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Totem Centre Theatre Lab

Theatrical laboratory is the separate direction of activity of «Totem» Centre since 2012. This group searches a new language of theatre, creates documentary plays, experiments with genres, and involves to the collaboration the most talented young dramatists of Kherson and modern choreographers. Leader of theatrical laboratory is candidate of sociological sciences Mykola Homanyuk, producer is Max Afanasyev. 


For performances with elements of contemporary dance («Chips», «Eavesdropped», etc.) «Insight of dance group» (choreographer Yuliya Artemenko) was involved. Documentary plays «Trifle», «Office», «Don’t take me off from my tree» reflected opinions of modern Ukrainians, their memory and life stories. In 2016 documentary play «Stunning of consonants» was created based on interview with workers and former workers –inhabitants of one street of city Kherson in «sleeping» city areas under support of Fund of Rosa Luxemburg in Ukraine. These people worked on state enterprises, then outlived the epoch of reorganization and began to work «for an owner». They told frankly about changes of their life. For the first sight it could be seems that these problems touch the separate group of people only. The authors of the play together with the real prototypes of characters put wider question – what kind of job respected in our society today? Why person at work costume in Europe is perceived as a specialist, professional, but in Ukraine such person is perceived as representative of lower social level? 


In 2017 we continue research of social reality in border of the project of «Precariat: invisible people as basis of the state». During the last years sociologists in Ukraine declare about formation of new social class  – «precariat» (precarium (lat.) is unreliable, unstable labour employment). It not simply class, but class-generation. Precarial workers can be cook, driver, longshoreman even if they have high education. Information of Government service of employment confirms words of experts: 40% unemployed persons in Ukraine are under 35. Research workers, who live due to temporal grants, and freelancers belong to precariat also. Pay-envelope workers are under the risk also. In border of the project «Precariat: invisible people as basis of the state» documentary materials collected and play as start point for opened public discussion on a theme of employment in Ukraine created. The aim of the project is visualization and actualization of new for Ukrainian society concept of precariat. 


Opened discussion with audience is important part of every play of “Totem Centre theatre lab”. Sometimes discussion can become a part of play or even its basis, – for example, it took place in the play of «Songs of Heroyskoe» (2016) when song collective from Heroyskoe village of the Kherson region became the heroes of theatricalizing talk-show on a theme to decentralization. Audience and experts with their questions and comments were the equal-in-rights participants of theatrical process. 


So, all plays of “Totem Centre theatre lab” is opened experiment for participants and audience. Today you can watch the play from your sit, but tomorrow you will find yourself on the stage, in fact our creative collective unites amateurish actors only, and it is of principle position of our theatre. “Totem Centre theatre lab” helps you to free your creative potential even if you didn’t know about it before.


Some projects:

  • «Voice of community», 2012

  • «Democracy word for word», 2013

  • «Witness on the stage», 2014

  • «Theater of understanding», 2015

  • «Diversity for peace», 2016



“Totem Centre Theatre Lab” participated in common projects and events of partner organisations – “Kultur in Turm” (Oberhausen, Germany), Odessa Mediation Group (Ukraine), Royal Court theatre (London, UK), «Drabyna» (Lviv, Ukraine), Theatre.doc (Moscow, Russia), Teatar mladih (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina), etc.


Since 2013 “Totem Centre Theatre Lab” is participant of EEPAP – East European Performing Arts Platform.

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