The International Visual Theatre Festival Tallinn Treff and the Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase will take place in 2022 and 2023, respectively, instead of May this year.
Due to the continued threat posed by the coronavirus all over Europe, the organising team has decided to postpone the festivals, after having consulted with the foreign guests, partners, and sponsors. The Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase, which was supposed to take place for the first time this May, will be postponed by one year, taking place on 27-29 May 2022; and the next Tallinn Treff is scheduled for 25-28 May 2023.
“We at the Estonian Theatre for Young Audiences have been making preparations for these festivals for two years. The negotiations are complete, the venues for all productions have been booked, the technical requirements for the productions have been mapped out, the accommodation has been booked for the guests, the promotional materials have been prepared, and much more,” said Leino Rei, the festival director. “So, of course, it’s a pity. We were hoping that the situation would show signs of stabilising and were waiting for the suitable moment to present the programme to the public. Unfortunately, the current situation has forced us to come to terms with the fact that having the festivals this spring isn’t wise.”
The daily life at the theatre has been under continuous strain during the past year; and we have constantly had to react to new circumstances, in order to protect the health of our employees and the audience, while continuing our professional activities. Theatre lovers have been facing the exact same issues. This has put strain on everyone’s mental and economic condition, which is why both the theatre and the spectators need a while to restore the former rhythm and capacity. This is why the festivals that were formerly supposed to take place consecutively have now been spread over two years.
“It is our wish to broadcast the Baltic Showcase in full format and to stick to the original content,” Leino Rei said. “At the same time, we have to consider the possibility that not all productions might survive the difficult times.”
When it comes to the programme of the Tallinn Treff, Rei said that the most substantial productions of the current festival programme will also be included in the 2023 festival, but some space will also be left for new productions, in order to ensure that the programme is both high-quality and up-to-date.
In cooperation with colleagues from Latvia and Lithuania, the joint Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase had been prepared for May. The aim of the festival is to present the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian visual theatre to our audiences as well as to the organisers of international festivals; and by doing so, to open the door to the international stages for the Baltic visual theatre folk. The festival programme was composed mainly of productions from the theatres having a background in puppetry, but there were also other captivating finds from the visual theatre landscapes.
The programme of the Tallinn Treff was composed of various productions – from puppet, object, material, digital, multimedia, and physical theatre. In total, 16 productions from ten countries had been scheduled. Half of them were oriented towards children, the other half towards adolescents and adults.
“We want to thank everyone who has supported the planning of the festivals – the Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the organisations supporting culture, such as the French Institute of Estonia, Tallink, Synlab, and Tuul,” Rei said. “Many thanks to everyone who has contributed their time and effort! No one’s contribution has been in vain. Yes, the festivals will take place later, but hopefully they will be even more content-rich.”