THEATRE ONLINE REGIONAL VIDEO CONTEST
A theatre show organized by Novosibirsk State Regional House of Folk Art brought together more than 1,000 participants from different regions of Russia and formed a new creative community.
Theatre Online regional thematic video contest was held from February to December 2019 as part of the Year of Theatre in Russia. Performers from different regions of the Siberian Federal District took part in it.
Invitees to participate in the competition included individual performers and theatre companies regardless of departmental affiliation and age restrictions from the Novosibirsk region and other regions of Russia. A special virtual stage area on VKontakte (vk.com/theater_dnt) was created for the contest.
Theatre Online has created a base of 1,300 active participants who are passionate about the spoken word and theatre. Now members of the community can be the first to learn about new competitions and projects related to the theatre, see the work of like-minded people, ask questions to the organizers and share experiences.
How to come up with a cool idea of the project about culture online?
You can’t do it by a finger snap, you can’t just make it up (even if it seems like that’s what’s going on). You have to get fired up, find an inspiration. How? Advice No. 1: Read, look at what others are doing... And think about the people you want to do it for. Feel them, hear them, and a cool idea won’t be long in the coming. The idea of “Theatre Online” did not come about by chance. Our region is rich in talented theatre and recital companies, but most of them are located far from the center of theatrical events – the city of Novosibirsk. Before going to a contest or a workshop, amateur theatres have to overcome a number of difficulties: find transportation, finances, ask for time off from work or school. This is why the idea was born to create a virtual creative space where all these problems are already solved. Here everyone can express themselves and be heard by a wide audience of the Internet.
What are the pitfalls to be aware of?
There may be more applications than you expected: the advantage of an online project – accessibility – can play a “cruel” joke. Advice No. 2: Always be prepared to work for two (or be friends with your colleagues), because quality cannot be compromised! But what a blessing it is to find out that your project is popular. “Theatre Online” was designed for a whole year – each month a new theme, which means new applications, new participants. Not only districts of the Novosibirsk region, but also other regions joined us by word of mouth. The competition grew organically and became interregional. Of course, such a scale requires a different level of resources. But when the offline finals of the contest gathered participants almost from all over Russia in one of the most beautiful halls of Novosibirsk, we, the organizers, once again realized what we worked for.
Why are the projects like yours needed, what is their value for people?
Advice No. 3: Ask yourself a question and answer honestly (without pompous formalities) – how will the project be useful? In my opinion, it is important that the participants not only gained experience and knowledge, but also discovered something new in themselves, which means that they changed, grew and were inspired to create further. “Theatre Online” has already completed its work, was our project a success? This can be seen from the feedback of the participants. “For a whole year, the contest kept people involved in theatrical art, the whole year it kept us toned, the whole year we all strove for victories... Thanks to the organizers for their patience: there were a lot of participants, they must have been inundated with letters and calls, questions... But it was worth it! We want to go on!” – Yulia Russkikh from Moshkovsky District shares on her VK page. “I noticed that after participating in Theatre Online, children became more thoughtful in reading literary works and interested in biographies of writers and poets,” says Kulzhazira Abaidulina, director of the Fantasia Book Theatre at Mayskaya Rural Library in Krasnozersk District. “All together we learned how to act in front of the camera, and moreover, I began to understand video editing programs. For a long, hard and painstaking time, my team, which includes adults with higher education, learned to work in front of the camera. Filming was always very exciting, fun, and sometimes long. For instance, we recorded Shakespeare for about 4–5 hours, and the result is only a 5-minute footage,” – says Anton Abramov, head of “Teatr Taet” Novosibirsk studio.