The Lubimovka Independent Playwriting Festival is a non-profit international project of Russian-speaking playwrights.

О проекте

The Lubimovka is an independent non-profit festival of Russian-language dramaturgy. For more than thirty years it has been held in Russia, at Konstantin Stanislavsky's Lubimovka estate and then in Moscow, primarily at Teatr.doc. This festival, open to all, was created to enable uncensored professional readings and discussions on the issues raised by the authors in their texts, maintaining an atmosphere of free artistic and human expression without political or ideological restrictions.



In 2022, following the full-scale invasion of the Ukraine by Russian troops, and in view of the current political repressions in Russia, the Lubimovka team decided to suspend the festival in Moscow. It would have been impossible to read most of the texts in public without risking endangering the participants. 

Nevertheless, the public readings of selected plays were organized in Kazakhstan, Estonia, Georgia, France, Germany, Finland, Israel, Spain and some other countries, where Russian-speaking artists who disapproved of this war had immigrated. The “Echoes of Lubimovka” became the most noticeable theatrical events within the new Russian diaspora, engaging the artistic solidarity and creativity. The translations made within this project network have helped to make the uncensored voices from Russia, as well as Ukraine and Belarus, heard. The majority of the plays that have been read in exile take part in the program Dramaturgy Against the War, that Lubimovka has launched in 2022, with four shortlists already published on the Lubimovka site. 


The declared mission of the festival today is the following:  

“We want to call things by their proper names and support authors who cannot and do not want to remain silent about the tragedy of war, testify to its horrors and consequences, reflect on the current situation, look for ways to counter the rhetoric of hatred and justification of imperial ambitions”.



• We accept and select new plays.
Every year we accept and select new plays by emerging and established Russian-speaking authors. Anyone can submit a play for the open competition.
Our preference is given to plays that express a unique and fresh author's vision, touch on actual themes, are written in a contemporary language and have an original form, as well as to plays with lively characters, an engaging plot and memorable images.

• We present director's readings of selected plays.
We present selected plays to theatre professionals and wider audiences in the form of director's readings offline and, if possible, online.
After each reading we invite the authors and the audience to discuss the play.
We don't argue about tastes. We analyse the work according to the rules suggested by the author. We assume that behind every play there is an author's statement. We respect the author's personal choice of artistic goals and creative methods. We value the author's willingness to discuss the work and trust author's decisions regarding the work`s further developments.

• We provide public access to texts from the main and supplementary programmes of the festival.
All texts of the Festival programmes are posted on our online portal with the consent of the authors. Each author gets an individual page. Access to the texts is subject to the copyright of the creators of the texts.

• We support and organise theatre laboratories, including international ones, with the participation of Russian-speaking playwrights, as well as translations of plays from and into Russian.

OUR OBJECTIVE is to create and maintain an atmosphere of free artistic and human expression without censorship, political or ideological restrictions.
We strive to ensure that the creative and discursive space of the festival is not influenced by propaganda of any state, commercial interests or aggressive misanthropic rhetoric of any nature.
If you would like to organise readings or events related to contemporary Russian-language drama, write to us. We are open for cooperation.

As novice authors in their time, plays were presented here by

Mikhail Ugarov
   Alexey Slapovsky
   Olga Mikhailova
   Elena Gremina
   Ivan Vyrypaev
   Oleg Bogayev
   Vasily Sigarev
   Ksenia Dragunskaya
   Olga Mukhina
   Ekaterina Narshi
   Elena Isayeva
   Presnyakov brothers
   Durnenkov brothers


1. In the first stage each play is read by at least two readers. 

Each reader gives it a score: 0/1 ('no') or 2/3 ('yes').
If a play receives a score of 3-3 or 3-2, it is put into the long-list.
If a play receives any marks other than two 'no' marks, it is sent to the next readers until there are two 'yes' or two 'no' marks in the play's set of marks.

2. The long list of plays is read by all readers.

Each reader gives each play from the long-list a rating "yes" or "no".
The festival shortlist is formed on the basis of the combination of these grades.

3. In parallel with the main contest selection, the Fringe curators read all the plays.

The curators collectively form a Fringe programme to be presented on a special day at the Festival.


Every year, the festival organisers collect a pool of new works by established playwrights and hand it over to the curator of the Off Programme. Guided by his_hers_its own taste, professional experience and ideas about trends in contemporary theatre and drama, the curator selects several plays, which are also presented as part of the Festival.
The curator is chosen each year by the Festival's art directorate.

There is no competition for the directors of readings at the Festival.

The Lubimovka team is recruiting directors annually. If you are interested in directing one of the readings, write us about yourself.




1.1. We believe that theatre is not just a unique form of art with inexhaustible artistic possibilities, but also an important social phenomenon.
We believe that the theatre is a space for human emotional, intellectual and spiritual interaction. We believe that theatre helps society to reflect on changing realities within and surrounding it, to develop ways of overcoming eternal contradictions and new difficulties, and to find the strength to follow those paths.

1.2. We believe that the playwright is a key figure in contemporary theatre.
We believe that the playwright can and must produce plays which will engage everyone the audience as well as those involved in the creative process in debate about the most vital issues of human life and society today. We know that the attention of the professional community to new work and the lively response of the audience are not only important for aspiring authors, but also for established playwrights.

1.3. We believe that theatre should be open and constantly renewed.
We believe that continuity and generational contrasts make theatre deeper. We believe that the challenges that a young author poses to the theatre allow the theatre to remain alive and in demand.



2.1 We want to discover new authors who write in Russian, no matter what part of the world they come from and no matter what nationality or culture they belong to.
We want our Festival to serve as a meeting point physical and virtual between emerging authors and established playwrights, between spectators and theatre professionals, between different generations and artistic movements.

2.2. We want to give emerging writers an opportunity to find their voice and be heard anywhere in the world where theatre exists.
We want young playwrights to be courageous, honest and open in their work and to remain true to their artistic vision. We want playwrights to experience interaction with audiences and theatre professionals at the start of their careers and to develop their skills. We want to inspire young authors to write new plays.

2.3. We want to enrich the theatre with quality new plays, relevant to contemporary audiences.
We want our festival to be a lively crossroads of opinions and perspectives, with new plays that speak to today's realities, issues and values at its heart.