East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
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in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

DESANT: 5th session of Theatre Laboratory in Ukraine – “Repetition”, Kachanivka, Pryluky, November-December 2015


DESANT: 5th session of Theatre Laboratory in Ukraine  – “Repetition”, Kachanivka, Pryluky, November-December 2015


International Theatre Laboratory “Repetition”
Міжнароднa Театральна Лабораторія “Повторення”



The fifth session of the International Theatre Laboratory took place in Pryluky and Kachanivka (Chernihivska oblast) between 26 November and 3 December 2015. It was organised in cooperation with the Art-TEMA Creative Association (ГО "Творче об'єднання "Art-ТЕМА"), an independent organisation headed by Artemiy Anischchenko, theatre director, participant of the Laboratory, and the head of the Municipal Centre for Culture in Pryluky. The session concluded the two-year work of the Laboratory’s participant. The meeting focused on the idea of repetition in its cultural, artistic, philosophical, sociopolitical aspects, as well as its manifestations in performing arts.

The aim of the work at the Pryluky Laboratory, conducted by Marcin Cecko and Joanna Wichowska, was to create a specific theatre event concerning the experiences of the Laboratory’s participants, both as artists and as citizens functioning in a specific cultural and political context. The materials and experiences accumulated and formed during the four previous sessions of the Laboratory, as well as the workshops, and lectures concerning the notion of repetition, formed the foundations of the work. The public performance summing up the two years of the Laboratory’s work took place on the stage of the Centre for Culture in Pryluky on 2 December. The work took the form of a performative dialogue with the audience. The authors wrote the texts they wrote during the session, presented their theatre manifestos (created in groups and recorded) and reenacted them. The form of the performance was open so that it can be repeated in diverse contexts, spaces, and casts.

The participants of the Laboratory also worked on their own projects, both individually and in director – dramaturge teams, and developed a strategy of cooperation for the future. A workshop on planning the activities of independent creative organisations was conducted by Mykola Homanyuk. Asia Senina, cultural studies scholar and art curator from Kharkiv, gave the lecture “Why the esthetic is political (according to Jacques Ranciere and others).

In Pryluky, the participants scheduled the subsequent meeting of the Laboratory, to be held independently of EEPAP in Połtawa in January 2016. The meeting will be organised by the Połtawa Theatre Laboratory, run by the playwright Iryna Garets, a participant of the EEPAP Laboratory.

Participants: Artemiy Anischchenko, theatre director, (Pryluky, Chernihiv region); Kateryna Anischchenko, theatre director (Pryluky); Olena Apchel, theatre director, (Kharkiv); Ihor Bilyts, theatre director, founder of actors’ studio BilytsArtCentre (Kyiv); Iryna Garets, playwright, founder of Poltava Theatre Laboratory (Poltava); Maria Yasinska, theatre researcher, translator (Kyiv); Tetiana Kytsenko, playwright, journalist (Kyiv); Yulia Maslak, theatre director, lecturer at National Karpenko-Karyi University (Kyiv); Oles Pavliutin, theatre director (Cherkasy); Anton Romanov, theatre director (Simferopol, Crimea / Kyiv); Rosa Sarkisian, theatre director (Kharkiv); Viktoria Shvydko, Theatre curator, Drama.UA (Lviv); Asia Sienina, culturologist (Kharkiv); Mykola Homanyuk, theatre curator (Kherson); Nadia Sokolenko theatre critic (Kyiv), Iryna Chuzhinova, theatre critic (Kyiv), Oksana Savchenko, playwright, journalist (Kyiv); Oleksandra Senchuk, theatre director (Kyiv)

The 5th session of the Laboratory was organised as part of the DESANT educational project which has been carried out by the East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) since 2012 under the curatorship of Joanna Wichowska.  DESANT is addressed at artists, critics and theoreticians of performing arts in the Eastern Partnership countries. The DESANT activities are rooted in local reality and related to a specific socio-political context; they combine workshop elements with theoretical reflection and are created in close cooperation with partner organisations.

The activities of DESANT in the years 2013-2015 took place mostly in Ukraine. This choice naturally followed from the need to continue projects initiated in previous years, but first and foremost was a response to the socio-political situation in Ukraine and specific needs signalled by our partners. The events of the 2013/2014 Ukrainian Revolution, the subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia and the war in the east of the country made the need to cooperate with Ukrainian artists all the more pressing. All involved curators and artists were acutely aware that the critical situation in the country requires deep reflection, a confrontation of views and ideas, a joint action to reform social and cultural life, a dialogue between artists, theoreticians and audiences from various regions of the country.


Consultations with EEPAP Ukrainian partners and co-organisers led to the decision that DESANT activities should take a form of an intense laboratory work to increase the effectivity of the meetings and increase their impact (also in time). In accordance with these guidelines, a series of workshops carried out in previous years was followed in 2014 and 2015 by the thematic working sessions of the International Theatre Laboratory.

The Laboratory does not aim to treat the participants as students, or passive consumers of knowledge. Instead, it engages them in the realisation process of specific artistic projects. Working groups formed during the meetings work on specific performative projects to be presented later in public and independent institutions in different regions of Ukraine. The most important aim of the cyclical meetings is to facilitate joint intellectual work that could assist in finding alternatives for the anachronistic and oppressive theatrical system that dominates in Ukraine; to develop new models of artistic and organisational action and to foster creative and theoretical reflection on current events.

Curator of educational project DESANT: Joanna Wichowska
Coordination of the 5th session of the Laboratory: Artemij Anyschchenko (Art Tema), Joanna Wichowska (EEPAP)
Partner: Creative Association “Art Tema” (ГО "Творче об'єднання "Art-ТЕМА")

Cooperation: Viktor Sobiianskyi (Theatre Platform/Kyiv), Viktoria Shvydko (Art Workshop Drabyna/Lviv)
Educators: Joanna Wichowska, Marcin Cecko, Asia Senina, Mykola Homanyuk
Producer: Ewa Molik (EEPAP)

Images here