The Small Town Theatre Festival of Russia is both one of the priorities of the State Theatre of Nations and one of the most important events in the cultural life of the country, bringing together the best of what has been created on stages of the “small” Russia. The national provincial theatre is an entirely unique phenomenon, with no matches in the world theatre practice. Since the dawn of time it has been supplying cultural capitals – Moscow and St. Petersburg – with creative resources and breaking-through artistic ideas, and has always been rich in major actor's talents. And today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the theatre of the Russian provinces is again the hearth of culture, as it boasts brilliant actors, audacious productions, and distinctive dramaturgy. Over the years the Festival has become an integral part of the Russian theatrical landscape. The Eleventh Festival was held June 7-13, 2013 in Pyatigorsk, North Caucasus Federal District, attended by 13 small town companies. The Festival offered its participants workshops by experienced professors from Moscow while a competent jury composed of leading theatre figures and critics of Russia, headed by People's Artist of Russia Olga Ostroumova, chose performances winners which will represent the “small” theatrical Russia in Moscow, on November 25 and 26, at the Small Hall of the Theatre of Nations.
By the Jury decision, the Grand Prix was shared by two productions, Cabbages and Kings by Paraphrase Theatre, Glazov, Udmurtia region, directed by Damir Salimzyanov, and Miss Julie by Gran Theatre from Novokuibyshevsk, Samara region, directed by Denis Bokuradze, that will represent the Festival in Moscow at the Theatre of Nations. Other important nominations included “Best Actor” awarded to Igor Fadeev for his interpretation of Skvoznik - Dukhanovskij in The Inspector General at the Minusinsky Drama Theatre, “Best Actress” awarded to Yulia Bokuradze for her Miss Julie in the eponymous play at Gran Studio Theatre, Novokuibyshevsk; the ‘Nadezhda’ prize (“Promising Talents”) awarded to the young actors from Translation Needed: Alexandra Bulatova, Ekaterina Gribanova, Stanislav Kochetkov, Anton Ostapenko, Andrey Shcherbakov, Elizaveta Zhuykova (Prokopyevsky Drama Theatre).
The jury also awarded special prizes: for “Best Duo” to Alexey Agapov (Coleman Connor) and Artiom Shevchenko (Connor Whalen) for their work in The Lonesome West (by Sarapulsky Drama Theatre, Sarapul), for “Best Ensemble in a Minor Form” to Avalanche (by The I. Tsej National Theatre of the Republic of Adygea) and for “Best Ensemble in a Major Form” to Cloud Paradise (A. Savin Lysvensky Drama Theatre, Lys'va).
Two special awards by the jury chairman Olga Ostroumova were presented to Tatiana Polyanskaya for her Olga in Three Sisters (‘FEST’ Mytischinskiy Drama and Comedy Theatre, Mytishi, Moscow Region), and Lyubov Berdova for her Lyuba in Cabbages and Kings (Paraphrase Theatre, Glazov).
Festival participants were also awarded prizes by the Stavropol Region Governor: Alina Kostyuk got the “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” prize (Christina in Miss Julie by Gran Studio Theatre) and the Cabbages and Kings production was awarded for “Optimism and Humanity in Art” (Parafraz Theatre).