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Henry M. Robert

What will the Golden Lion surprise us with?

This international festival has been autumnal Lviv’s main theatrical event for almost three decades
6 September, 2017 - 16:57
Photo from The Day’s archives

By tradition, this forum is held in late September which is “golden” in Lviv. Hence is the name the festival was given in 1992. But it was in fact founded much earlier, in 1989, with Lviv’s theater Resurrection chief Yaroslav FEDORYSHYN being its permanent director ever since.

Incidentally, the Golden Lion is member of the Informal European Theatrical Meeting (IETM) and the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA). In the past 28 years, the fest has received thousands of actors, including permanent and on-the-street teams from Ukraine, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia, Belgium, France, the UK, the US, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia. “Speaking of scenic festivals, for example, 36 theaters came to us in 1994 and 72 in 1996,” Mr. Fedoryshyn says. “So it’s perhaps impossible to count them all. Unfortunately, we cannot afford this number of companies now – it is too expensive.”

This year the Golden Lion will be held on September 30 – October 4 with participation of on-the-street theaters from Portugal, Poland, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ukraine. The fest is being funded by the Ministry of Culture as well as by the oblast and the city (70,000, 100,000 and 400,000 hryvnias, respectively). “The Golden Lion 2017 is not being kept on a starvation diet, but still we are short of money,” Mr. Fedoryshyn says. “So, we will be selling tickets for street performances at 150-200 hryvnias.” The Golden Lion director explains the commercialization by the fact that the festival is attended by very expensive companies. “We have to make up for their expenditures at least partially,” he says. He adds that there will also be free-of-charge performances, particularly those in front of the Opera House, on Marketplace Square, and at the Metropolitan’s Gardens.

Seventy percent of the productions to be brought to Lviv are intended for children’s audiences. Besides, there will be master classes for children in the circus art, clownery, stilt-walking, and jugglery. The Golden Lion 2017 will start with a spectacular carnival march.

By Tetiana KOZYRIEVA, Lviv