The performance is questionable.
The Kyrgyz Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy states that all theaters in Kyrgyzstan are experiencing a shortage of qualified administrative staff. But if the capitals have at least some chance to solve this problem, then the regional ones cannot afford it.
– The old management system does not give adequate results, – complains Nishan Jeenalieva, deputy director of the Chui regional theater named after Sharshen Termechikov. – But no one has come up with a new one so far. And no one can do it. There are no teachers in Kyrgyzstan training specialists in areas like theater management, marketing and production is difficult. Organizing tours even within the republic is a lot of work. Meanwhile, today it is important not only to interest the viewer, but also to make our national theater culture recognizable in the world and gain popularity.
The director of the Kyrgyz National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after Abdylas Maldybaev Almazbek Istambaev agrees with his colleague from the region.
– No matter how painful it is to admit it, but now we are in the last position among all Central Asian theaters in terms of popularity, – said Almaz Istambaev. – We do not have the position of general producer, this position is very necessary, as well as the marketing and sales departments. Sponsors could help theaters, but the law “On patronage and charitable activities” does not work. I remind you that the document provided for certain state guarantees for people who support culture, but so far its regulations are not fully in force. I think that if the authorities treated patronage differently, the situation of the theaters would not be so deplorable.
Today there are professional musical and dramatic theaters in all regions of Kyrgyzstan. Some were created even before the 1917 revolution, but the vast majority were formed later, under the USSR. Unfortunately, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, state support for culture has been low. The companies of many theaters put on performances and try to attract the spectators with almost the same enthusiasm. Of course, one can only dream of traveling on tours.
the way to the crowd
The news about the arrival of GITIS specialists in the theaters of the republic was received with great enthusiasm. Directors of all regional theaters without exception came to Bishkek to participate in the work of the production laboratory.
According to Pavel Skvortsov, Dean of the Production Department of GITIS, the decision to organize a production laboratory in Kyrgyzstan was made in the summer of 2022. More than six months ago, on the coast of Issyk-Kul, university professors held master classes in stage movement and locution, acting, directing and many other disciplines.
– We received an application to teach classes in a special program of theater management, – said Pavel Skvortsov. – The need to train administrative staff of theaters in Kyrgyzstan arose in the summer. Therefore, GITIS and the Ministry of Culture of the Kyrgyz Republic agreed to cooperate. Our Producer Lab is an educational program that helps theaters develop while maintaining their individuality. We conduct the same master classes in various regions of Russia, as well as in Azerbaijan. Everywhere the experience was successful.
Great Opportunity Course
Gypsies did not begin to work with the administrations of the cultural institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic with the usual master classes. First of all, the Moscow guests got acquainted with the theatrical market of the republic.
“We try to understand the peculiarities of the regions, as well as the circumstances in which culture develops, since this is the most important thing,” said Elena Simurzina, a professor at the GITIS Department of Production and Management of Performing Arts. – Our group prepared special presentations on a variety of theater management topics to give an overview of all the issues: fundraising, marketing, managing sales and building a system to increase them, the evolution of the ticket market. That is, how modern theaters live today. It was equally important to understand at what stage of development the theatrical art is in Kyrgyzstan and what tools for its development will be the most effective. For example, the automation of the ticket table was considered, which allows generating a report on what the theater needs, a sales plan, promotion on social networks, various ways to attract spectators and sell more tickets.
According to Elena Simurzina, today’s theaters need not only a classical repertoire, but also individual projects that correspond to the spirit of the times. Such ideas need to be promoted.
The series of lectures by Alexandra Knyazeva, Associate Professor of the Department of Production and Management of Performing Arts, in turn, dealt with creative production, the creation of a theatrical brand and project management. What he heard from her became a real discovery for the directors of the regional theaters of the Kyrgyz Republic.
“Much of what I learned during the master classes was new and interesting for me,” Aida Abdykerimova, director of the Dzhumgal Music and Drama Theater named after Kalyk Akiev, shared with the RG correspondent. – I think that practical things are quite applicable in our country. For example, we have prepared a project to carry out a children’s day in the theater. I showed the script to GITIS specialists and received many recommendations from them. With your help, the project will not become a one-time event, as originally planned, but a tradition.
According to Alexandra Knyazeva, the problem of attracting the audience is acute not only in Kyrgyzstan, and its solution largely depends on which method the theater chooses.
– In the Soviet Union, the organization of the theater business was adapted to the planned economy, – emphasized Alexandra Knyazeva. – In the USSR, there was a system that stimulated theatrical development in the regions. There was an office for organizing a working spectator and an office for concert and organizational activities, and behind them the theaters seemed to be behind a stone wall. When the USSR collapsed, the theaters had to earn money on their own. But how? Today, the theater exists on market terms and the management structure has changed accordingly. The theaters themselves must deal with attracting viewers and ways to survive in a competitive environment. In addition, the audience’s priorities have changed. People first of all began to take care of themselves, and only then to a ticket to the theater. Naturally, the departure of the public began. At the same time, the equipment became obsolete. The actors lost their shape, the managerial sector practically did not develop. After all, the theater exists only when there are spectators. Therefore, now the question is: how to bring it into fashion now? If in big cities there are more such opportunities, then in the regions it is necessary to make a lot of efforts so that people are distracted from the TV screen and come to the auditorium.
By the way
In order to personally attend classes of creative schools, in the summer of 2022, the rector of GITIS, Grigory Zaslavsky, flew to Kyrgyzstan. In an interview with the Central Asian bureau of Rossiyskaya Gazeta (RG-Nedelya-Kyrgyzstan, August 3, 2022), he noted that “national theaters have many features, and some interesting ones.” The banal shortage of personnel hinders the development of theatrical art.
And in December 2022, the creative team of graduates of the State Russian Drama Theater named after Chyngyz Aitmatov staged “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” in a new format. The performance was a resounding success, especially among the young viewers.
The second semester of the production lab will take place in the summer of 2023.