TheatreLIVE (ТеатрЖИВ), a new project designed to bring Moscow’s most popular plays live to provincial cinemas, kicks off on 23 February in 31 cities across Russia, welcome2018.com was told by Anna Mikhalkova, Creative Director of the Russian Culture Fund, the main organizer and key sponsor of the project.
“One of Chekhov Theatre’s most successful productions” – a modern “English” situation comedy titled No. 13D, staged by Vladimir Mashkov – was picked for the debut broadcast, to be followed by a yet to be named Konstantin Bogomolov production.
The plays will be beamed to small towns, as well as major cities. “Unfortunately, it is difficult or downright impossible to physically bring Moscow’s top productions to small provincial stages,” Mikhalkova said. “Firstly, there are no suitable stages to accommodate a large theatre company. Secondly, it costs to host a large theatre production. Not every town can afford it. Moscow has everything, and we take it for granted. But Russia doesn’t end at the beltway.”
The project’s producer Stanislav Shapovalov said “all the means available would be employed to bring in the audiences.” He believes the project could actually be a box office success at an average price of 400 to 600 rubles per ticket. He added that the audiences will see both the “hands-down blockbusters” and experimental performances from Moscow.
The plays will be filmed by 6 to 8 cameras simultaneously. The visual footage will be edited, and the soundtrack recorded, in real time.
The project implementers work closely with the Russian Copyright Society, theatre companies and cinemas to build a “transparent system of interfaces with the copyright owners,” according to copyright lawyer Marina Andreikina.
The audiences will see plays from the repertoires of Chekhov Theatre, Pyotr Fomenko Studio, Yevgeny Vakhtangov Theatre, Satirikon, Pushkin Theatre, Gogol Centre and RAMT, among others, the first year. According to the project’s creators, “each play will be filmed by 6 to 8 cameras simultaneously. The visual footage will be edited, and the soundtrack recorded, in real time.” Satellite technology is capable of beaming a play to an audience of more than 16,000 at the same time.