Odessa International Theater Festival

Odessa International Theater Festival
Photo: oitf.com.ua
The Odessa International Theater Festival (OITF) is an annual summer festival held in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. Founded in 2015, it has quickly become one of the most important cultural festivals in the country.

The inaugural Odessa Theater Festival was held from August 1–8, 2015 at the Green Theater, an amphitheater in Shevchenko Park in downtown Odessa. Built in 1936, the theater was ruined during the Second World War and renovated in 2015 by volunteer activists. The theater festival was created to mark the opening of the renovated theater. According to the organizers, they wanted to create a safe friendly space where artists and theaters would be able to showcase their work without feeling the need to prove something.

The first festival was a relatively modest event. It featured two stage productions, 4 D Pridurki staged by Ukrainian director Oleg Savchenko and Chto vnutri (What’s Inside?) by the dance theater Rama La Tor. The program also included street performances, experimental performances, and workshops.

The Odessa International Theater Festival has been growing since it inception, but the organizers pride themselves on preserving the informal atmosphere of the event. The festival welcomes both professional and amateur theater companies from different countries. It’s a unique platform where artists can experiment and try things that might look out of place at more mainstream theater festivals.

Artists and theater companies that have performed at the festival include Buffon Theater, Playback, Karadenzija, Zao Studio, Rama La Tor, La Briar, Oxymoron Theater, Langeron Theater, and more. Alongside performances, the Odessa International Theater Festival hosts theater workshops conducted by renowned directors, playwrights, makeup artists, choreographers and other theater professionals.

Odessa International Theater Festival