Kupalaucy is independent theatre group, which is the former troupe of the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre in Minsk, Belarus. This theatre, one of the oldest existing in the country, aimed at working primarily with drama by Belarusian authors, both classic and new names, and promoting the Belarusian language and culture.
Following the political turmoil and brutal repressions after the presidential elections in August 2020 in Belarus, the Yanka Kupala Theatres creative and administrative team almost unanimously quit the state-owned institution and formed an independent theatre group. Thanks to the actual work within and with the Belarusian cultural context, Kupalaucy has become one of the cultural symbols of the protest movement in Belarus.
Being under a direct ban on live performances for the audience in Belarus we managed to adapt our creative process to the digital format. A YouTube channel, Facebook, and Instagram group pages were successfully launched, now counting thousands of subscribers. Despite the seemingly secondary nature of the online streamed recordings in relation to living performances on stage, the possibility to show our work in the digital space is an invaluable tool for maintaining contact with Belarusians, communicating ideas and meanings, inspiring and maintaining a spirit of independent thought.
As the repression against the protesters became more gruesome, we moved to Ukraine. And after starting the war – in Poland.
During the two years of the Kupalaucys work as an independent collective, 12 projects have been produced and video recorded for streaming on the Groups youtube channel. Also, as part of the Ukrainian cultural theater environment, we worked on joint projects with theatrical _igures in Kyiv, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. After the start of the war in Ukraine, we moved to Poland where we keep working on new theatrical projects.
Generally, the collective`s work seems to present itself as a strong tool for the search of national identity, serving also as a moral reference point for the fair development of civil society and common values.
Despite all the difficulties and the inability to continue working both on the territory of Belarus and on the territory of Ukraine, we are going to keep the team and realize our creative plans for 2023 in Poland and other countries.
We will be glad to tour offers, participation in festivals, performances in any country in the world. And also we will be grateful for the financial support of our projects.