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Theater Olympics in St. Petersburg
May 30, 2019 19:17


June 15 will see the opening ceremony of the Theater Olympics Festival in the Ostrovsky Square, St. Petersburg. This large-scale international festival has existed for 25 years. But this year, the Theater Olympics is expected to break all the records and make it into the theater history and the history of Russia as well.
Why is it the Table-Talk?
The history of the Theater Olympics takes roots in Greece, the theater’s “official homeland”, where it started 25 years ago. The festival was invented by the stage directors Theodoros Terzopoulos, Robert Wilson, Yuri Lyubimov, Heiner Muller and Tadashi Suzuki. These names are familiar even to those who are not particularly interested in the theater.
According to its founders, the Theater Olympics was to become a venue for the dialogue of the theatrical cultures of different countries. It gives the opportunity to compare notes and present the works by the world's best stage directors in one place. It is a chance to demonstrate the diversity of the modern theater and figure out the direction that it is developing in.

Each time the festival committee chooses the host country, and each time the Olympics becomes a powerful impetus in this country for the development of the theater and arts in general.
But in the history of the Olympics, there has never been a festival of such a large-scale as in 2019. For the first time, the Theater Olympics will be held in two countries at once: Russia and Japan. Moreover, in Russia the festival will last for nearly half a year: from June 15 to early December.


Saint Petersburg as the Center of Theatre Olympics

St. Petersburg will become the main venue for the festival. In addition to that, the Olympic movement will be picked up by other cities of Russia from the Crimea to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Over 50 theater companies from all over the world are expected to perform in St. Petersburg during the festival. Only in the carnival procession in honor of the grand opening of the Theater Olympics, a dozen troupes will take part. Among these are Mr Pejo’s Wandering Dolls and Moscow teams that participated in the Street Theater Festival, as well as stunt performers and wandering actors from the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and France.


Moscow Theater Olympics

By the way, the opening of the 25th Theater Olympics Festival will be a kind of continuation of the Russian Olympic history. Russia is going to host the Theater Olympics for the second time already.
In 2001 the festival was held in Moscow, and in many respects promoted the Russian modern theater to the present day level. Back then, all records were beaten by street theaters, which came out of the underground thanks to the Olympics. Large-scale carnivals in the Hermitage Garden, spectacular dramatized processions in Tverskaya Street, Slava Poluninin and his Ship of Fools floating on the Moscow River on the closing day of the festival. These and other events revealed to Moscow how big the theater world is and how huge its potential is.


The Playbill of Theater Olympics

The performances of living classics, such as Krystian Lupa, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Declan Donnellan and other world theater legends will highlight the festival program. The playbill also includes the stage productions of the best "visuals" Robert Wilson and Samuel Tétreault as well as the best theater experimenters in Europe - Peeping Tom and FC Bergman. They will be shown as part of the program of the Theater Olympics International Committee.

Some events of the Theater Olympics in Saint Petersburg, including the grand opening of the festival, will be accessible free of charge or with prior registration. For most performances, however, tickets are required.


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Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Theater Olympics Theatre Festivals Festivals in Saint Petersburg Russian Theater Saint Petersburg Theaters 

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