Between 12 and 15 May, Voronezh “Theatre of Equals” participated in the international festival for small-scale theatres “Teatromania” that took place in Samara. Among the participants of the festival were about thirty professional and amateur theatres from Russia and neighbouring countries. The programme for the event, which has become prestigious and popular among Russian theatres, included performances that had survived very strong competition, discussions, round tables, and master classes.
At the festival the “Theatre of Equals” presented its play “Empty Souls”, one of the favourites of the audiences in Voronezh and other Russian and European cities. The production was included in the programme of the Samara festival under the nomination “Theatre with no boundaries”. The audience was impressed by the three short stories by Andrei Platonov and the profound acting of the performers. The high-quality of the performance and acting skills of the actors were discussed during one of the round tables, which was dedicated to non traditional theatre companies.
Valeria Malamura, the director of the “Theatre of Equals”, Anna Grebentschikova, the leading teacher of the theatre, Olga Belinskaya, an actress from the the Alexandrinsky Theatre (Saint Petersburg), organisers of the festival, psychologists, and actors from the Voronezh theatre who were among the speakers of the round table, once again emphasized how important it is to support social and inclusive theatres that are aimed at rehabilitation, integration, and the development of creativity. The actors of the the “Theatre of Equals” received a long applause. After the performance they took part in master classes about stage movement and how actor's work on their roles. The theatre company also had a chance to see performances by theatres from Kazakhstan, Samara, and Toliati, to look around the city, and to take part in creative laboratories.
Following the results of the festival, the “Theatre of Equals” was awarded with a certificate for participating. Anna Grebentschekova received a certificate for completing an advanced training programme, and Lilia Novokhatko who had two roles in the play – Natasha Bukova and a woebegone widow - became the winner in the nomination “Best actress”.
‘All actors, including me, had a lot of different roles: every line of the narrator’s text was spoken by ordinary people - a passer-by, a gossiper, or an onlooker. We created our own little characters that breathed life into the play. In the short story “Fro”, in addition to other roles, I play a woman, an ordinary worker who is one of the few comical characters in the play. My task is to lighten the atmosphere. In the short story “Empty souls” my character, on the contrary, makes the audience ponder on the tragedy of families that were destroyed during the war. The victory in the nomination “Best actress” is very important to me. It shows that I am on the right path,’ said Lilia Novokhatko.
On 23 May, the “Theatre of Equals” finished its second season. The third season will start with two premier plays. One of them will be presented within the framework of the national festival “We don’t have to be similar” that will take place in Chuvashia in October 2016.