The Small Town 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 the bright 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. Moscow was the first address where this vital for Russian province theatrical forum took place. However in 2004 the V Festival changed its residence and moved to Lysva, Perm region. Its opening coincided with the end of the reconstruction of the Lysva theatre that was damaged by fire in 1993. The town managed the responsibilities of a hospitable host with flying colours, and since then Lysva has hosted the festival four times, including the tenth anniversary one (2012). In 2011 the venue for this theatre festival was Balakovo, Saratov region. In 2013 the festival expanded its geography to the south and moved to Pyatigorsk, where it became part of another theatrical forum Theatres of Russia – to North Caucasus.
The current XII festival has moved close to the capital again. It will be held from 31 May to 6 June in an ancient moscow region town of Kolomna, where 16 performance groups will gather. Their participation shows the scope of theatrical Russia's map, from Moscow to the remotest areas. Theatres from Moscow region, Leningrad region, Kaliningrad region and Krasnoyarsk krai will take part. Krasnoyarsk krai will be represented in the festival playbill by Minusinsk and Motygino – a settlement-type town that has a three-hundred-and-fifty-year history.
There will be an extensive professional educational programme for participants of the festival. Experienced teachers will conduct workshops, master-classes, trainings. The participants will meet with cultural figures. The competent jury, composed of leading theatre critics of Russia, will decide on the winning performance, which traditionally will represent the festival in Moscow.