Summer Festival
of Arts

22.03 — 24.07.2020

About Us

International Summer Festival of Arts "The Access Point" is the largest platform for site-specific and immersive art in Russia. It has been held in St. Petersburg since 2015. The Access Point explores new theatre territories and offers its visitors new experiences in perception and communication with space. Residents and guests of the The Access Point Festival — Russian and international directors — present progressive, bold and pertinent productions. Some of the locations of the previous performances were the following: a commercial centre, a high-profile hotel, The State Russian Museum, a deserted community centre, a garage and a seaport factory, a supermarket and a phone shop. Performances have taken place in the streets and inside private apartments also. In 2020 internet became the theatre stage while our plays are presented in Zoom, Youtube, social media, electronic mailboxes and other online platforms.

This year, The Access Point Festival’s program is the part of an international project New Technologies and Innovation in Theatre developed in collaboration with our Estonian partners with the gracious support of the Estonia-Russia cross-border cooperation programme. Our performances in July will be dedicated to borders and transgression in the context of Russia and Estonia.

About New Technologies and Innovation in Theatre Program

New Technologies and Innovation in Theatre project aims to foster innovation and technological development in theatre and to promote cultural tourism in a border area of the Leningrad Region (town of Ivangorod) and Ida-Virumaa Region (Estonia). The program promotes the cultural heritage of both Russian and Estonian border regions and fosters a welcoming environment for the development of the cultural initiatives.

The project is based on the collaboration between three partners working in the performing arts: Vaba Lava Performance Art Centre in Narva, the Baltic House Theatre-Festival in St.Petersburg, and the International Summer Festival of Arts The Access Point, also in St.Petersburg. All together there are 12 partner organisations involved in co-operation project and the aim of the project is to foster the sustainable development of about 100 entrepreneurs in the field of the creative industries.

In 2020, the project includes a pilot edition of Cross-cultural Biennale of the Performative Arts On the Edge bringing together artists and spectators from Estonia and Russia. It is a platform where performative arts meet new technologies and cultural heritage meets current agenda.

In 2020, the Main Program of the International Summer Festival of Arts The Access Point is presented within the framework of the biennale On the Edge.

The Main Program brings together projects centered around the research of the digital. Virtual bodies, artificial intelligence, isolation and blurring of boundaries - geographical, psychological and any other - will be discussed by directors from the UK, Germany, Russia, Latvia, Switzerland, Estonia and other countries.

Main Program

The Draft
Vladislav Nastavshev
Produced by The Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre and The Access Point Festival

Director: Vladislav Nastavshev
Playwright: Sergey Ukhanov
Performers: Veronika Plotnikova/ Daria Fechina, Maksim Boussel, Dana Bjork, Anatoly Fechin.
Costumes: Valentina Zachiniayeva
Moderated by Kristiana Drevinska

In Russian

29, 31 May; 11, 30 June; 12, 18 and 24 July / 21:00 MSK
What if we take actors who are used to working in a theatre box, a director, Vlad nastavshev, permanent resident of the New RIga Theatre and Gogol-Center, a play by Sergey Ukhanov, and then mix the ingredients in Zoom? The characters have spent so much time in isolation, — that the sense of time and space has blurred. Facts become entangled with fantasies, grudges become joys, hopes transform into memories. Sergey Ukhanov's text puts on masks of a social drama, a crime story, a symbolic mystery or a soap opera. As if all the unclaimed drafts by Shakespeare, Goncharov, Kafka, Wilde and Chesterton formed one whole metatext and spring out of the performers against their will.

Nastavshev takes the characters isolation square into Zoom windows, placing them into a space where it is almost impossible to distinguish a truth from a fake proof. The story turns upside down with every pivot of the plot, and all we have left is the reality of our bodies inscribed, nevertheless, into the same space with the performers.
Maria Patsiuk, Nikolay Mulakov
Autors: Nikolai Mulakov, Maria Patsiuk (Moscow, Russia)
Performer: Nikolai Mulakov, Margarita Bagdasaryan, Alexander Pronkin
Special thanks to Anatoly Zenkov for helping to develop the play.

The performance is created within the framework of the Spontaneous Program.

In Russian

30 May; 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 13, 16, 18, 21, 24, 26 June /
21:00 MSK
Now I am like a cloud that has no clear boundaries.

What part of myself is kept in the body of the computer and phone? My social networks - is it also me? How does it affect my vulnerability? What if Marina Abramovic's Rhythm 0 was transposed into a digital space? What would be the instruments to bring pleasure or inflict pain?

All the participants receive an invitation to a Zoom conference. One of them gets full access to the computer of the performer. How far will the participant go under the silent gaze of the online-witnesses? What would he or she do?

Every action has its consequences. Even if a trace of the cursor is not as evident as a knife cut.
The Marriage
Semyon Aleksandrovsky
Pop-Up Theatre and The Access Point Festival

Director: Semyon Aleksandrovsky
Playwright: Assia Voloshina
Performers: Alena Starostina, Ivan Nikolaev

In Russian

4, 5, 9, 10, 13, 14 June / 23:00 MSK
The world is no longer complete, objects no longer function like they used to - how do you call an airport where there are no planes to depart? The 'No Exit' sign is a basic metaphor for the quarantine trauma. Not only are the doors closed, but the past was shut down, even the present is questionable. Let us conduct an imaginary experiment and travel to those times when the exit has already been found.

Utopia? Rather, a dystopia.

A cyber performance based on a play by Assia Voloshina commissioned by the festival. It tells us the tale of a future world. Year 2035. One of the versions of the 'world that will never be the same'. This is a world that has already recovered from the catastrophe and built over its foundation. This is a new world, but it depends on the events that we are living in today. A family couple has a nostalgic Zoom date and remembers how their relationship started. Their memories lead lovers to rethink their past in order to untie the too-tight knots, while the audience plays an unconventional role.
Every Letter is a Love Letter
Elina Kulikova
By Elina Kulikova (Moscow, Russia), commissioned by The Access Point Festival

Director: Elina Kulikova
Playwright: Alina Zhurina

In Russian

Every Letter is a Love Letter is an interactive online play engaging every participant for 30 days in a row. Have you ever dreamt of a love relationship through correspondence? Of experiencing a full friendly confidence? Or, maybe, you have been thinking for a long time of writing a journal? Every Letter is a Love Letter is a procedural theatre project during which every participant can enter into a longtime correspondence with a stranger and become the author of one's own epistolary novel. Where would the story lead? It's up to you to decide.

The performance takes place in an electronic mailbox - a safe and impersonal space. We believe that writing is a special practice that helps not only go deeper into yourself but also to strengthen or even acquire a new identity.

Every participant has 30 days to explore their potential and, of course, revel in an ongoing performative dialogue. No restrictions are applied but we would like to point out that in order to understand the project fully it is mandatory to respect the time frame and to go through with it.

Participants can choose to stay anonymous.
Play in a Box
Vokrug da Okolo
Produced by V-A-C Foundation and The Access Point Festival
By Theatre Laboratory Vokrug da Okolo: Jenya Lisichka, Daria Bresler, Vladа Milovskaya, Leila Alieva (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Presentation with Author Assistance:
16 June / 16:00 MSK
19 June / 21:00 MSK
25 June / 21:00 MSK
27 June / 16:00 MSK
2 July / 21:00 MSK
5 July / 16:00 MSK
11 July / 23:30 MSK
16 July / 21:00 MSK
18 July / 23:30 MSK
24 July / 16:00 MSK

Free admission upon registration no later than 24h prior to the start of the session
Performance in a Box is not exactly a performance. Sometimes it is a poetic essay leaning towards documentary prose and anthropology. At other times, it resembles a lively broadcast play from an old gramophone record. The performance consists of various chapters dispersed on the website like beads. Participants listen to them one by one treading chapters into a story like a necklace. Consequently, the website becomes a map of actions, and the performance transforms into a pathway. The play is available in two modes: free mode, where you can walk the path or even assemble it on your own at your convenience; or you can choose the presentation with author assistance.

The performance transports you to Venice, where the main part of the sound material was collected*. Authors explore Venice as a museum object and attraction city always existing under the tourist gaze financially dependent on this perspective. Venice is bound to enchant and to exoticize itself in order to live up to the expectations of ancientness and authenticity.

This Venice bewitched hallucinates about itself demonstrating a striking resemblance with St.Petersburg. Authors wonder how could a sociopolitical dimension of an enchanted city look like? They seek answers in conversations with Venetians and start asking riddles when the questions lose their meaning. In quest of new perspective artists address the Red Gothic - a phenomenon of a Soviet literature of the 1920's combining magic and mystery emerging from the deepest corners of the unconscious.

Vokrug da Okolo collective strives to bring back into the field of performance the usually supplanted aspects of production - disagreements and out-of-phase thinking of the members, translation challenges, communication failures and confusion, awkwardness and embarrassment of the researcher resurfacing during the creation process. It contributes to the non-linear and sensual Performance in a Box, vacillating with different genres and styles which try to find common ground instead of competing.

* The premiere of the audio performance took place in November 2019 in V-A-C Zattere in Venice. Within The Access Point Festival a specially created online version will be presented.
How to get access
Free Mode
Visitors are free to unpack the Performance in a Box and to follow one or several paths. Every path is a version of an arrangement - full director's version or a themed, shorter one. The access to the performance is open from June, 16 to July, 24. You will find all the instructions on the website.

Presentation with Author Assistance
Visitors can walk the director's path with the artists from the Vokrug da Okolo collective and to discuss what they saw and heard with artists and amongst themselves after the performance. Every special presentation is an experience of co-presence of the artists and the audience inside the performance space which becomes a map that we explore together.

Free admission upon registration no later than 24h prior to the start of the session
Live Stream Arielle F
Simon Senn
Produced by Compagnie Simon Senn (Switzerland)

Co-produced by Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, Le Grütli, Centre de Production et de Diffusion des Arts Vivants and Théâtre du Loup.

Presented with the support of Fondation suisse pour la culture Pro Helvetia
Streaming and touring : Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne

With the support of: Porosus Foundation, Fondation suisse pour la culture Pro Helvetia, Fondation Ernst Göhner, Pour-cent culturel Migros, Loterie Romande

Concept and direction : Simon Senn

In English and French with Russian subtitles.

20, 27 June; 4 July / 21:00 MSK
Simon Senn, a videographer and visual artist from Geneva, demonstrates how the virtual world and the real world are not always in opposition, revealing the unexpected entanglements between technology, gender, and law.

Simon Senn's experience began when he bought online a digital replica of a female body belonging to a young British woman for 12 cents. He then went in a search of the woman whose body he was «virtually» inhabiting. In "Live Stream Arielle F" Simon conveys this disturbing experience to the audience.

After downloading the replica (a detailed and evidently accurate reproduction), he brought it to life with easily purchased sensors and discovered what it felt like to «have» a female body – at least through his 3D glasses. The experience was moving.

Who is this woman? Can he do anything with this digital body ? What about the new and enjoyable sensuality this virtual form offers him?

Simon Senn: I positioned the sensors on my body, put on the virtual reality headset, and 'became' this young woman. I raise my hands, I look at them, and they're her hands. I look downwards and my mind is fooled into thinking that I have the body of a woman. All the details of this body and skin are visible. I even catch myself thinking that it suits me.

Simon Senn decided to consult a psychologist and explore his feelings of «gender disturbance», which continue to surprise him – does he perhaps suffer from «Snapchat dysmorphia», the clinically accepted psychological illness of those who wish to transform themselves in order to resemble their online, and generously filtered, image? He also contacted a lawyer to understand what he could legally do with that body. Even in this domain the specialist had a moment of hesitation – the law has not evolved as quickly as technology has. The performance raises a fundamental question - what are the global and personal consequences of the manipulation of digital images? In case of "Live Stream Arielle F" there is already one - one of Simon's daughters now gives him make-up...

He managed to track down the young woman and begin a discussion with her (one that continues today), where together they investigate this third digital body that exists between them. Audience joins the research and tries to figure out the meaning of the story.
Not to Scale
Ant Hampton, Tim Etchells
Co-produced by Dublin Theatre Festival, Theatro Barrio Alto (TBA) and The Access Point Festival (лого)
Direction: Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells (London, UK)

In Russian

Not to Scale is an instruction performance for two participants. Following the voice in your earphones, together with your partner you create a universe in itself on a blank sheet of paper. It begins as a kind of chaotic writing exercise in which participants find themselves covering a page with a chaotic impersonation of writing, a last-minute attempt to show hard work in an incomprehensible exam. Gradually, the drawings become more comprehensible and start to form a narrative.

The figures appear to address the participants and each other, moving, step by step into a comical and unsettling picture book narrative that plays constantly with the tension between creation and destruction, life and death, energy and entropy.

Not to Scale concerns itself with the potentials and limitations of the empty page, as well as exploring the differences between written and spoken language, the relation between word, sound and image and the linked but very different processes of erasure and forgetting.

The Access Point Festival will present the world premiere which will then travel to Dublin and Portugal.
Call Cutta at Home
Rimini Protokoll
Call Cutta at Home St.Petersburg is presented within the framework of VI International Summer Festival of Arts "The Access Point" and with the support of „Pro Helvetia".
Idea, text, direction: Haug / Kaegi / Wetzel
Performers: Madhusree Mukherjee, Sunayana Roy
A production of Rimini Protokoll

Based on idea of "Call Cutta" - produced in 2005 by Goethe Institut Kolkata, HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Rimini Apparat, and "Call Cutta in a Box" - produced in 2008 by HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin.

The performance is in English with Russian subtitles.

1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, 23, 24 July / 19:30
Who is there on the other end of the service-line? How do invisible workers look? What does outsourcing mean in the times of Corona? Can an Indian home be turned into a call centre? When will Artificial Intelligence replace such services? More than 12 years ago Rimini Protokoll staged a 1:1 performative meeting between an Indian call center employee and an European theater visitor. Every audience member finds himself / herself alone in a room with a phone and engaged in a dialogue with a stranger. It started as a business talk and grew more and more private and intimate. The year 2020 inspired a special adaptation for a russian audience. Rimini Protokoll invites you to an intercontinental video play about outsourcing and tele-marketing. Up to 20 spectators can be part of this version. A Russian host and translator operates a Zoom Session, receives the guests and translates the performance. The performer is at his/her home in Calcutta. During the one-hour-performance the performer shows his/her home, talks about the economical and personal implications of his work in the Call Centre, shows videos, asks questions to the international audience, to which they respond by showing certain places of their homes or objects they have at hand. Gradually, similar to the original version, the piece gets more and more intimate. There could be scenes for the sleeping room, scenes for the kitchen and others for the bathroom or even under the bed. You will travel through your own apartment, sing together karaoke versions of Bengali songs and even dance together with the performer.
Babylonian Walk
D. Krestyankin, K. Pochtenny, S. Teyphel
By Dmitry Krestyankin (St.Petersburg, Russia), Konstantin Pochtenny (Moscow, Russia), Sergey Teyphel (Almaty, Kazakhstan), commissioned by The Access Point Festival

Authors of the idea and directors: Dmitry Krestyankin, Konstantin Pochtenny, Sergey Teyphel

14.07 — Ilmar Tamm, Aljona Kordontchuk, Olga Milovidova, Svetlana Valishvili
15.07 — Eliza Poll, Serafima Kolodkina, Kesha Bashinsky, Irina Demidova

In Russian and Estonian.

Due to the current situation we are confined in our homes and flats. As if the walls and empty streets cut us off from each other. But today we are especially able to understand each other even if only yesterday we spoke different languages. The context of our existence creates a common ground for a dialogue. This is the idea that the authors of the Babylonian Walk develop using the example of two countries — Russia and Estonia.

Several strangers from Tallinn, Narva, Ivangorod and St. Petersburg will simultaneously go for a walk in their respective locations, on familiar territory. At the same time they will join a Zoom conference and show each other and the audience their surrounding reality and answer the questions of the moderators. What kind of questions? About their day, about their fears and dreams — about everything that unites people whatever language they speak.

The first Babylonian Walk took place during the Spontaneous Program of the Access Point festival. We wandered in Italy, France, Russia, Kazakhstan, USA and Germany. Later — also in the former Soviet Union countries. The play is designed as a module system — the same shape works for different historical and cultural contexts, and with every performance the audience is prompted to think about going beyond boundaries — geographical as well as mental.
Paper Town
Elina Kulikova
Commissioned by The Access Point Festival in co-production with Vaba Lava (Narva, Estonia)

In cooperation with Narva Museum and Vaba Lava Performance Art Centre.
By Elina Kulikova
Duration: approx. 45 min

Available in Russian and English.

In Russian
18 July / 14:00, 16:00, 18:00; 21-23 July / 16:00, 18:00; 24 July / 14:00, 16:00, 18:00
In English
21-23 July / 14:00
This performance for one spectator is a unique opportunity to explore the pre-WWII Narva. The plot is based on a true story of a Narva citizen Fedor Shantsyn, who single-handedly realized an ambitious utopia by creating a new town. Fedor dedicated more than twenty years to answer the question — can a single man change the architectural landscape from within?

You will go out on a virtual journey through the squares of the non-existent town accompanied by a special guide. The author invites you not only to participate in a virtual reenactment but also to feel the connection to the intangible — injustice and mercilessness of time.
Bat's Watch
Mikhail Patlasov
Co-produced by The Access Point Festival and Vaba Lava

The play is created by a joint international team of artists and theatre professionals from Russia and Estonia.
Director: Mikhail Patlasov
Playwright: Alina Shklyarskaya
Performers: Aleksey Frolov, Ingrid Margus

With performers of the Social Artistic Theatre:
Anastasiya Gribova, Alona Korol, Ivan Lossev, Pavel Pankov, Mikhail Bondarenko

The story of a virtual immersive performance is set on the border between Russia and Estonia, in the night sky over Ivangorod and Narva. Using theatre and game design practices, authors delegate the full power over the narrative to the audience.

The night before St. John the Baptist day. Audience is placed in a virtual environment where people will attend traditional mystical rites and creatures from the mythologies of the two countries. Everyone is free to choose the line to follow and has the right to influence the life of their character. Every change of the plot requires careful decision making — will they yield to temptation, will they join the forces of the darkness or the light, what will happen in the end. You are the master.

Your pilot and your virtual embodiment is a bat. Not only the year 2020 is the official year of the Bat in Estonia, which is especially important for Narva — these creatures have long inhabited the fortresses of the town and are considered untouchable. But it is also meaningful that in many cultures bats are associated with mystical forces, they are considered to be evil creatures with superpowers. Audience will also get the immunity and the superpowers. Like a bat, you will fly over the earth and see the whole picture. Nothing can be hidden from you.

Bat Watch reminds us of the duality of our life — intrinsic connection between the good and the evil, the animal and the bird inside the bat, but also — the bond between two towns belonging, as it seems, to two different worlds but separated only by a river. The authors used the folklore material of Ivangorod and Narva collecting stories by interviewing the inhabitants of these two towns.
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Festival team

Filipp Vulakh

Olga Arshanskaya
Executive Director

Alexey Platunov

Yulia Klieman
Curator of Educational Programm

Artyom Arsenyan
Natalia Orlova
Chief Accountant

Polina Belenkova

Ekaterina Makarkina
PR Manager

Anna Razumova
Social Media Manager

Nikolay Filippov
Arina Pozdnyak

Alexander Pushkin
Technical Director

Ksenia Malekina

Daria Tonkikh
Project Assistant

Lev Vasiliev


+7 812 649 92 06

To support festival
Festival office
191023, Malaya Sadovaya ulitsa, 6-30, Saint Petersburg

Festival organizer
Autonomous non-profit cultural and educational organization "Literary Agency of St. Petersburg"
This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the Estonia – Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of «ANKPO «Literaturnoe Agenstvo Peterburga» and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Programme, Programme participating countries alongside with the European Union.

About Programme: the Programme website ( / the DG NEAR ( / Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation ( / Ministry of Finance of Estonia (
ANKPO «Literaturnoe Agenstvo Peterburga»