The Golden Mask is the National Theatre Award established in 1994 by the Theatre Union of Russia for productions in all genres of theatre art: drama, opera, ballet, modern dance, operetta, musical, and puppet theatre. The Golden Mask is also an annual Russian Theatre Festival that takes place in Moscow in spring presenting the most significant performances from all over Russia.
The Golden Mask National Theatre Award and Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the RF Theatre Union, the Moscow Government, sponsors and partners.
Productions, participating in the Festival and nominated for the Golden Mask Award, are selected by Boards of Experts, including theatre critics. The Jury of the Golden Mask is composed of actors, directors, conductors, choreographers, and theatre artists.
The Festival of performances, nominated for the Golden Mask Award, is a major forum, representing a full and objective picture of the Russian theatrical life to professionals and public at large. The Golden Mask is not only a reputable and prestigious award in the field of theatre art, but also a cultural institution, performing a complex of key strategic tasks for the theatre. The history of the Golden Mask is a chronicle of contemporary Russian Theatre that covers all of its major trends.
The main Golden Mask Festival and the projects undertaken by the GM team annually attract tens of thousands of spectators and receive the widest possible media coverage: hundreds of publications in press, television reports and stories. The Golden Mask Award Ceremony is shown on the central Russian channels, including RTR-Planet.
Organization of the Festival and Awards ceremony is the main activity of the Golden Mask Management. At the same time, the GM team has initiated a number of serious theatrical events, including the New Drama festival of contemporary plays, Russian Case which is a showcase for international guests of the Golden Mask, PRO-theatre Performing Arts Market, publishing projects, tours of the Mariinsky, Alexandrinsk and the Maly Drama Theatre, to name just a few. Since 2009 the main Festival has a satellite non-competition programme Maska Plus.
The Golden Mask makes a special focus on the touring activities by organizing in the course of each year festivals “The Best Performances in the Cities of Russia” and “Golden Mask in the Baltic Countries”. It is intended that these activities will be continued and expanded. These festivals and projects are supported by the RF Ministry of Culture.
In 2012 the Golden Mask Festival will take place for the 18th time. The main/competition programme will be held in Moscow from March 27 to April 15, 2012. The Awards Ceremony will be held on April 15 at the historical stage of the Bolshoi Theatre.