Belarus Free Theatre (BFT)’s mission is to be the world’s leading campaigning theatre company, using the arts as an instrument for empowerment and positive social change.
BFT’s education programmes encourage young people, teachers, artists and activists to find their own voices, develop deeper social and political engagement and mobilise the power of art to bring about positive social change.
BFT offers workshops and projects for schools, colleges and universities. We work with young people aged 14+ to learn about our process of teaching, devising and performing, as well as creating artistic stunts and campaigns
BFT provides annual, international training in our unique methodology for teachers, youth workers, theatre practitioners, artists and social activists. Our masterclasses and residencies offer participants the opportunity to embed techniques from citizen-led journalism, documentary and physical theatre, and human rights campaigning into their everyday practice
Studio Fortinbras, Belarus Free Theatre’s training and teaching academy in Minsk, was founded by Nicolai Khalezin, together with Natalia Kaliada and Vladimir Shcherban, in 2007
I genuinely believe your company is one of the most important on the current theatrical landscape. Catherine Moggridge, Head of Performing Arts, Epping Forest College
Our model of theatre for social transformation is based on three pillars:
world-class theatre productions, as an entry point for discussion and debate
young artists/community activists; delivering education programmes in the arts combined with training in citizen-led journalism and community engagement
audiences to engage in peaceful protest and resistance in support of democracy and human rights
“One of the bravest and most inspired underground troupes on the planet” The New York Times
For the past fifteen years, Belarus Free Theatre has pioneered a global model of activism that unites artistic, geopolitical, environmental and human rights concerns, using theatre to build a movement for democracy, human rights and artistic freedoms.
Founded in 2005 in Minsk under Europe's last surviving dictatorship, and banned by its own government on political grounds, BFT’s leadership and permanent ensemble are uniquely equipped with first-hand experience of the myriad threats facing democracy today.
Co-founding Artistic Directors, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, lead on high-level political advocacy and investigative journalism from the UK whilst BFT’s 12-strong permanent ensemble deliver citizen-facing work around cultural resistance through performances, campaigns and education programmes on the ground in Minsk.
We had hoped to share more details with you about BFT's campaigns, upcoming productions and our remarkable and indefatigable permanent ensemble but cannot do so at the current time without putting those in Minsk in greater danger.
You can support our brave artivists and educators here. Particularly at the current time, your donations are a lifeline for BFT.
We will be announcing workshops held in the UK and online so please check our Education section.