You ask too much. I would very much like theatrical figures to sit in some large hall, talk, discuss. At least they asked questions and got answers.
“Golden Mask” is considered the main national award. As with any serious award, there is a lot of gossip and gossip about it… It’s normal. There is no such prize, especially when it comes to art, so its organizers are not accused of subjectivity.
The fact that now the president of the STD becomes the president of the prize, who appoints the general director of the prize… Well, what then? The award becomes a departmental STD award. Why not? The Union of Theater Workers hands out prizes for the best performances, so be it.
The questions begin when we turn to the discussion of the nominations. And here, however, there are many ambiguities.
For example. Now there will be no division into the best performance – the big stage and the best performance – the small stage. There will be a prize. That’s how it was at the beginning. Only five years after the award’s existence, a division appeared: “Large Format Performance” and “Small Format Performance”.
What is the problem? Even not only in the fact that the performances in a large space and in a small one differ fundamentally. The main thing is different. Most recently, the Lesosibirsk Drama Theater shone in the “Mask” with the play “Dead Souls” by Oleg Lipovetsky. I do not ask you, dear reader, do you know that there is a theater in the city of Lesosibirsk? I wonder: do you even know that such a city exists? There are ten actors in the theater company. The stage and the room there, of course, are small. How many such small theaters are there in the country, in which very interesting shows are sometimes created! They will not be able to fight against the power of the same theater of Vakhtangov, the Moscow City Hall or Alexandrinka. With a new approach, there is a great chance that they will simply not be noticed and the productions will sink into oblivion. It is a pity. And most importantly – it is not clear why.
The playwright nomination is gone, which is strange. We, unfortunately, often do not appear really wonderful works. But they appear! Here Danilov’s “Man from Podolsk” was awarded the “Mask” for the playwright’s work. There is a play, you can give a prize. No? Well, then, don’t give it. Why reject something?
Of course, any prize is a kind of game, a lottery. It seems to me that such awards should not be taken too seriously. But the game is fun and exciting. I know many young people who dream of the “Golden Mask”. I myself saw how the actors who received this award sobbed. Therefore, it is impossible to put aside, but, vanity, a game of chance. And if so, then the prize awarding laws should be completely understandable.
You are supposed to remove the “lighting designer” nomination. Generally a vague decision. The work of a lighting designer is not a strictly professional story. This is what the viewer sees, what he pays attention to (especially when he is unsuccessful). While organizing performances, I worked with many lighting designers. These are one of a kind people. They see the stage in a completely different way, they see the world. Can you imagine: people who represent the artistic illumination of the scenic world? The most important teachers are on the drama team. It is no coincidence that they are called “artists”. Why not reward them?
The nomination “best supporting role in operetta/musical” is eliminated. In the drama, then, there is such a role, in the opera – there is, but not in the musical? Because? Don’t clear.
The nominations “experiment” and “modern dance” may be eliminated. And the same question worries me: why?
If we want theater to develop, it must follow different paths. Someone traditional, and in him find new responses to the challenges of the time. And someone experimental. Why not support a genuine and profound experiment? In fact, there are performances that do not fit into the traditional framework. And what to do with them? Don’t you see?
Modern dance is difficult, but simply impossible to compare with classical. But can’t you just pretend that this kind of dance art doesn’t exist at all?
I really want to believe that the changes will not affect the “Máscara Dorada” festival. Even those who treat the award disrespectfully can’t help but admit that the festival is a great thing. A large number of viewers, both online and offline, have the opportunity to watch the performances chosen by the organizers. The theater, being by definition an elitist art, has reached the spectator. We are used to it, but it’s amazing!
The question, perhaps, is the main one: does the Golden Mask need reform in general? I have no answer. A long time ago I was a member of the “Mask” jury, then everything was terrible, I wrote about it in the newspaper, and since then neither I nor my performances have been invited to the “Mask”. I honestly think that means they’re not good enough. But I look at the prize from the outside.
I would like to note that in the first “Mask” separate awards were received by Evgeny Kolobov, the founder of the “New Opera” and the great Galina Ulanova. And all other awards were given only to the creators of dramatic performances. So for almost thirty years of its existence, the “Golden Mask” has constantly changed.
Therefore, the problem is not in the changes as such, but in their logic and understanding. And to this, I repeat, leads the discussion. All those who are interested.