The 15th International Theatr Kingfestival will be held from 12 to 16 April 2019. It is organized by Novgorod Theater for children and youth “Mali”. During the 5 days of the festival more than 20 plays, including contemporary dance, puppet shows, object theater, storytelling and drama plays, will be shown on venues of Velikiy Novgorod. The festival presents 16 theaters from Russia, Germany, Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands and France.
Kingfestival is one of the major theater events of Veliky Novgorod. It has been held every two years since 1992 and during this time it has established itself as one of the most credible festival for young audience. In 2017 Nadezhda Alexeeva, the artistic director of the Kingfestival was awarded with the Honorary Encouragement Award of the president of ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) for outstanding creative achievements in the field of theater for children and youth. The organization committee of the contest noted that “jury highly appreciates that incredible work you do in Russia, a great number of new ideas and also the promotion of Kingfestival, which became one of the most significant theater festivals for children and youth in your country”.
There are not only plays for children and youth but also the ones for adults in the program of the festival. The plays begin in the morning and are not completed even until late at night. Spectators can see plays after Shakespeare and Chekov, folk tales and contemporary drama.
During the 5 days of the festival, the plays will be shown on the stages of theater “Mali”, Drama theater and Philharmonic hall. The theater of Netherlands with a contemporary drama “Ping” will be introduced at the festival for the first time. Esther de Koning, actress and playwright of that theater, will also hold a TED lecture about the improvisation in theater. There are winners of National Theater Awards “Golden Mask” and “Harlequin” among the Russian theaters: St. Petersburg Academic Theater Named After Lensovet, State National Theater of the Republic of Karelia and The Vsevolod Meyerhold Center of Moscow. The famous Upsala Circus of St. Petersburg will officially open the festival with its unique play “I am Basho”, directed by Yana Tumina, which is also the winner of National Theater Awards “Golden Mask” and “Harlequin”.
This year, “French Focus”, the joint project with French Institute, will be represented at the festival. Under it, spectators will see three performances by French theatre companies from Rennes, Tours and La Rochelle in the genre of contemporary dance and object theater (theaters-participants of Avignon and Edinburgh festivals). The wide range of French theaters will also represent the exhibition of theater playbills of France and the presentation of French theater festivals, which will be held by theater specialists from Paris and Nanterre. ASSITEJ of France provided support to this project.
Traditional international creative laboratory “Young critics – future of the theater” is within the special program of Kingfestival with support of Theatre Union of Russia. 9 young critics from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Voronezh, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and France were selected from 83 applications to participate in Laboratory. Laboratory Curator is Alexey Goncharenko, Chief Expert of the Chamber of Theaters for Children and Puppet Theater (STD), Candidate of Art Criticism, member of the UNIMA Research Commission (Moscow, Russia). During the festival, the participants of Laboratory will blog, interview, discuss the plays and finally award the most memorable play with a special prize “Other View”.
For the first time, the lecture’s project is included in the special program of the festival. It is the lecture series on contemporary theater, TED talks, and seminars on the contemporary literature for children by Samokat Publishing House.
The project “Theaters of twin-cities” is also a traditional one for Kingfestival. It reinforces the cultural cooperation of Veliky Novgorod with its twin-cities. Theater of Bielefeld is presented with cast of contemporary dance with their play “New Sites”, which was firstly shown in Germany only during this season. It is interesting, that at the 2017 festival, it was the theater awarded with Young Critics Prize for their drama play “I call my brothers”.
Kingfestival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Government of Novgorod region, Administration of Veliky Novgorod, Theatre Union of Russia, Russian Centre ASSITEJ, and Novgorod Theater for children and youth “Mali”.