Summer NSTDU school: participants and mentors share experiences

Photo: Mіlana Shidlovska

In the last days of summer (26 - 29 August) the School of acting, directing and set design took place at Buchansky Citi Park. It was launched by NSTDU (National Union of theatrical figures of Ukraine). Despite the financial difficulties (according to Bogdan Strutinsky, Head of NSTDU, in period from 2014 to 2016 National Union got into more than a 1 million UAH debt), this year National Union held several schools: the School of Theater Management (February 2017) and the School for theater dramaturgs (March 2017).

Directors Rostislav Derzhipilsky and Stas Zhyrkov, phD of theater studies Ganna Veselovska

Previous schools were more theoretical, yet this one — purely practical. A special program for participants (16 actors, 4 directors and 2 set designers) includes workshops with professional directors (Tamara Trynova, Andrii Bilous, Pavlo Arie, a special guest Jules Audrey) and independent work under the mentorship of Stas Zhyrkov, the leading director of “Zoloti Vorota” theater.

“Among the participants there are students, as well as people, who already work in theaters in different Ukrainian cities for years. It is important for participants to learn not only from experts, that will hold master-classes, but from each other as well”, — mentioned Stas Zhyrkov.

Participants of Summer school

“It was always interesting what a new Ukrainian theater is like. I was at Russian student group and my curator graduated from Schukin College, so it was completely Russian theater tradition. It is not bad, though I live in Ukraine”,  - Victoria Agafonova, actress of Donetsk academic regional theater, tells about her motivation in participating in school.

Viktoria Agafonova and Stas Zhirkov

Among the invited theatrical masters is Jules Audry -  the artistic director of the Paris Theater "Future Noir", that now works on a performance called «No supper for today» at “Zoloti Vorota” theater (premiere on 5-6 September, 2017). The aim of Jules Audrey’s workshop is to make a choir, united group of actors, with a balance between group and each actor’s uniqueness.

“Theater for me is a democratic process. I am not a director, that gives tasks, I’m more of a moderator, a team-builder. Theater for me is a democratic way of building bridges between countries. Democracy is a process. In the theater, I am interested in the coexistence of the unique and collective”, - claimed Jules Audry.

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