The Origin of Golden Mask Festival in Russia

We know that not all those who strive are meant to succeed. That is where the role of awards and public recognition comes in. Even though awards do not only acknowledge success, they recognize many other qualities, such as ability, struggle, effort, and, above all, excellence. For everyone who succeeds and hits the jackpot, winning wealth, fame and honor, there are hundreds of equally gifted individuals who just do not make it. Not because they are any less talented, but because life has this particular habit of being unfair, even to the best among us.

That is also why we value the any forms of National Awards that it is important they are chosen carefully, transparently, and wisely. We cannot allow another institution to be subverted. That would not only destroy the awards but also discount the achievements of all those remarkable people who have received them over the years. Nothing makes hard work feel more well-earned than a sense of being recognized from their peers. It encourages them to keep going above and beyond.

Golden Mask Festival in Russia

Golden Mask Festival is both a prestigious and reputable event in Russia that is held for the purpose of improving its artistic value amongst the people. It is also deemed as a cultural institution, because during the event, it presents a complex of strategic tasks of theatre art. The history of the Golden Mask Festival is a chronicle of contemporary Russian Theatre, including all of its major trends. It is Russia’s equivalent of the Olivier Award. Russian people believe that highlighting excellence is something that really matters in any fields. However, the celebration is not a one-night-only affair, but building up to it is a festival gathering all the nominated productions on the Moscow stage.

Dating back to the ancient history, the roots of Russian theatre and art performance was initially performed as pagan shows. It was adorned with dramatic recitations of fables, singing and dancing, and tales. It was performed by skomorokhi. The Orthodox Church and other authorities persecuted those lovers of liberty. As an alternative to the pagan theatre in the 16th century, there came church theatre performing Biblical stories.

In modern days, theatre art in Russia becomes more open in accepting new ideas and creativity. It also becomes receptive towards the freedom of expressing things. However, it still tends to overlook the commercial conditions and demands. Such act results to the sabotation of talent and artistry of its artists that could have determined its success.

As for the drama, the first masterpieces of Russian drama were brilliant plays by Griboyedov and Gogol. Due to new music compositions back in the 19th century, Russian opera theatre has undergone a big improvisation. While the beginning of the 20th century has marked the rising of theatrical arts and new styles.

With such brief information about Russian and its theatrical and other art performances, we can conclude that Russian people are naturally fond of art in many forms, hence the born of Golden Mask Festival in Russia.


  • History and Origin

Golden Mask Festival is the National Theatre Award observed by the Theatre Union of Russian Federation which was first established in 1993. It is the most prestigious award that is given to productions in all genres of theatre art, such as drama, opera, ballet, operetta, musical, and puppet theatre. Golden Mask Festival is supported by the Theatre Union of Russian Federation, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, and also the Moscow Government. It usually takes place in Moscow in spring presenting the most significant performances from all over Russia. Golden Mask Festival makes a special focus on the touring activities by organizing in the course of each year festivals like “The Best Performances in the Cities of Russia” and/or “Golden Mask in the Baltic Countries”. It is intended that those activities will be continued and improvised.

Those festivals and projects are supported by the RF Ministry of Culture. The main festival program includes productions selected by two boards of experts and nominated for the Golden Mask Award. During the festival, the two juries consisted of actors, directors, conductors, choreographers, and theatre critics will make decisions about winners of the Golden Mask Award. It is a major forum that represents a full and objective picture of the Russian theatrical life to professionals and public at large.

  • Events and Projects

Golden Mask Festival offers performances, projects, and other presentations that are annually attended by tens of thousands spectators and thus, receive the widest possible media coverage, such as hundreds of publications in press, television reports, and also stories. Its ceremony is broadcast by central Russian channels like RTR-Planet. Golden Mask Festival also has a number of significant events and projects, including the New Drama festival of contemporary plays, Russian Case program, a showcase of Russian theatre addressed to the international guests, PRO-Teatr Performing Arts Market, publishing projects, tours of the Bolshoi, and many others. Those projects are supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.


Back in 2012, Golden Mask Festival took place for the 18th time which the main competition program was held in Moscow from March 27 to April 15, 2012, while the awards ceremony was held on April 15 at the historical stage of the Bolshoi Theatre.

  • Performances

Many unique stage productions from various cities of Russia will be seen at the out-of-competition program Mask Plus. Special performances for children of various age groups will be presented within the Children’s Weekend program. The stage plays will be broadcasted live in the framework of the special program Golden Mask in Cinema, whereas the project Golden Mask in the City will take stage productions to the streets and squares and beyond the theater walls. The Russian Case program is intended for international producers and critics. Besides, the festival is accompanied with work of the Theater Institute which no doubt brings up young specialists.

So, those are everything you can learn about the origin of Golden Mask Festival in Russia.

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