On October 2, the Theatre of Equals returned from their first tour of the cities of the Voronezh Region – Pavlovsk, Borisoglebsk, and Ramon. The tour lasted from September 25 until October 2. It was supported by the Ministry for Culture of Russia, the administration of "Stolitsa" centre, the Andropov Foundation, and the "Otsovstvo" foundation. Over 1000 spectators had a chance to see the second production of the theatre – the play "Empty Souls" based on the stories by Andrei Platonov.
The first city was Pavlovsk. Here the theatre performed at the new recreation centre "Sovremennik", which was opened a year ago. The actors told us that they had never before received so much applause. When Yushka – one of the characters – died, many people couldn't help crying. When Fro met her husband, the audience encouraged the heroes with applause. And they held their breath at the final scene, when the German prisoner was interrogated.
Borisoglebsk was the next, and it was here that the Theatre of Equals has for the first time performed on a real theatre stage. The audience here was very welcoming, and all the tickets were booked long in advance. The city administration sent the Theatre of Equals a Letter of Acknowledgement, flowers and presents. After the performance, the actors had a short meeting with the audience.
On October 2, the Theatre of Equals arrived in Ramon, where they were to perform at the local recreation centre that was not designed for theatrical performances. For the first time the actors have had to perform without any special equipment, but it didn't become an obstacle. The audience was welcoming and praised the actors with applause.
– It's the first time we've performed somewhere other than Voronezh (apart from the Munich festival, of course). So this is a new experience for us and an attempt to gain a new audience. The tour demonstrates what we really are capable of. And it is this tour that helped us to feel like a real theatre, – says the Theatre director Vadim Krivosheev.
– Each town was interesting in its own way. There were different stages, different audience, different atmosphere, but what was common was the feeling that we are really welcome. Borisoglebsk impressed me the most. When we were recalled for the second time and stayed at the very edge of the stage, I saw the audience, their eyes, really close. Those eyes mirrored the feelings and emotions, and I myself couldn’t help feeling it. I almost cried at the feeling that I have made somebody happy, – says the actress Yulia Pivovarova.
The organisers of the performances in each city said that the Theatre of Equals is a unique group. They had all read about the theatre in advance, but what they do is totally amusing. The audience in Borisoglebsk say that the "Empty Souls" gets to your very heart and you can't help feeling it. Just in a couple of minutes you completely forget that these people are not just common actors.
– In Ramon two girls came to us after the play and asked to take a photo with them. They asked if we had ever imagined that we would work in such a theatre. And they were really surprised to learn that none of us was trained as actors, – told us Kristina Dolgikh.
The tour was also a debut for three actors - Dmitry Kuzmin, Maria Gorbacheva, and Ksenia Zozulina. They were rather nervous before the play, but, as real actors, could manage their emotions and win people's hearts by their performance.