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Fight the suppression of artistic freedom in Europe’s last dictatorship. Help us bring 'Burning Doors' w/ Pussy Riot's Maria to the UK.
314 backers pledged £20,256 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Belarus Free Theatre is the only theatre company in Europe banned by its government on political grounds.

We oppose the suppression of artistic freedom, and our permanent ensemble of actors continue to perform and teach every day in Europe's last surviving dictatorship.

And now we need your help.

We are looking to raise £20,000 to bring our talented and courageous ensemble from Minsk to the UK to create a brand new theatre production, Burning Doors.

We are delighted that the production will also feature Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina making her theatre debut.

Burning Doors draws on BFT’s own experience of political oppression and continues our campaign to stand up for artistic freedom and human rights across the globe - a reminder that theatre can be a revolutionary art.

We - Natalia and Nicolai - founders of Belarus Free Theatre, are banned from Belarus and forced into exile. We're rehearsing over Skype, but need our team in person.

Every penny of your money will go towards the production residency. We're a charity, and we've had funding cut so we need your help. To show our gratitude, we've got some of amazing rewards for you, including drinks with us and Maria after a show.

This show will be toured around the UK and then the US, but it can't happen without your support, and time is against us.

"One of the bravest and most inspired underground troupes on the planet” - New York Times, 2015

“Every time they perform, it is a clear victory for artistic freedom and human rights” - Kevin Spacey

The Belarus Free Theatre Ensemble performing underground in Minsk - Your support will help bring them to the UK in summer 2016 to produce our new work Burning Doors
The Belarus Free Theatre Ensemble performing underground in Minsk - Your support will help bring them to the UK in summer 2016 to produce our new work Burning Doors

Burning Doors:

"This show should be made right now because we don't have time to sit tight and wait, the people who desperately fight for art, desperately say what they think, and sacrifice so many things, are worth our solidarity and support"

- Nicolai Khalezin, Co-Director, Burning Doors

Burning Doors is powerful theatre in solidarity with those who refuse to be silenced. Three contemporary artists living under dictatorship - Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina, Russian Actionist and political artist Petr Pavlensky and incarcerated Ukrainian film-maker, Oleg Sentsov - are the inspiration behind this brand new stage production created by BFT co-founders, Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada.

Your support will enable us to bring our ensemble from Minsk to the UK for a devising residency in July and August, where they will work with their exiled Artistic Directors.

Rewards:

No matter how much you are able to pledge, we are delighted to offer some wonderful exclusive rewards to supporters of the campaign. From personalised thank you videos from the ensemble when they arrive at the residency, to your chance to hang out with our Artistic Directors and cast during the UK performance run, we have a range of great rewards to say thank you for making this important production a reality, and to bring you closer to the work.

Pledge £25: Personalised video thank you from Burning Door cast and crew - recorded during summer residency!
Pledge £25: Personalised video thank you from Burning Door cast and crew - recorded during summer residency!

 

Pledge £40: Join a Burning Doors rehearsal via Skype to get a behind the scenes view of how the company works and meet our cast and crew!
Pledge £40: Join a Burning Doors rehearsal via Skype to get a behind the scenes view of how the company works and meet our cast and crew!

 

Pledge £50: Get a BFT Staging a Revolution T-shirt designed for the company by Ai Weiwei!
Pledge £50: Get a BFT Staging a Revolution T-shirt designed for the company by Ai Weiwei!

 

Pledge £30: Get a Copy of 'On Freedom: Powerful Polemics from Supporters of Belarus Free Theatre' / Pledge £50: Get your copy signed by members of the Burning Doors cast, our Artistic Directors and Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina - limited availability!
Pledge £30: Get a Copy of 'On Freedom: Powerful Polemics from Supporters of Belarus Free Theatre' / Pledge £50: Get your copy signed by members of the Burning Doors cast, our Artistic Directors and Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina - limited availability!

 

Pledge £200: Come join BFT's Artistic Directors and Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina for a private drink after watching Burning Doors in London, Manchester, Leicester or Portsmouth
Pledge £200: Come join BFT's Artistic Directors and Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina for a private drink after watching Burning Doors in London, Manchester, Leicester or Portsmouth

Belarus Free Theatre, 10 years of Staging a Revolution

Founded in 2005, BFT has been fighting social justice, taboo zones and violation of human rights across the globe for 10 years.

Our Artistic Leaders were forced to leave Belarus in 2011 due to their work for the company, but continue to develop our work online and across borders.

Our audience, the bravest theatre audience in the world, risk harassment and detention simply for turning up at our shows.

Our incredible ensemble take enormous personal risks to perform over 100 times a year in Belarus, and tour internationally to raise awareness and increase political pressure for democratisation in Belarus. Meet some of the BFT Ensemble working on Burning Doors here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0356w27 

By supporting the Belarus Free Theatre, you are taking an important stand for artistic freedom, human rights, and international solidarity.

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

Belarus Free Theatre relies on the generosity of our friends and supporters to continue to exist. Research and design for Burning Doors has already begun, and the cast and Artistic Directors are working online and on Skype. Your support will be vital in getting the ensemble to the UK for a production residency, the only way we can intensively work together as a company. The production residency is very generously supported by the Academy of Music and Theatre Arts, University of Falmouth.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 7

    Social Media Thank You / Shout out
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    BFT’s deepest gratitude

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    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    5 limited edition postcards with production images from the Burning Doors residency

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    3 Belarus Free Theatre / Staging a Revolution badges, with original logo designed for BFT by Ai Weiwei

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    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 19

    Staging a Revolution Tote Bag with original logo designed for BFT by Ai Weiwei

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    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 19

    1 week vimeo access to performance of Burning Doors, from UK tour Autumn-Winter 2016

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    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 19

    Collection of 10 exclusive photographs from the 10 productions performed by BFT in our 10th Anniversary 'Staging a Revolution' festival, London 2015

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    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 31

    Personalised video thank you from Burning Door cast and crew - recorded during summer residency

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    3 backers
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    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 31

    Join a Burning Doors rehearsal via Skype to get a behind the scenes view of how the company works and meet our cast and crew

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    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 31

    Press Night Ticket - Come see Burning Doors on Press Night in London's Soho Theatre! (Friday 2nd September) - New Reward!

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    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 37

    Programme for Burning Doors signed by the BFT Ensemble, cast and crew, BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina

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    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 37

    5 Postcards with limited edition production images from Burning Doors residency - with personalised thank you signed by BFT Ensemble, cast and crew, BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina

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    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 37

    Copy of our 10th anniversary book 'On Freedom – Powerful Polemics by Supporters of Belarus Free Theatre'

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    Limited 11 backers
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    Personal thank you tweet from Maria Alyokhina

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    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 43

    A3 Poster for Burning Doors signed by the BFT Ensemble, cast and crew, BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina

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    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 62

    Staging a Revolution T-shirt with original logo designed for BFT by Ai Weiwei (male / female designs, all sizes available)

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    Limited 19 backers
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    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 62

    Signed copy of 'On Freedom – Powerful Polemics by Supporters of Belarus Free Theatre' - signed by BFT Ensemble, Burning Doors cast and crew, BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina

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    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 62

    Staging a Revolution Tote Bag with original design for the company from Ai Weiwei
    Signed by BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina

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    4 backers
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    Signed Copy of On Freedom – Powerful Polemics by Supporters of Belarus Free Theatre
    Signed by BFT Ensemble, cast and crew, BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina
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    Credit on BFT Website and Programme for Burning Doors

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    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 123

    2 Tickets to UK performance of Burning Doors of your choice - Leicester, London, Manchester and Portsmouth: Autumn/Winter 2016

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    8 backers
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    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 123

    Personalised and signed copy of Burning Doors script, annotated and signed by BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina

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    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 123

    Press night after party: Friday 2nd September, Soho London. Join the cast and crew for a celebration in central London after our press night.

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    Limited 5 backers
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    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 307

    2 invitations for drinks and food with BFT's Artistic Directors and Masha Alyokhina in London, September 2016 (with our favourite Belarusian cuisine!)

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 307

    Burning Doors Masterclass for 2 people: join an intensive and personalised 1-day training and workshops series with the cast and crew of Burning Doors; BFT create our Minsk theatre school 'Studio Fortinbras' in London during Burning Doors performance run. Also Signed Burning Door script - signed by BFT Actors performing in Burning Door!

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About US$ 1,228

    Contributing Directorship: Skype into UK rehearsals during devising residency (x3), follow-up calls with directors Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada, share your input with directors – credited in Burning Doors programme where if input is included

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    Pledge £200 or more About US$ 246

    2 Tickets to UK performance of Burning Doors of your choice - Leicester, London, Manchester and Portsmouth: Autumn/Winter 2016
    +
    Private post-show drink with Burning Doors, cast members, BFT Artistic Directors and Maria Alyokhina

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Funding period

- (35 days)