The Golden Mask National Theatre Award and Theatre Festival


The Golden Mask is a National Theatre Award, established in 1993 by the Theatre Union of the Russian Federation. The first Award Ceremony and Festival took place in 1995.

The Golden Mask Award is given to productions in all genres of theatrical art: drama, opera, ballet, modern dance, operetta, musical, and puppet theatre. The Golden Mask is also a National Theatre Festival that takes place in Moscow in the spring of each year, demonstrating the most significant Russian premiers of the previous season.

The Golden Mask National Theatre Award and Festival is organised and supported by the Theatre Union of the Russian Federation, the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Moscow Government, and the Administration of the Golden Mask Festival.

Expert committees, composed of theater critics choose the Festival’s performances and the nominees for the Golden Mask. The panel that decides who wins the Golden Mask is made up of actors, directors, conductors, choreographers, and stage designers.

The Golden Mask National Theatre Festival is a major forum, representing a full and objective picture of Russian theatrical life to industry professionals and the general public. Every year, the Festival stages over 100 productions from across the entire country.

Every year, the Festival and its projects manage to attract tens of thousands of spectators and enjoy widespread, favourable coverage in the printed and broadcasting media.

The Festival culminates in the official Golden Mask Awards Ceremony.

The Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation has been a long-standing supporter of the Festival and its Awards Ceremony.

In 2014, the Golden Mask was held for the 20th time. An Anniversary Evening took place on International Theatre Day (March 27) at the famous Moscow Evgeniy Vakhtangov Theatre. The 20th anniversary was celebrated with a dedicated production, recreating the twenty years of the Golden Mask and twenty years of the new Russian theatre. The Golden Mask Anniversary Evening was supported by the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.

In 2015 the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation supported the Mask Plus non-competitive play program which complements the Golden Mask Festival’s main competition, characterised by a specific format and strict selection criteria. The program includes Russian plays recommended by experts, as well as plays from the CIS, Baltic States and Europe.

In 2016, the Golden Mask Festival became a partner of the children’s New Year’s event programme organised by the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation. Thanks to the partnership, young spectators from the Moscow, Kursk, and Belgorod regions were able to see performances by the St. Petersburg Puppet Doll’s House Theatre and the Novosibirsk Academic Youth Globus Theatre.