About the theatre
The Belarusian State Youth Theatre has been in existence on the Belarusian theatre map for more than 30 years. The State Youth Theatre of BSSR was established on 18 July 1984 according to the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of BSSR. The “heart” of troupe was composed by the actors of the Theatre of the Young Spectator, later it was enlarged by the graduates of the Belarusian State Theatre and Art Institute, theatre institutions of Moscow.
The first theatre season at the Youth Theatre began on 30 April 1986 with the premiere of the stage performance “These incomprehensible old people” based on Svetlana Aleksievich’s documentary “The Unwomanly Face of War”. The performance was staged by the first theatre director (since 1985) Grigory Borovik. The minutes of the Theatre arts council show that Svetlana Aleksievich has highly appreciated the performance: “we are like-minded with the theatre”, “the theatre feels young people”.
The first theatre directors of the Youth Theatre – Grigory Borovik (1985-1988), Boris Lutsenko (1988-1990), Vitaly Kotovitsky (1990–2003). Each of them came to the Youth Theatre with the professional background and artistic vision, but all together they defined the theatre development vector, found the ways for future creative searches of the troupe.
At the beginning of its history, the Youth Theatre didn’t have any building. A part of halls was provided to the theatre by the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society, the theatre rented the performance venues of the Minsk community centers. In the fall of 1987, the building of the former cinema “Spartak” was allocated to the Youth Theatre. Under the conditions of its reconstruction, the Youth Theatre troupe continued to work on new stage performances, was on tour in the cities of Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, France; and gave successful performances at the theatre festivals in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Egypt.
Since the end of the 1980th, the Youth Theatre has significantly expanded the geography of international creative contacts: the stage directors of Germany, France and the USA have staged performances at the theatre.
In March 1994, the opening of the Youth Theatre took place on Dauman Street, 1 with an experimental performance “His Dreams” (the stage director – V. Kotovitsky, the set designer – Z. Margolin) based on S. Dali’s book “The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, written by himself”.
At that time, the Youth Theatre started to turn to intellectual foreign dramatic art (J.-P. Sartre, E. Ionesco, E. Albee) and to stage the world classics (W. Shakespeare, F. Schiller, V. Hugo, P. Beaumarchais), using new art forms, atypical for drama theatre. Original performances for children were staged: “The forgotten birthday” based on D. Bisset’s fairy tales (the stage director – V. Erenkova), “Two penguins” based on the scenario of the German theatre “Pletipus” (the stage director – N. Basheva) etc.
In 2003, Modest Abramov – the People’s Artiste of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania – became the art director of the theatre. The performances staged by himself at the Youth Theatre are: “The Bankrupt” (A. Ostrovsky), “A Warsaw Melody” (L. Zorin), “Chelestino’s career” based on A. Nikolai’s play “A grain of rice”, “Threesome love” (A. Kurbsky and M. Berkye-Marinye).
Today the Youth Theatre has no art director and chief stage director. The theatre is open to creative cooperation with talented stage directors, set designers and composers both from Belarus and abroad. The repertoire of the theatre is formed by performances of different genres, styles, aesthetics and schools. The Youth Theatre justifies its name, inviting promising young stage directors and mastering the modern dramatic art.
The stage directors of the theatre: Tatsiana Aksyonkina, Evgeny Ivkovich, Konstantin Mikhalenko, Dmitry Bogoslavsky, Gennady Muspert , Victoria Lugovaya, Iskander Sakaev, Mikhail Kovalchik, Maxim Astafyev, Adam Wojtyszko and others.
In 2013, the theatre of modern choreography appeared as a part of the Belarusian State Youth Theatre under the guidance of the ballet master Dmitry Zalessky, who staged the plastique performances “Maturity” and “BRED day-to-day” at the Youth Theatre. Today Olga Skvortsova is the chief ballet master of the theatre of modern choreography. She is the author of such performances as “A substantive discussion”, “Bardo”, “This is not a movie” and the modern ballet “Whether spring is sacred…”.
The Youth Theatre celebrated its 30th anniversary in a new building: on
7 November 2014, the grand opening of the theatre took place on Kozlova Street, 17.
The museum of the Belarusian State Youth Theatre, which acquaints guests of the theatre with its history in photos and letters, posters and programmes, newspaper clippings and festival brochures, diplomas and awards, was opened in January 2016. Besides, there you can see costume sketches, the set model and stage props.
The glass case of Sergey Zhuravl – the actor of the theatre and the People’s Artist of Belarus (2011), who has devoted 30 years of creative work to the Belarusian State Youth Theatre – has a special place in the exposition.
Moving to a new comfortable building contributed to the splash of the troupe creative energy for implementation of new theatre projects.
At the initiative of the actor Dmitry Bogoslavsky, one of the basements of the Youth Theatre was converted into the Small stage with 40 seats. The use of chamber experimental venues to create performances, unique in their atmosphere and artistic language, is one of the modern trends in the world theatre.
The Small stage of the Youth Theatre was opened in February 2016 with the performance “Sasha, take out the garbage” written by Natalia Vorozhbit and staged by Dmitry Bogoslavsky. Today the theatre has an opportunity to show three performances a day: in the Big hall, in the Small hall and on the Small stage.
Nowadays, the Youth Theatre continues to expand the horizons of international contacts. The troupe of the theatre gives performances on a tour abroad (Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania), participates in the Republican theatre competition “The National theatre award” and the international theatre festivals: International Youth theatre forum “March-contact” (Belarus), International theatre festival “Belaya Vezha” (Belarus), International theatre forum “TEART” (Belarus), Youth theatre forum of the Commonwealth States, the Baltic States and Georgia (Belarus), International theatre festival of the Russian drama theatres “Compatriots” (Russia), International theatre festival “Baltic House” (Russia), International festival of the chamber performances “Andriyivsky Fest” (Ukraine)…
Over the years of work, the Youth Theatre has deserved love of the audience, attention of the theatre community, gained recognition of its achievements at the state level. According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 528 under date of 30 December 2015 “Concerning the special award of the President of the Republic of Belarus to the artists of 2015″, the staff of the Belarusian State Youth Theatre was awarded for the high creative achievements and a significant contribution to the development and promoting of the dramatic art.
According to the Resolution of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus № 13 under date of 23 February 2017, the staff of the Belarusian State Youth Theatre was awarded the title “Honored Collective of the Republic of Belarus“ for a significant contribution to the development of the Belarusian national culture.
The creative history of the Youth Theatre includes more than one hundred stage performances. The current repertoire consists of almost 40 stage performances of various genres: from classical situation comedies to plays interpreting masterpieces of the world dramatic art in the traditions of postmodern theatre, dance performances, performances for children. Every year, the Youth Theatre releases 6-8 premieres.
The strong acting company, which theatre critics describe as an ensemble of creative individuals and professionals, provides success to the theatre. In the theatre work the Honored artists of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Sharov and Natalia Onishchenko, the masters of the stage awarded with the Francysk Skaryna Medal: Victor Vasilyev, Evgeny Ivkovich, Anna Laukhina, Konstantin Mikhalenko, Elena Khristich, Raisa Sidorchik, Sergey Sharangovich, Denis Parshin.
The team of the Youth Theatre, its audience and everyone who takes part in its destiny, continue to write the history of the theatre with each new premiere, festival presentation, tour, bought ticket, published comment. We are all united by the theatre – the Belarusian State Youth Theatre!