IOTF 2023: Open My Sensitivity

Directed by: Svitlana Dovletova, Juliia Bilinski and Nataliia Shapovalova, Student Theatre ANIMA (2023), Ukraine 

“The plot of the film combines original works of different forms and techniques, which gives you the opportunity to delve into the inner world and personal history of each creator. It’s very important for us to share with the viewer what concerns us today, so we use every opportunity for creative expression.

War, evacuation, emigration, and lack of electricity supply limit our technical capabilities and possibilities for theatre expression, but this’s our art “here and now”, and we’re sincere and truthful in it.”

Made up of short vignettes, largely without words, including a deeply touching shadow play storyboard, this collection of improvisations is dynamic, creative, and appealing.

Each student brings their own perception and current preoccupations to the screen and shows that the definition of what “theatre” means can be stretched in whatever way a practitioner wants.

For Ukraine, it may feel that invasion and war are the main preoccupation, but we also find love, happiness, growth, warmth, and superstition playing a part.

Created during distance learning, the pieces which comprise Open My Sensitivity are fresh, honest, open and exciting. Not once did I feel my attention wander from these rich and thoughtful images.

Screencaps from Open My Sensitivity

Different tools and processes can be used to create performances and moments that connect with all audiences; with little dialogue and clever use of musical motifs, this show can reach across language barriers.

Often, the image serves to challenge, provoke, disturb, amuse, or confuse. These young theatre performers and creatives feel unafraid to explore what drives them in the world.

A piece of digital theatre that brings joy and clarity to a nation upended by conflict and confusion, Open My Sensitivity is my favourite of the IOTF festival so far.

You can watch Open My Sensitivity throughout April as part of the International Online Theatre Festival: details here.


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