//lecture//Belarus – aNew//
Speaker: Wałczok Alaksandra (Valchok Aliaksandra)
Moderation: Angelika Krashevska i Irina Lappo
“ Is this really appropriate for children?”, “You cannot show this to children!”, “Children are too young to watch this!”, “This topic is too complicated for children”, “Children will not understand it”, “This play is too scary, children shouldn’t watch it”… From time to tome, such comments appear in complaints regarding puppet theatres in Belarus. After watching plays for children, parents are often indignant at the lack of beautiful tales of friendship and love. Such attitude of adults towards children’s performances is nothing but the consequence of the Soviet era. At that tie, a stereotype was formed that puppet theatre is art for children and therefore it should meet certain moral standards. As a result, unspoken rules were developed that regulated the quality and quantity of performances for children. Topics of performances were chosen with the aim to foster certain moral qualities and ideals in young spectators. Therefore, complex issues were avoided and uncomfortable themes were not included. The didactic content of performances also influenced the staging and artistic solutions. During the lecture we will discuss what puppet theatres in Belarus can offer children, how producers defend their right to free and honest communication with young spectators, as well as how new topics contribute to a change in the visual concept of a play for children.