Generation Jeans

Ode to a New Generation

Belarus Free Theatre

ITIS Fermo Corni, Modena

13/10/2009 20.00  
15/10/2009 17.00  

Written by Nikolai Khalezin with the participation of Natalia Koliada
Directed by Nikolai Khalezin
Performed by Nikolai Khalezin
Musical fusion by DJ Laurel (Lavr Berzhanin)
Producers Natalia Koliada, Nikolai Khalezin
Assistant managers Irina Yarochevitch, Maryia Vavokhina
performed in russian with italian subtitles

Italian première

Running time 1h 20'

Generation Jeans – a monologue about jeans, rock music, and freedom. The story begins in the Soviet Union, where jeans and rock were prohibited. If you sell jeans you will be caught by the KGB. It moves from that time to the current days of the dictatorial regime of Belarus, telling of the arrests of the main hero and his friends, through to kidnappings. This is an ode to the generations of people who are not bound by age frames and who fight for the freedom of their country. Every country has such a generation. The hero talks about Lithuanian, Polish and Czechoslovak generations…

Belarus Free Theatre

Belarus Free Theatre was founded in March 2005 by Belarusian playwright and journalist Nikolai Khalezin and theatre producer Natalia Koliada. In May, 2005 the team was joined by stage director Vladimir Scherban, who has produced the majority of Free Theatre performances. Currently the theatre’s staff consists of ten professional actors, one professional dramatist, four managers and two technical assistants.

Under the current political system the Free Theatre has no official registration, no premises, nor any other facilities. Rehearsals and performances (always free of charge for the public) are normally held secretly in small private apartments which, due to security and the risk of persecution, must constantly be changed.
On several occasions, performances were given in street cafes and in the countryside, in the woods. Staff members have been repeatedly harassed by the authorities for their participation in the activities of the theatre. Thus, the stage director and all but one actress were sacked from their jobs at state-run theatres. Since May 2005 the Free Theatre has produced eleven performances based on seventeen plays. During its first two years of existence, about 5,000 people attended performances in Belarus and more than 4,000 abroad.
During the last four years the troupe has performed in 16 countries of the world: Australia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Greece, UK, USA, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, France, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia. Their first touring performance took place on the stage of the New Riga Theatre of Alvis Hermanis in November, 2005.
The theatre is supported by outstanding figures of the international theatre movement and respected public figures such as Vaclav Havel, Mick Jagger, Arthur Kopit, Harold Pinter, Mark Ravenhill, Tom Stoppard and Ariane Mnouchkine. In April 2007, Free Theatre became a full member of the European Theatre Convention (ETC), a member of the international network Informal European Theatre Meeting (IETM), and in May 2007 a member of the international network, Trans European Halls (THE). In December 2007, Free Theatre received the French Republic Human Rights Prize. It was the first time in the history of the Prize that it was given to a cultural institution.
In April 2008 Belarus Free Theatre performed three of its productions (“Generation Jeans”, “Being Harold Pinter” and “Zone of Silence”) in Thessaloniki, Greece, for the ceremony for the Europe Theatre Prize (Premio Europa). The theatre was awarded with the most prestigious the Europe Theatre Prize “Europe to Theatre”. Belarusian troupe received a special recognition of the jury “Theatre institution/Special mention” after had been nominated for it by the world’s famous dramatists Nobel Prize Laureate Harold Pinter, Sir Tom Stoppard and ex-President of Czech Republic Vaclav Havel.
On November 26, 2008 Freedom to Create Awards ceremony, established by philanthropic organization At Venture and international human rights organization Article XIX, took place at Swiss Re building in London. The second prize went to Belarus Free Theatre. Four performances of the troupe (“Zone of Silence”, “Being Harold Pinter”, “Generation Jeans” and “Discover Love”) were mentioned in the motivational part of the prize.

The show

Vie Scena Contemporanea Festival is an Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione project,
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