Joy Fest in Kyiv

The Joy Fest theater festival in Kyiv began with a musical performance. The theater’s actors and actresses used songs to portray some of the problems they’ve faced while working in the industry.

“When we started, there were mainly drama clubs represented here. They had never performed anywhere except their cities. Many of them didn’t have faith in themselves. Today, there are no drama clubs,” patron and festival ideologist Dmytro Polishchuk said.

The second performance of the first day was an English-language comedy, which was staged by a Kyiv theater company.

“Our festival is not as much for professionals, as it is for its viewers. For viewers to come and enjoy the festival, to make them want to go to the theater. Not only to festivals. We view expanding the audience as our mission,” co-organizer Inna Honcharova said.

In addition to Kyiv theaters and companies from different Ukrainian cities, the festival also features foreign groups. Organizers say that their number grows every year.

“This year, we have new countries – Iran and Sweden. Before this, we only had a Swede on the jury. And this year, we have a large Swedish group performing on stage,” Festival Director Kseniya Honcharova said.

At the festival, guests can not only watch performances but also try their hand at acting – with the help of acting classes led by Israeli director Dim Amor.

“I have my own teaching method which I will try to show today. Not everyone will succeed, but everyone will be able to try it and understand how hard it is to be an actor. Because many people think that acting, as it happens on TV or in theater, is very easy. Today, those who aren’t studying acting will be able to see how difficult it is. That it’s a profession, which, like many others, requires many years of training,” Amor said.

Joy Fest will last for four days. Over this time, the audience will have a chance to see performances from 40 theater companies.