From 28 June – 2 July, the Theatre of Equals took part in the international dance and theatre festival Rampenlichter in Munich (Germany). Among the participants of the event that took place in the capital of Bavaria were companies from Russia, Germany, Serbia and Turkey. The Voronezh theatre has been the first Russian team present at the festival in seven years. It was for the first time that the Theatre of Equals travelled to take part in an event. They had spent about six months preparing for the Rampenlichter festival. The troupe included 13 actors, half of whom were young people with disabilities. The Theatre's organisers are Regional Department of Culture, the Voronezh Youth Theatre and Voronezh State University.
The actors plunged into work as soon as they arrived in Germany: the only rehearsal at the new venue lasted till midnight. The following day the actors participated in movement workshops. And later in the evening they gave their performance. The Theatre of Equals presented an adopted version of the play "Empty souls": it had new sets, the abridged version of the short story "Fro" – according to the terms of the festival the length of the performance could not exceed 60 minutes – and subtitles of the translated text. The subtitles required some changes – the company had to do without the familiar study that embodies the Platonov times and the coloured stools were substituted with black chairs which suited more for the stage. The play was shown on 29 July in the building of the experimental theatre for young people and it gathered both German and Russian audience. Totally, about 150 people came to see the play.
Nobody failed to be moved by the performance: the actors received a long applause and flowers and there was a lot of discussion between the audience and the actors after the play. It was just as if they were in their homeland. Despite predictions of many critics and journalists the German audience was very favourable of the "Empty souls" – it was the second time in the history of the festival that the audience had given standing applause. The Rampenlichter organisors remarked that the audience and the participants of the festival were absolutely fascinated by the magnetic and moving acting of the Voronezh troupe. For example, actors from Turkey who presented their own performance at the festival and who did not know neither German nor Russian watched the play based on Platonov's short stories from the beginning to the very end. As they said, they could not understand the words but they could feel the atmosphere of the story.
'It was so impressive, that it is very hard to find the right words... I wish the Theatre of Equals all the best! I want to thank them for their sincere acting,' said Denis Pozdnyakov, who was among the audience.
'It was a very interesting experience – visiting a festival abroad. It is very different from what we have in Russia. It is an interesting art space, international communication, a chance to learn about other theatre schools different from Stanislavsky's.' 'We had a warm welcome and a warm farewell,' said an actress of the Theatre of Equals Polina Bagina.
The troupe was invited to watch performances by other companies: the actors had a chance to see plays performed by the Turkish and the German troupes. The other two days the actors spent sightseeing. Some Russian-speaking spectators and organisers of the trip joined them.
Participation of the Theatre of Equals in the festival was organised by Voronezh State University and the University of Fresenius (Munich) and was supported by he Government of the the Voronezh Region and the fund "Blagovest".