Finalists Perform at ‘Great Real Art’ Theater Festival
"Ukrainian theater is not afraid of experiments. The GRA award ... gives coproduction theaters or non-state theaters a chance to prove themselves."
A puppet show for adults, based on the works of Isaac Babel was staged by Belarusian director Evgeniy Korniag. The performance features actors from the Academic Puppet Theater of Odesa–the writer’s home city.
More than 60 puppets were made specially for the show. It competed for the title of the best experimental performance at the GRA (Great Real Art) Theater Festival.
“This award is an attempt to connect theaters, so that there would be a healthy competition and we could understand who we can look up to. It helps us understand what new theaters appear, and what old ones are still thriving,” director Evgeniy Korniag said.
Among other categories were best children’s, musical, and choreographic performances, as well as chamber theater performance, and drama. Organizers believe that modern theaters have no borders, including those defined by genres.
The director of the festival, Bohdan Strutynskyi, who is also chairman of the National Union of Theater Workers of Ukraine, discussed the high-quality content of Ukrainian Theater and the nearly 90 premiers this season. “Ukrainian theater is not afraid of experiments. The GRA award unites not only national theaters, it gives coproduction theaters or non-state theaters a chance to prove themselves.”
In addition to regular theater-goers, the shows were judged by an international jury. It consisted of journalists, musicians, and theater workers from Germany, Poland, Belarus, and Romania. This year organizers added individual awards, namely, for the best male and female performances.
“I really did not expect this!” actress Inna Skoryna-Kalaba said on stage when she accepted her award. “I know the exact recipe, it’s not a secret. It requires loving your profession, loving what you do, and enjoying yourself on stage. Only then will others notice this,” she said.
The best theatrical projects were selected in Kyiv. Organizers received over 80 applications. Out of them, 12 plays made it to the finals. Before the award ceremony, participants presented their performances in various theaters around the Ukrainian capital.
The main prize of the festival is a golden mask and a cash prize for the development of new projects. It was awarded to six performances and six individuals.