Fest(in) on the Boulevard
The International Theater Festival Fest(in) on the Boulevard
In 2013 Nottara Theater initiated Fest(in) on the Boulevard, an annual cultural project. The festival has two main sections and several additional sections and activities. The first main section is titled the Comedy Boulevard and it includes Romanian and foreign highly successful comedies. It is hosted by Horia Lovinescu Hall (339 seats), which has specialized in premium comedy, a genre highly appreciated by the audience.
It is the organizers’ intention to stay in touch with everyday life; therefore the second main section of the festival focuses on topical issues: a theme a year. This competitive section will be hosted by George Constantin Hall (100 seats). Theater is a vivid art form that has to stay close to the public, addressing familiar matters, which should be both food for thought and recipes for laughter.
Several foreign companies will be invited to present productions that focus on the selected theme of each edition. It is our intention to involve more Romanian and foreign public and private institutions, in an international valuable and up-to-date program.
The festival week also includes colloquia, readings, book launches, street events, and a photo exhibition dedicated to the previous edition.
1. Motivation and opportunity of the project
In the current cultural context and according to the managerial strategy of Nottara Theater, a large scale event such as this festival is necessary, because it encapsulates theater productions and theoretical discussions in the course of a week. The success of the first edition and its press dossier are a vivid proof to this.
As we have been trying to draw a clear profile of our institution as the boulevard theater on the boulevard, the annual festival we are organizing is dedicated both to boulevard comedy, which is a genre highly appreciated by the public (according to the IMAS survey financed by Nottara Theater, 69% of the audience voted for comedy), and topical issues that are very stringent for today’s society.
A festival is a celebration, too, and can thus attract new categories of spectators that may afterwards become our devoted public. A festival is also a source of public recognition and revenue for our theater.
2. The Purpose of the Project
Fest(in) on the Boulevard is meant to become an annual quality theatrical event that will diversify Bucharest’s cultural offer and attract the audience through its program and especially the foreign companies that are invited. The presence of foreign guests, both artists and theorists, in Bucharest will also contribute to promoting Romanian culture abroad.
In the long run, our purpose is to consolidate the Fest(in) on the Boulevard identity, as a festival dedicated to premium comedy and topical issues for today’s society, meant to educate the public in appreciating this fragile, but vivid art form, which is theater.
3. The Objectives of the Project
The Festival’s main target is to pave the way for a better understanding of these times. Having dedicated the first edition to the economic, social, political, sexual, and family crises, and the second one to the political elections, the organizers proved to be interested in the problems and worries of the present. At the same time, they have aimed at maintaining a close relationship with the audience through the high quality cultural products included in the comedy section of the festival.
4. Target Audience
The target audience of the festival is the public in Bucharest, both the Nottara aficionados and the spectators who will consider the themes of the festival to be inciting. There is also a third target group: people who are interested in large scale cultural events, such as theater, music or dance festivals.
We are also targeting the theater professionals (be they active in the theoretical field, such as critics and journalists, or in the artistic field, such as actors, stage designers, directors, theater and festival managers, etc.) who can evaluate the quality of the event as a whole and the productions included in the program and who can participate in the debates generated by the themes of the festival.
Last but not least, the youth are also a target group of the festival, as topical issues are supposed to be interesting for them.
5. The Importance of the Project for the Target Audience
The project is relevant if it can cover the cultural needs of the theater audience.
A one-week concentrated presentation of theater events during the festival is currently a cultural format enjoyed by the audience, because it represents a large scale event of certified cultural value.
A festival that focuses on topical themes allows for debates, if not for a thorough artistic treatment.
And we should not forget the successful comedies included in the program for an audience that come to the theater for relaxation, too.
6. Expected Results
The direct result of this project is the degree in which the target audience is interested in it.
The evaluation will include both quantitative and qualitative data.
The quantitative evaluation will include:
- the number of participants to shows and connected events;
- the number of promotional materials spread during the festival;
- the dimension of local and national mass media coverage (number of interviews, press releases, articles, studies in specialized magazines).
The qualitative analysis will include:
- the importance of the project activities for the target audience;
- the quality of the organized activities;
- the beneficiaries’ feedback (via evaluation questionnaires that will be distributed at the end of each event, at press conferences, etc.)
- the coverage in the specialized and daily media and in radio and television programs.
The evaluation of specific activities:
Each activity will have a specific evaluation, which will be based on the feedback of the target audience, partners and participants at the project.
It is organized with the generous financial support of the City Hall, the Local Council of Bucharest and the Ministry of Culture, and with the support of UNITER.
Romanian and foreign theater companies will bring an array of celebrated productions to Bucharest, which will be presented alongside those of the guest theater.
The 2015 edition brings in a new division of the Festival planning into three main sections, alongside other related events. The section dedicated to the highly-sought after quality boulevard comedy will take place in the Horia Lovinescu Hall, while the competitive section will be hosted by the George Constantin Hall. Its theme is The Crisis of Language – the Language of Crisis. The organizers’ choice of motif aims to widen the festival’s traditional audience, by attracting younger theater-goers. The third section holds an educational perspective: MultiArt is a new addition and it includes productions made by inmates and presented at the Penitentiaries Festival, which is thus included in our festival’s programming.
Please stay in touch with us. We will keep you informed, as preparations progress over the summer.