This year the Forum received 47 applications from theater groups from 14 countries but the organizing committee chose only 12 performances of professional theaters from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Tajikistan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia. Mykola RUDNYK, director of Anton Chekhov Yalta Theater told The Day about how they are going to celebrate their first anniversary and what they are preparing for their audience.
“Our forum is different from others of such kind for its festive atmosphere and friendliness. Participants come to Yalta not to compete but to present their new theatrical works and see performances of their colleagues, to communicate with the audience, and, of courses, to have some rest. ‘Theater. Chekhov. Yalta’ is a very democratic forum. It gathers a company of nice people who are in love with theater. Our team of judges tries to find something nice, some flair in each performance or theatrical group presented at the festival. We do not have winners or losers, there are no strict nominations. Jurors watch all the performances and then award diplomas to those plays that surprised, shocked, or touched them. By the way, for the second consecutive year festival’s friend Yurii Rybchynsky, famous poet and playwright, will be the head of the judge team. Each of the theater groups will take home prizes – statuette ‘Crystal Fronton’ and presents from sponsors.”
Mr. Rudnyk, visitors can see well-known names on the playbill: Youth Theater from Makiivka, Chisinau Theater “From the Street of Roses.” Theater groups from Sevastopol and Simferopol perform quite often on the stage of Yalta Theater. Are these your favorites?
“In five years of the festival we made friends with various groups. For example, we’ve been friends with Donetsk Oblast Academic Russian Theater for Youth (Makiivka) and Moldova State Youth Drama Theater ‘From the Street of Roses’ (Chisinau) for a long time now. People watch their performances with great interest, that is why plays of these groups appeared on our playbills quite often. This year Makiivka troop will open our festival with a play Storm. It was staged by Oleh Aleksandrov based on the play of Russian classic Aleksandr Ostrovsky. Guests from Chisinau will present tragicomedy of the famous contemporary playwright Mykola Koliada Niura Chapai. What concerns our Crimean neighbors, the audience in Yalta is always willing to see the work of real masters. Sevastopol Dance Theater directed by Vadym Elizarov will present the play Pygmalion. This team will participate in the festival for the first time, even though they often perform in the Crimea. The play Pygmalion will have only the ‘frame’ left of the plot of the famous play by Bernard Shaw but the dancers of different styles (hip-hop, waltz, rumba, rock and roll) and also charm and skills of the actors will not leave anyone indifferent. By the way, Crimean Puppet Theater from Simferopol will close the forum. They will present a very heartfelt performance Kashtanka (story by Anton Chekhov adapted for stage directed by Boris Azarov).”
Your festival is called “Theater. Chekhov. Yalta.” Besides Simferopol Theater only Theater of Rains from Saint Petersburg will present a play based on a story by Chekhov (play Uncle Vanya). According to what criteria did you choose theater performances?
“Anton Chekhov is a unifying figure for us. Chekhov was a creator. He loved art, actors, playwrights, artists, and was a centrist personality, that is why there were always many people in his home in Yalta. Our festival brings together theaters from different countries (this year for the first time we will welcome actors from Saudi Arabia – El-Kassim Theater, Egypt – Tavasol Troop, Poland – Polonia Theater, Tajikistan – Makhmudzhan Vakhidov Theater, and others). I think Chekhov would have rejoiced in that for the fifth time already theater festival will take place in the city, where he lived in his last years and in the theater, which often caused light irony from the classic. It is very important to understand that residents of Yalta and tourists have a unique opportunity to watch performances in a comfortable building and to choose from a huge palette something that is most appealing to them. It has become a tradition that besides participating in workshops, conferences, and meetings with the audience, our guests come to the Chekhov’s House-Museum on the tour. By the way, you can read about the most interesting and prominent events in the bullet in Festival Truth. It is important that our playbill enables theater-goers to learn about trends of modern theater, director’s creative search, original work of actors. They also have an opportunity to communicate and dispute with renowned artists and critics, as well as have fun at the traditional skit that will close the forum. I am pleased that after five years we now have our audience: these are not only Yalta residents, but also tourists from different cities and countries who have come to our city to attend the festival and watch all the performances.”