Theatre-themed communities on Facebook and Instagram offer a perfect space for discussing a wealth of theatre-related topics and sharing the latest theatre news as they happen. In addition to checking out playbills for the new premieres, these communities allow you to chat with your fellow theatre lovers, who will be eager to talk about anything, from the most memorable roles of your favorite actor to the social and political issues raised by the director. In this section, we will be showcasing the theatre communities on Facebook that will provide expert knowledge for our guidebook.
Admin – Maxim Drimling, actor
A community of theatregoers, actors, directors, and students
Every day, Maxim shares interviews, articles, opinion pieces, photos and videos, and, of course, collections of fun facts and anecdotes from the theatre world. He believes that his key mission is making the art of theatre more popular in the Russian segment of the web.
Maxim also has a Theatre People blog on Instagram, which he created in 2016 and which currently brings together over 157 thousand fans of this form of art. He refuses to turn his blog into an independent website on principle: “The Theatre People community has a presence in all the popular social media, and this is more than enough for directly engaging with the audience”. The most beloved feature of the community is the live streaming, which Maxim often does when exploring the backstage of different theatres in various cities: this makes exclusive insights available to thousands of inquisitive theatregoers, while Maxim himself answers any questions they may have in real time and sheds more light on things that they find the most interesting.
“The Theatre People page is an incredible tool for addressing the theatre audience; it creates a wealth of fantastic benefits”, Maxim explains. “It brings people from different theatre spheres closer together and lets them have open and honest conversations about the problems of today’s theatre as well as instantly share all the most interesting highlights with the community. Different stats and polls on the page provide a general understanding of what people are interested in, of what displeases them, of what they suggest; this also helps the community learn about any difficulties that theatres face, and propose possible solutions”.
Admins – Alisa Aslanova, Karina Zhitkova, Katerina Bornovitskaya
A community of people who love ballet and ballet aesthetics
La Personne is an independent online magazine that covers the world of ballet and any adjacent subjects. Its founders are all trustworthy sources, as they have direct links to this art medium. Alisa Aslanova, who created the magazine and acts as its Editor-in-chief, used to be a principal at the Kremlin Ballet; whereas Karina Zhitkova, the magazine’s producer and photographer, once performed as a soloist at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre; and finally, producer and editor Katerina Bornovitskaya who practiced ballet as a hobby and helped organize ballet galas, now works at a company that produces pointe shoes. Winners of international ballet competitions, Alisa and Karina are more than well-equipped to talk about the various aspects of a ballet dancer’s life. The name of the magazine – La Personne – is a reference to the ballet traditions since all the terminology in the ballet originated from the French language. The magazine focuses on the most inspiring, enchanting and brightest figures of the ballet world. Hence, the motto of the magazine – “individual as art”. The young women believe that their content is one of a kind, which is what makes their project so special. According to Alisa, they always try to present ballet history at a unique angle, presenting exclusive photos and videos on a specific subject. To bring ballet art even closer to the general public the magazine authors often make themed issues, for instance by collaborating with popular fashion brands. One of La Personne’s most recent initiatives was the #ГдеВашиПуанты (#WhereAreYourPointeShoes) hashtag on Instagram, meant to spread awareness of environmentally friendly plastic disposal. As it turns out, ballet dancers find this issue to be quite relevant, as pointe shoes are heavily plastic-based. Trying to highlight the problem as much as possible, La Personne shot a Dying Swan dance video, where the ballet dancer got tangled up in plastic bags. Alisa says that the campaign received a lot of positive attention from the community subscribers, who were profoundly moved by the magazine’s thoughtful approach.
It would be impossible to imagine the La Personne team members without their digital tools, which make sharing content with the theatre community much faster. “Art lives in the moment, and maybe the digital format will inspire someone to experience live interactions with the world of ballet”, the community leaders believe. La Personne has its own website; the project’s main social media platform is Facebook, but the team also crossposts its content actively to Instagram.
A community of people who are interested in theatre, literature, art, cinema, and music
The Synchronization community works together with a diverse pool of culture experts. It includes Anna Ildatova and Anton Khitrov, members of the Golden Mask Theatre Award expert panel. They have shared their insights into Russian digital theatre projects.
Synchronization is a special cultural entity that conducts lectures on literature, art, theatre, cinema, and music, as well as invites its community to shows, exhibitions, and movie screenings. The project creators’ mission statement is to create “a community that is cemented by an interest in culture and a desire to be in sync with fine art and engage in mutual experience-sharing”. The community mostly posts announcements of upcoming lectures on the most notable phenomena, movements, and personalities in culture and academia, with a total of over 100 events in 19 different fields per month.
More details on the community’s activities may also be found on its Instagram page and official website. The project curators use Instagram in particular to publish collections that feature the most fascinating shows, books, and films on a variety of subjects, in addition to having philosophical discussions and more.
Admin – Aleksey Kozlov
Other members: Marina Davydova, Zhanna Zaretskaya, Alla Shenderova, Maria Volkova
A community of theatre experts, critics, theatre directors, and people with an extensive interest not just in theatre but in art in general.
The Theatre Magazine community brings together the readers of the eponymous magazine. As the title may suggest, the community’s main focus is on theatre news, including not just event announcements and show reviews, but also analysis and discussions of the social issues touched upon in the respective productions. The magazine’s mission is to “change theatre for the better”, not only in Russia, but in other countries as well.
The magazine has both a physical printed format and an active website, with content that does not always replicate the printed version. Among other features, the online version presents a continuously updating review feed, both in the blog and in the blitz section, in addition to theatre news monitoring, theatre guides, and must-visit suggestions that cover the best of both Russian and foreign theatre. The community’s leader Aleksey Kozlov notes, “We were creating the Facebook group with an idea that it was not just going to become an appendix for the magazine’s website; it was, first and foremost, supposed to turn into a platform for nourishing our community, for creating a club of like-minded people who really care about the development of theatre as an art form”.
Admin – Vsevolod Lisovsky, Commissar at the Transformator Center
The community’s admins state that their aim is to turn it into a hub for “all theatrical and artistic freaks”
The Transformator Center for Theatre Research handles the “reduction” of dramatic performance. The center’s team gradually cuts out various elements of theatrical productions: from dialog to composition to action. The community’s mission is to discover the line that separates theatre from “non-theatre”, or prove that this line does not exist at all. Its members believe that the main part of a show is what happens here and now; the interactions between actors, playwrights, and the public. Transformator is a member of the Independent Theatres’ Union, which brings together private experimental troupes and allows them to help each other with organizational issues and day-to-day challenges.
The Transformator Facebook community offers interesting articles about theatre, announcements of unusual immersive shows and festivals, and news of experimental projects by the Center itself, such as The Triumph of Time and Truth, a show where “those involved perform a special kind of oratorio, following the instruction that they are offered; the degree of creative freedom varies, and no preliminary preparation is required”.
Yury Sorokin, Director at the Transformator Center: “Virtual reality becomes more real than ever. This is a union of creative people in a single innovative, hi-tech field; a search for new ideas and for new forms and means of interacting with the public and one another. This is the kind of communication that the 21st century sorely needs; while being relatively new, it opens vast opportunities for future experiments”.