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New Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest

New Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest

On 24 January 2024, the ninth Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest began. Supported by the Territory Foundation for the Development of Culture and Contemporary Art, the contest brings together theaters, youth artistic associations and amateur groups from the regions where Polyus operates (Krasnoyarsk Territory, Irkutsk and Magadan Regions and Yakutia). The aim is to promote the development of the local social environment by supporting repertory theater and the national acting school.

The expert council will shortlist six winners out of public and private professional theater companies. The winners will be invited to the Territory Krasnoyarsk Modern Art festival to be held from 5 to 11 June 2024. There will be a special award for amateur companies.

The groups that take the top three places will perform their productions in front of a wide audience, while shortlisted theaters will participate in the festival’s educational events. The contest will also finance the participation of young theater professionals selected by Open Call.

“This is our contest’s ninth year, and we are very pleased to see that its popularity keeps growing. The Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest is more than just about selecting the best regional theater production; it brings them into the spotlight of the professional community. The productions of our winners receive prestigious prizes, and these theatrical companies then go on international tours. Our winners get to know a new audience and the latest trends; they also receive additional motivation and opportunities for growth,” said Victoria Vasilyeva, Director of Public Relations at Polyus.

The Territory Krasnoyarsk Modern Art festival aims to promote cultural life in Siberia and the Far East. This is a joint project of Polyus, the Territory Foundation for the Development of Culture and Contemporary Art and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA). The seven Territory festivals held in the regions of Polyus’ operations have drawn over 24,000 spectators.

“We are very pleased to be hosting the Territory festival once more with the support of the gold miner Polyus, who has been our partner for many years. The festival’s teams have prepared a comprehensive and multi-faceted program, which we will soon release. Most importantly, however, is that we will again have an open professional program for young culture and theater professionals as part of Territory Krasnoyarsk. The professional program is an important part of all the projects of the Territory Foundation for the Development of Culture and Contemporary art. Since 2006, Territory has brought the program participants together for a festival in Moscow to show the world how interesting and diverse contemporary art is. Those who come to Krasnoyarsk will be, as usual, selected from the open call applicants by the expert jury. We are preparing a series of meet-the-artist events, discussions and public talks with contemporary art theorists and practitioners, directors and artists. It is very important for us that this program includes the best theater experts who will share their experiences with young professionals in culture and arts from Eastern Siberia and the Far East who want to make creative projects,” said Ekaterina Yakimova, director of the Territory Foundation and Territory Krasnoyarsk festival.

Applications for the Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest are accepted from 24 January to 12 March 2024 and should describe the group’s social mission and include a performance video for adults. The winners will be announced on 11 April 2024. The results of the Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest will be drawn by an expert council consisting of prominent theater experts and critics.

The contest’s grant fund totals RUB 7 million. After covering travel expenses for Territory Krasnoyarsk, the theaters can spend the remaining funds on their own needs, including buying and maintaining stage sets and props, art design, touring and participation in professional events and educational programs.

Over its eight years, the Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest has seen plenty of creative innovations and directors have made some excellent discoveries; dozens of talented actors have been given the opportunity to show their art to a wide audience. The contest has made a substantial contribution to the material resources of theaters in Siberia and the Far East, who have been able to release new productions, create professional stage sets and costumes, repair their premises and go on tours and attend workshops. From 2016 to 2023, the total grants stood at RUB 49 million, including RUB 20 million spent on the material needs of theaters.

Theater companies from Krasnoyarsk Territory have been especially active since 2016 and have been shortlisted or won prizes 28 times. Over the years, grants have been awarded to theaters in Krasnoyarsk, Achinsk, Lesosibirsk, Minusinsk, Motygino, Norilsk and Sharypovo. The Krasnoyarsk Territory teams are followed by theaters from Yakutia with 15 prizes. Theaters from Irkutsk Region have won the Polyus Golden Season Theater Contest nine times, while teams from Magadan were shortlisted six times. Since 2023, Khabarovsk Territory theaters have been able to enter the contest, as Polyus expanded its operations to this region. They made a successful debut that year with the shortlisting of their Regional Youth Theater.