Kazan’s youth theatre company Rovesniki (Peers) played its first show on 30 November 1932. The company has seen bad times and good times in its long history. One time the troupe became homeless for a few years after a fire destroyed their space. And in 1996, their rendition of Shakespeare’s The Tempest won them the Golden Masque Awards in the “Play of the Year” category. Things have changed yet again for Rovesniki at the end of 2014 as a young new director, Tufan Imamutdinov, stepped in. Imamutdinov stresses international and experimental projects, so unsurprisingly his debut production in the capacity of director-in-chief was War Through the Eyes of Children. Fragments, a German-Russian project based on the recollections of people who were children during World War II.
Rovesniki has a wide variety of plays on its playlist, all created for an audience of children and teens. The company’s staging of Gelsomino in the Country of Liars is a rethink of Gianni Rodari’s famous book in the context of today’s Russia. They also do a poignant rendition of The Little Prince.