Olga Filonchuk

«Space in Theatre & Theatre for different Types of Spaces»

Olga Filonchuk

Bad Liebenstein

Self-description, work & education:
Olga Filonchuk is a theatre stage, costume and puppet designer. She gained a Master’s degree at Kyiv State Institute of Decorative and Applied Art and Design named after M. Boychuk in 2011 (specialisation: Costume Design and Embroidery).
Olga started her work as a stage designer one year before graduation and as of now she proudly has had more than 11 years of practice as a scenographer, as well as about 50 performances created in different theatres (mostly puppet theatres) in Ukraine and abroad. Her work in theatre focuses mainly on performances for children and (especially for the last 3 years) for small children with their families.

1) «Songs for Angels», an animation concert for toddlers (0-5 years old) (Baby Theater, Kyiv, Ukraine; 2021);
2) «RAUDONKEPURAITE IR DŽIAZAS», Panevezys Puppet Theater, Lithuania (2021);
3) «Tasty story», Baby Theater, Kyiv, Ukraine (2020);
4) «The Snow» (Kyiv Academic Puppet Theatre, Kyiv, Ukraine; 2019);
5) «Rukavichka» (Rivno Puppet Theater; 2018) and many more.

In 2019, Olga became a co-founder of «Baby Theatre» – an independent theatre for babies under 3 years. It is a kind of immersive theatre where children are able to participate in the play and there are no borders between them and a scene, actors. Moreover, her work experience includes work as a teacher in theatre university and as a teacher of art for the kids.

Sadly, Olga had to flee Ukraine with her sister and niece because of the war. Now they reside in Germany – in Bad Liebenstein, which Olga finds appealing and which gives her some sense of calmness an even inspiration to create something new in her field. To do that, she cooperates with the local Art School and plans to do some courses for children here, on the topic of theatre and art, as well as the native culture for Ukrainian kids.

Introduction to the project:
Olha Filonchuk is a theatre stage, costume and puppet designer. For the last 4 years she has been working with immersive theatre for babies and their parents using different locations and visual art. She wants to research the space of places for performing, use both usual culture buildings (or stages) and unexpected locations – where the theatre can find a new way of communication with the audience.

Description of the project:
Before the war started and her life changed unexpectedly, Olga Filonchuk’s main work focus was on immersive theatre for kids in different locations, sometimes not on the theatre stages at all. This experience made her wonder how the space and location can give her, as an artist and theatre production specialist, some inspiration, as well as energy and whether it does or does not help to create a good connection with the audience. She tells more about how space means a lot in everyday life, how important it is to feel and understand the place where you are planning to create new worlds – theatre performances.
Living right behind the wall of the ancient large hall of «Palas Weimar», where excursions are sometimes held and once a week a women’s choir gathers in the concert hall, Olga became interested in researching the historical background of this place and started to imagine: what stories and what kind of theatre can appear here now? Moving further, she wondered, what such kinds of historical places can tell one and whether it is possible to make a new art here, modern and contrast, but harmoniously coexisting with the space that has been forming here for years? There are many more interesting places in the city, from old mountain caves (which held open-air theatre in the 19th century) to curious old factories. What stories can live in all those places now, how can one find balance between novelty and past achievements? Perhaps, Olga suggests, theatre can not only exist on stage, but also transform, for example, to kinetic installation in the forest. All those questions she aspires to research using historical information about specific places she found in her city. Olga wants to start her research of how space can speak with actors or characters, or how it can become the main artistic focus of the performance, in contrast to how it usually is in the impersonal walls of the theatre stage.

Contact information:

1) «Baby Theatre» https://www.facebook.com/babytheatre.ua
2) some of the concerts, on which  Olga worked