“Special View”, the first Forum Festival of Socially-Oriented Theatre in Russia

Moscow, October 28 to 31, 2019


“Art, Science and Sport” Charity Foundation of Alisher Usmanov within the framework of the “Special View” program supporting people with visual impairments and Inclusion Centre for Creative Projects, sponsored by Presidential Grants Fund and Connection Deafblind Support Foundation.

About the festival

What is the idea of inclusion? Where does it come from? First and foremost, inclusion is the right. The right to feel whole and happy despite one's disabilities or developmental challenges. No one deserves to be bullied or isolated, whether an aged person or a child, whether a homeless person, a migrant or a convict.

In 2019 Moscow will see “Special View”, the first forum festival of socially-oriented and inclusive theatre. Its mission is to bring those who usually stay invisible (not just on stage but in everyday life) into the footlights.

Another important goal of the forum festival is to unite professional theatre community and those who care about and promote inclusive and socially-oriented theatre in Russia. The word "forum" in the title appeared for a good reason: it states that the new festival is meant as a platform for communication and discussion of problems of our concern. It also hints on forum theatre of Auguso Boal who devoted so much time to social work through theatre and was among the first activists who gave the audience the opportunity to participate in a performance most actively.

Inclusion and socially-oriented theatre are much broader notions than we can imagine. While preparing for the festival we organized an open contest and accepted applications from more than 40 Russian cities. Both independent and state-owned theatre groups from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia, Ural, Russian Far East and Southern Federal District took part in it. The geography of theatre projects dwelling upon social issues is quite vast nowadays.

We hope that our forum festival becomes a noticeable event both in social and theatre spheres. In Russian theatre, inclusive and socially-oriented projects are often thought to have little artistic value by themselves as they are created by non-professionals. We will be happy if our forum festival helps people see broader artistic potential in so-called non-fiction theatre.

The program of the forum festival comprises two parts: theatrical and educational. Theatrical part consists of the most prominent works of inclusive and socially-oriented drama created in Russia in recent years. Educational program includes practic discussions and workshops given by leading experts of inclusion and socially-oriented theatre: stage directors, teachers, producers and curators.

As a result of the forum festival, a digest will be published under the title Socially-Oriented Theatre in Russia. Reaity and Perspectives.Among other purposes it will serve as a guide for specialists in social and cultural spheres.