78 season

After the death of truth 

 

Each year, the Oxford Dictionary chooses the word of the year. Last year, the choice fell on “post-truth”, a term describing the phenomenon when the public opinion is shaped by emotions and personal convictions rather than objective facts. The time after truth. As in post-industrial society industry becomes obsolete giving way to the Information Age, so the era after truth is a reference to truth being a rudiment of history. Screens and politics are flooded by people who do not care about objectivity and facts, who juggle promises, incite conflicts and deepen dissatisfaction by fomenting vain hopes. And we, the consumers of the information, the target of the flow, tend to obey all manipulations and bite all the clickbait hooks. 

After last year’s elections in Lithuania, the politicians have been declaring culture a priority field, while at the same time, openly cutting more and more millions off the culture budget and increasing the tax load on artists. Yet nobody goes out into the streets to protest. Because culture is officially declared to be a priority. Because the truth is what they say on television and write in newspapers and in news portals. Therefore, the gap between what is being declared and what is really being done is increasing on a daily basis. What is truth today? What is being said or what is being done? Truth is everything and at the same time, truth is nowhere to be found.

Our government bases its decisions on statistics you will not find in any official sources. The laws are adopted using products created by information “makers” who belong to the new media ecosystem and answer to no one as arguments. We are slowly descending into the abyss of post-truth, in which the “production” of facts is no longer monopolized, it is public and accessible to everyone, and the information itself is no longer a currency, but a weapon.

We are in a state when we do not know what we can still believe, when the ground crumbles under our feet and, shrouded in mist, we are afraid to make any step. This can be compared to free falling: constantly being immersed in an illusion that we are unable to change anything, we begin to believe it and stop trying, so we are pulled down by gravity.

Theater is the space in which fictional reality bares the true reality. It is in theater that we can discuss what is really happening. Here each of us can bring his or her piece of truth, put them together as in a puzzle and try to see the whole picture. Create such reality puzzles is what we are going to do in the 78th season. This season’s premieres will focus on the time after truth and analyze facts and manipulations, emotions and their influence on public opinion, as well as the influence of media on our thoughts, actions and fears. Productions by young as well as mature theater artists will dissect the surrounding reality and invite you to discuss theater and not only theater. Together we will look for signs of truth in a period when we the word “truth” is regrettably preceded by the prefix “post”.

 

Martynas Budraitis

Director General of LNDT