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Kazakhstan: Making Culture Pay

At a performance of "New Orleans" on April 19. Photo: Joanna Lillis

Almaty’s arts scene has acquired an innovative new theater that aims to promote experimental drama and also prove that theater can be a profitable business.

Theatre BT launched in March as “an open, experimental platform,” director Aigul Sultanbekova said. BT stands for “business theater,” and the idea is to harness the corporate world to make an economic success out of the project -- a rarity in Kazakhstan, where few theaters turn a profit.

Theatre BT is offering five-day corporate training programs based on improvisational acting techniques, which should help finance its drama productions.

The training, conducted by psychologist Valeriy Bochkarev (who is the theater’s deputy director and also acts in its productions), in tandem with an actor, is targeted at business people and covers areas such as effective communication and conflict management.

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Kazakhstan: Making Culture Pay

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