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The first Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase takes place in Tallinn

Estonian Theatre for Young Audiences along with its colleagues from Latvia and Lithuania will hold the first Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase from 27th to 29th May. The festival programme comprises 13 productions and 21 performances from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The aim of the festival is to open a door for local theatre makers to international stages. At the same time, our local audience will have a chance to experience Baltic visual theatre, and international festival organizers to see the level of visual theatres of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The festival programme includes productions for (small) children as well as young and adult viewers.

Three festival days are filled with productions of theatres with mainly puppet theatre background, but the programme also includes other interesting searches from visual theatre landscapes. Festival manager Leino Rei says that the audience will see both classical puppet theatre as well as exciting searches from visual theatre landscapes, detective stories as well as puppet circus, unconstrained joie de vivre as well as topical and emotional journeys.

Participants from Latvia are Gertrud Street Theatre, Liepāja Puppet Theatre, Latvia Puppet Theatre and Rezekne Theatre Yorick; and from Lithuania the Kaunas Puppet Theatre, Vilnius Table Theatre, Vilnius Theatre Lele and Klaipeda Puppet Theatre.

Two of the Estonian Theatre for Young Audiences’ festival productions – Topsy-Turvy (dir. Leino Rei) and YLT (dir. Renate Keerd) – will be performed in English; The Scarlet Umbrella (dir. Karl Sakrits) is without text. In addition to the Theatre for Young Audiences, productions from Estonia also include Kellertheatre’s  Emilie Sagée (dir. Kersti Heinloo and Raho Aadla) and Russian Theatre’s Vasenka (dir. Daniil Zandberg), both without text.

Most of the productions have no text, the rest are performed in English or equipped with subtitles in Estonian and English. Performances are given in four venues in Tallinn: Estonian Theatre for Young Audiences, Sakala 3 theatre house, Kanuti Gild’s SAAL and Russian Theatre.

“We wish to thank everyone who has supported the festival – the Baltic Culture Fund of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Ministry of Culture, organizations supporting culture such as Tallink Hotels, Ühisteenused, A Le Coq, Maiasmokk and Elke Auto; and our volunteers, whose help is crucial to the smooth running of the festival,” said Leino Rei. “A big thank you to all who have contributed their time and effort.”

The festival is organized in cooperation with Vilnius Theatre Lele and the international children’s and youth theatres’ association ASSITEJ Latvian National Centre. The first Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase is hosted by Estonia; in two years, Lithuania will be the host, and then it will be Latvia’s turn to host the festival. Every two years, theatres perform to international festival organizers and local audiences.

Estonian Theatre for Young Audiences is a theatre for the young viewer, which in its productions looks for an enriching dialogue of moving content and form. Visual theatre is one of its important means of expression. The theatre comprises the Museum of Puppetry Arts and the international visual theatre festival Tallinn Treff. The Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase was initiated by Estonian Theatre for Young Audiences together with theatres from Latvia and Lithuania.