The jury of IPRA Golden World Awards 2020 announced the list of winners: Theatre Olympics 2019 was recognized the best project of the year in the Arts and Entertainment category.
The Directorate of the Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum acted as the operator of Theatre Olympics 2019 in Russia, and the National Drama Theatre of Russia (Alexandrinsky Theatre) served as the main venue and associated organizer. That global scale project was made possible due to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Government of Saint Petersburg.
Awarding Theatre Olympics 2019 with one of the most prestigious prizes in field of communications is an evidence of international recognition of professional and creative potential of Russian organizers of the project, as well as of the Russia's contribution into the history of theatre and the crucial role our country plays in development of the global drama tradition. Theatre Olympics 2019 that took place during the Year of Theatre in Russia completed its major mission: it attracted the attention of wide audience to the modern theatre process, showed the Russians accomplishments of the world known international directors and producers, let the public discover indigenous national theatres of Russian republics and involved dozens of thousands young people and teenagers in the theatre process.
Theatre Olympics, one of key events of the Year of Theatre in Russia, took place from March to December 2019 on a truly Olympic scale: over 480 events took place in 26 Russian cities attracting more than 100,000 viewers. A total of 82 theatre groups from 22 countries took part in Theatre Olympics 2019. Apart from Russia, they were Japan, China, India, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Israel, Lithuania and Austria. 51 international and 31 Russian theatre groups performed in the framework of the Olympic Program. The touring program of Russian national theatres from Yakutsk, Kazan, Ulan-Ude, Ufa, Elista, Grozny, and Petrozavodsk took place.
Special programs and projects of Theatre Olympics were presented in 26 cities of 8 federal districts across our country: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Magadan, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Pskov, Veliky Novgorod, Sochi, Ryazan, Vladikavkaz, Novosibirsk, Kaliningrad, Petrozavodsk, Izhevsk, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Kerch, Sevastopol, Simferopol and Yalta.
From June to December, the Theatre Olympics featured 135 performances, which was 381 showings, in all regions of the country. 37 performances were presented in Russia for the first time.
The goal of the Theatre Olympics is to unite various drama schools, arrange the dialogue of their founders both with each other and with their audience that had a chance to see the most complete and bright picture of the modern theatre process. The motto of Theatre Olympics 2019 is 'Creating Bridges'.
In 2019, on the edge of 25th anniversary of the Theatre Olympics it was held for the 9th time, and for the first time in two countries – in Russia and Japan, where it took place from August 23 to September 23. A vast program of mutual exchange between two countries was arranged. Japan was represented in Saint Petersburg with two performances by Tadashi Suzuki in November, and Russia featured performances by the Alexandrinsky Theatre and Alash, a unique national ensemble of throat singing from Tyva, in Toga this August.
In Russia the Theatre Olympics started in March 2019 with a special project of the Alexandrinsky Theatre in the Artek International Children’s Center. In the framework of the Olympic Program each session of Artek hosted workshops by leading creative professionals of the Alexandrinsky Theatre and teaching staff of the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts (RSIPA) — directors, theatre historians and scholars, playwrights, stage designers, sound designers, professors of stage movement, speech and voice. In total, 54 events were held in the framework of the Olympic Youth Venue, including workshops, rehearsals, meetings, performances, with participation of more than 6,000 children of Artek.
On June 15, Theatre Olympics 2019 was launched on the Ostrovskogo Square in Saint Petersburg. The Opening Ceremony was held in the format of a large city-wide holiday, the festival of street theatres. The festivities were attended by more than 12,000 residents and guests of our city. The Opening Ceremony was directed by Nikolay Roschin, Principal Director of the Alexandrinsky Theatre, and designed by Alexey Tregubov.
It was Saint Petersburg where the Program of the International Committee of Theatre Olympics 2019 was presented together the best performances of the global stage. In the framework of the program performances of such theatre maitres as Robert Wilson, Krystian Lupa, Heiner Goebbels, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Simon McBurney, Dimitris Papaioannou, Andrei Serban and Tadashi Suzuki were presented. In total, the Program of the International Committee of Theatre Olympics 2019 comprised 27 productions from 16 countries, including performances from Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, China and India.
In the framework of the Olympics the largest Russian theatre festivals presented their programs in Saint Petersburg: the Chekhov International Theatre Festival, the Point of Access International Summer Arts Festival, the Baltic House International Theatre Festival, the Golden Mask Festival. The Olympics was crowned with a performance of the NET Festival (New European Theatre) and the Jan Fabre's Festival in the Bolshoi Drama Theatre.
The official closing of Theatre Olympics 2019 took place on November 15 in the Mariinsky Theatre as part of the VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum. Events of Theatre Olympics 2019 though lasted till the middle of December.
An extensive Scientific and Educational Program took place during Theatre Olympics 2019. It included workshops of young theatre professionals under the guidance of the world's best directors, their lectures for general public, and events in the framework of the Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, as well as a visiting session of the Institute of Theatre, an educational project of the Golden Mask Festival. Even now lectures and workshops of the Scientific and Educational Program are available for everyone interested for free on the link.
In June, a Special Program of Theatre Olympics 2019 took place in the Far Eastern Federal District. In comprised 12 showings of performances by Russian and international theatres, workshops and a theatre laboratory.
Tours of Saint Petersburg theatres across Russian regions were arranged in the framework of Theatre Olympics 2019. Thus, the 'Olympic theatrical bridge' was built to lead to various regions of Russia. Since August 28 to December 13, 22 performances were presented in Russian cities: Sochi, Ryazan, Vladikavkaz, Vladivostok, Veliky Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, and Petrozavodsk.
And on October 12–29, youth theatres of European drama schools presented their productions in Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Yaroslavl, Pskov, and Veliky Novgorod.