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
"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.
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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