The Department of Culture and Department of Education have decided to make going to the theatre part of pupils’ extracurricular activities. The quotas on free theatre performances and concerts for pupils will be lifted, so each of the 1.5 million Moscow pupils will be able to go to the theatre for free at least once during the school year. The programme will be launched this autumn, in the run-up to the Year of Theatre in Russia, according to Moscow Government Minister and Head of the Department of Culture Alexander Kibovsky.
“The theatre seasons begin in September–October and will flow smoothly into the Year of Theatre. The Department of Culture and the Department of Education will make a list of performances that are most relevant to the school programme and process. We will book tickets in accordance with the number of seats in halls, about 10 percent of the total number; schools will be able to buy them in advance when organising a theatre visit,” Kibosvky added.
If schools do not buy the quotas out, the tickets will be sold to the public. The programme involves 81 theatres and 21 concert ogranisations.
As of today, about 10 percent of pupils go to Moscow theatres regularly. Before that, the quotas provided for about 220,000 theatre tickets for pupils per year at 70 theatres and 10 concert organisations under the Department of Culture. Schools could choose among 359 performances and concerts. However, not everyone was able to take part in the programme due to the quota limits. The new approach will give pupils new opportunities to visit cultural institutions. School administrations will be able to decide which performances from the recommended list their pupils should see.
In addition, theatres plan to launch Moscow Pupil Saturdays that would include backstage tours, meetings with actors and workshops, said Deputy Head of Moscow’s Department of Education Igor Pavlov. This educational programme will allow everyone to learn about theatre culture.
There will also be a project called Theatre at School offering shows and performances at Moscow educational institutions.
“This means that many schools have excellent event halls where performances can be held. There are young actors who are ready to go to schools and work with children, which is very important,” Alexander Kibovsky said.