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International Theatre Festival for Children and Young People “MINIFEST” is one of the oldest international theatre festivals for young audience in Russia. It was first hold in 1989 at the initiative and thanks to the active involvement of Vladimir Chigishev (Creative Director of the theatre from 1989 to 2005). For more than 20 years of its history it has been visited by theatre companies from Russia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Brazil, USA and many other countries.
In 2004 and 2006 the “MINIFEST” was hold together with the “Golden Mask” Theatre Festival, Moscow in frames of the project “The Best of Russian Theatre in the Cities of Russia”. The significance and the level of the “MINIFEST” International Theatre festival are marked by the decision of the international theatre community to hold the ASSITEJ General Assembly and the World Congress 1996 in the Rostov-on-Don Academic Youth Theatre. This was the first time when the International ASSITEJ Congress was hold not in a capital city.
One of the main features of the festival is that there is no competition. This enables to bring together different kinds of theatre companies and to present various genres and shapes of theatre art.
The main idea of the International Theatre Festival for Children and Young People “MINIFEST” is to bring together and to present to the wide audience and to the theatre community the art of the most interesting, innovative and progressive theatre companies from around the world.
About Youth Theatre
In 1879 the Society of Drama Art Amateurs in Nakhichen-on-Don initiated the construction of the theatre. The project was directed by the city architect Nikolay Nikitovich Durbakh.
On the 16th of December 1899 there was an official opening of the theatre. The theatre company of the famous Nikolay Nikolayevich Sinelnikov performed at the opening ceremony. The performance included a prolog and the performance in 4 acts of the L.N. Tolstoy’s comedy “The Fruits od Education” in the style of allegory.
In the course of its history the theatre had been renamed many times. In 1929 there was The Theatre of Working Youth. Several months later, the alumna of the Moscow Theatre Institute (later The Russia University of Theatre Arts), the creative director Anna Nesterova grounded The Youth Theatre. After the war of 1941-1945 in the building at the Svobodi Square there was the Rostov Theatre of Comedy that in 1957 had been transformed into The Youth Drama Theatre named after the Lenin Komsomol. The official date of its foundation is considered to be the 23rd of February 1964 and the first premiere – “Chapayonok”.
The shows of the Youth Theatre are nominees of numerous national and international festivals. In its history there are the names of such famous stage directors as Artut Khaykin, Yuriy Eryomin, Vyacheslav Gvozdkov, Boris Granatov, Kiril Serebryannikov, Vladimir Chigishev. The best shows of the theatre have been admired by the audience of Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Turkey and Japan.
In 1997 the theatre became academic. Since 2001 it is called The Rostow-on-Don Regional Academic Youth Theatre.
When the new administration has come in 2012, the theatre resumed its touring and its festival life after a long break. In 2013-2014 the Rostow Youth Theatre became the participant and the nominee of several festivals: IV International Festival of Chamber Theatres and Performances “ArtOkraina” in St. Petersburg, IV Open Youth and Children Theatre Festival “TYZ -2013” (Makeevka, Ukrain), Rostov Regional Theatre Awards “Melpomena-2014”, XII All-Russian Festival “Real Theatre” in Ekaterinbourg, II International Festival “Theatre Debut Yalta”.
Every year the theatre repertoire counts 20 – 25 plays including 5 – 6 premieres. In the last couple of years the repertoire of the theatre has been enriches by the wonderful directions of the creative director of the theatre Mikhail Zaets: “Monsieur Ibrahim” by E.-E. Schmitt, “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” by N. Gogol, “Yakuza Dogs by Y. Klavdiyev, “Pippi Longstocking” by A. Lindgren, as well as by the works of invited theatre directors, such as “Olesya” by A.Kuprin (directed by Olesya Nevmerjitskaya), “Onegin” by A.S. Pushkin (directed by Alexander Gorban), “Brawling in Chioggia” by C.Goldoni (directed by Alexander Bargman),