Belarus Free Theatre
Written by Nikolai Khalezin with the participation of Natalia Koliada
Directed by Nikolai Khalezin
Choreographed by Olga Skvortsova
Intro by MC Coppa
Performed by Oleg Sidorchik, Anna Solomianskaya, Pavel Gorodnitski
Musical fusion by DJ Laurel (Lavr Berzhanin)
assistant managers Irene Iarochevitch, Maryia Vavokhina, Svetlana Sugako and Alexei Shyrnevich
played in russian with italian subtitles
Running time 1h 10'
A love story based on real events. It is like a ray of light split into separate color components, where tragedy intermingles with comedy and the tension of reality is beyond comparison with any fiction story.
What are the reflections of a woman who finds out about her husband being kidnapped and murdered? First she goes through a shock, then the realization of the tragedy, and then – she thinks about love – the love she didn’t manage to experience entirely, about things undone and dreams unrealized, about the words she didn’t have time to say and which she already never will hear…
This story is based on the real facts from the life of Irina Krasovskaya, whose husband Anatoly was kidnapped and murdered for rendering assistance to the democratic body of Belarus. Collection of materials for the piece Discover Love took nine years.
In the play the personal story of Irina Krasovskaya intermingles with those similar ones of the women from Asia and South America and Latin America, whose husbands, wives, mothers or sisters were kidnapped and murdered or still kept in jails by political reasons. As an example, Ingrid Betancourt’s life.
Each spectator who would see the performance would understand that it could happen in any parts of the world.
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.