“You’re in a constant feeling of anticipation”: the Pauline Varenichenko spoke about immersive theater in Ukraine

Director Uzahvati team told about the features of the show-boardwalk and why is it needed in Ukraine

Alina Ostrowska

Today, 08:41

"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

The Pauline Varenichenko

Immersive theater in Ukraine – a relatively new form of entertainment. Few people know what it is and where it’s from. Immersive theatres established in the UK, and the idea belongs to the producers of Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, they revolutionised theatre for their first performances.

The main feature of the theatre was the effect of the presence here you are not only an observer but an active participant. Creative team Uzahvati have created performances in the Proms where the audience can immerse themselves not only in action but also in his inner world and thoughts.

“Today” talked to the Director, team Uzahvati, writer Pauline of Varenichenko about the new show-the boardwalk and plans for the future and why immersive theatre is necessary for the Ukrainian society.

– Pauline, how did the idea of creating immersive theatre in Ukraine, which was the path of implementation? For example, any of the performances created in our country.

– Ambition to develop immersive theater in Ukraine we were not. When we started his career and met the guys as a team, we still do not know what is immersive theater. At that time, we called what we do, highly emotional project immersive. We didn’t have names and the many performances we have created outside Uzahvati. When we realized that this format is very interesting to us, I went to an artistic expedition in Europe and Russia. Where such performances are popular for a long time and a lot of them.

Watch the video interview with Pauline of Varenichenko:

Remote X – play, which we wanted to start the story Uzahvati, but it did not work. I think we were not ready. And perhaps Rimini Prokoll did not consider Ukraine as a potential site ready to make such a theatrical format. That’s why we first created our promenade “Time,” and then, after three years of negotiations, Rimini Prokoll came to Ukraine.

– Many immersive performances is already with us, in Ukraine?

Now the team Uzahvati four performances. Two promenade: Time and Remote future. We also have respectable the apartment “Denting”. It’s very intimate, takes place in a real apartment and all 12 viewers. And there’s our immersive performance “Dialogues”, which we conduct in our national library. Yaroslav-the-Wise and I really want autumn to play his second season.

– Tell us about “the youngest” performance-the boardwalk – Remote. How did you know about Remote X?

It was an interesting process. Remote we created warmth and friendship, and we had no difficulties. We quickly found a common language with the guys from Rimini Protokoll. The process took about six months. It seems to me that the route that we found, very expressive. It was he who dictated the drama, which sees the audience during the performance.

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In this play there are no actors, no artificial scenery, but the voice in the headphones. So there is the first or last question: why do you call it “theater”?

It was a great question for debate. First and foremost, you need to ask what the theater is. If we perceive it as something scenic, removed from life, that’s one angle of perception. This interpretation is Remote is not a performance.

If we perceive are sensations associated with certain life circumstances encapsulated in a convenient, concise, and accented by a form — then a theatre.

– Performance-walk — it’s not the most well known and popular form of leisure in Ukraine. Tell us a little about the features of immersive theatre on the example of Kyiv Remote?

– I think we should not compare or contrast these two formats. If you want to take in a classical theater, make this British girl, to be able to overcome it, to feel it, it is better to go to the theatre.

One of the features of Remote Kyiv – are you in a constant feeling of anticipation. You don’t know what will happen next, what will happen next. When you are in the process, there is a sense of excitement, of anticipation. It’s a unique feeling for the theater.

"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

The Pauline Varenichenko

Once my colleague wrote, if a person goes to the theater, it automatically turns to the viewer, but here, his role shifted. You – the viewer, on the other hand – you party and a third party – you’re still the object of research. You’re part of a group, your behavior is important.

Important and daring presentations. The audience likes to flirted with him. The interaction of the city with the play and the audience is also of great importance. Stanislavsky sought the truth of life, and if he came into contact with this format, I think he would have reached the sensations sought.

– How to create a “route”, how many people worked on the creation of Remote Kyiv, in what was the biggest challenge? After all, the Director of Kyiv Remote Joerg Karrenbauer not know Kiev, so was chosen as the location for the Remote? How long was the process of setting?

– Show at the cemetery is part of Rimini Protokoll. In almost all countries, the play begins in a graveyard. They do not use and do not exploit the topic of hoax. For them, this place, distant from the city center, a place of peace where you can think about the important things.

Of course, the choice of the cemetery was further route. We started from this point. The Remote has the necessary list of places in which the viewer was supposed to get. And when Jorg came to Ukraine for the first time, we looked at all the locations and collected them into a route as the pieces of the puzzle.

The choice sometimes depends not on what you did, and how everyone in town is located. Sometimes you have to adjust the plan for the city, and sometimes you have to sacrifice something in favor of the plan.

"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

The Pauline Varenichenko

We chose Zverinetskoe cemetery. It seemed special, because not many people know about it. The cemetery was further dictated the route. The viewer rides the subway, it is also the logistics, the routes, passages, courtyards.

For Rimini Protokoll, it is important that the show ended on the roof – closer to the sky. We looked at several final versions. In particular, I really wish the finale was on the terrace of the Conservatory. But we found a new location that became the logical conclusion of the performance.

– No problem, for example, a police or metro employees?

For three years Uzahvati we have probably the three volumes of different situations. Remote – this is our third show and many things are understood, lived. With many we have friendly relations. For example, metro. Each location is documented, but not every member of staff knows what’s going on here.

Similarly, the police. They already know about us, understand that people in headphones, it authorized “action.” However, a lot of organizations whose employees answer about the same: “What is it? Why is it necessary? What is not normal is the stage?”. Have to explain that it’s a peaceful action, the group is moving swiftly and at each location we are located no more than 7 minutes.

The voice you hear in the Ukrainian language, but, as far as I know, you can do the listening in another language, on what?

– The performance is in three languages: English, French and Ukrainian. We went to a lot of effort to make the Remote play Kyiv in the Ukrainian language. It is for us an important point, and by Rimini Protokoll – it is important to put on a show for the country’s native language. But in this program the voice – was not the Ukrainian language. We came to a standstill, even talked about how to make a Russian version. But we managed to release the product in Ukrainian.

"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

The Pauline Varenichenko

– Are you planning to expand in other cities: Kharkiv, Lviv, Mariupol, Odessa, for example?

– Unfortunately, no. We can conduct an out of town our performance of “Time”. Remote is a product of the Rimini Protokoll, which they had created in Kiev. In order to put the show in other cities, the need to attract local resources and teams.

– What is the therapeutic effect of immersive theatre? Why are they necessary for the Ukrainian society?

Immersive theatre gives you the choice and greater inner freedom. If you take a format that you yourself become part of the performance. You create it in your head at the angle at which you perceive. This is therapeutic, because in the classical theater of your vector is configured on the view, and your inner feelings reflect what is happening on stage. Here you can stay alone while in the group. Plunging into the show, you are immersed in your inner world.

"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

The Pauline Varenichenko

The viewer must be open and courageous, inquisitive and be able to take. Easy to go from rational to associative thinking. It is as important as the team work on the creation of the play.

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"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

"Ты в постоянном ощущении предвкушения": Полина Бараниченко рассказала об иммерсивном театре в Украине

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