Convention The European Theatre Convention (ETC) founded in 1988, is a non-profit-making membership organization representing the publicly funded theatre sector in over 20 countries. Its aims are to create, protect and promote the art of theatre and its linguistic diversity in Europe and beyond; to act as a transnational theatre network to foster cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; to act as a platform for professional exchange, development and capacity building of theatre-makers in an international context and to advocate for the public theatre sector at EU, member state and local levels. Contact European Theatre Convention head office: 8, rue Blanche, 75009 Paris executive office: Schumannstr. 13a, 10117 Berlin EU office: c/o European House for Culture, Sainctelettesquare 17, 1000 Brussels Imprint publication Publisher and Editor: European Theatre Convention Editor: Heidi Wiley Oksana Gutso Translation from Ukrainian: Oksana Gutsol Design & Layout: Paula Oevermann Fotos by Krafft Angerer, Mate Bartha, Jean-Pierre Estournet, Volker Beinhorn, Karl-Bernd Karwasz Copyright Š 2014 European Theatre Convention All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission.

Staatstheater Braunschweig


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