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    ST. PETERSBURG, May 1 (RIA Novosti) - The fifth international youth theater festival Rainbow has opened tonight in St. Petersburg. According to spokespeople for the Bryantsev Children's Theater, twelve companies from Russia, the CIS, and beyond will be taking part in this year's forum, to run through May 7.

    Foreign participants include Estonia's VAT, Serbia's Plato Cafe, Germany's Carousel, Switzerland's An Der Siel, and Boomerang, of Ireland.

    Most of the productions to be featured at the festival are based on contemporary drama, including plays such as Olga Mukhina's "U" (in a stage version by the Novosibirsk-based company Globus), Mikhail Ugarov's "Oblom off" (as staged by the Yekaterinburg Youth Theater), Jean-Luc Lagarce's "Rules for Good Manners in the Modern World" (in the Russian Academic Youth Theater's interpretation), and Boris Akunin's "The Jack of Spades" (the Omsk Youth Theater).

    Productions offering modern-day readings of some classical plays will be on offer, as well.

    The Rainbow festival has now become one of the brightest and most significant theatrical events held in St. Petersburg, Bryantsev Theater spokespeople remark.

    A workshop for young playwrights will take place on the sidelines of the Rainbow festival. Other scheduled events include panel discussions, where leading theater critics from Moscow and St. Petersburg will examine some of the problems facing the youth theater these days, and master classes by Grigory Kozlov, Artistic Director of the Bryantsev company.

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