79 SEASON

79th Season

Long Live the Theater!

 

It is a time of change. Because we deserve this. Let’s expand our horizons.

What choices do practical people make? And cultured people? What’s not been taken care of?

The reality bombards us with slogans. In the street, at home, in our eyes, in our ears and then – in our thoughts. Slogans – provocative, agitating, demanding, rhythmic, with pauses and omissions, revolutionary or merely stating facts. If you are not here, you are nowhere.

However, in theater, different laws apply. The theater, which is nowhere, is everywhere at the same time. A theater, whose building is closed for reconstruction, does not disappear, it becomes a theater without borders. The 79th season of the Lithuanian National Drama Theater is the beginning of a reconstruction. As we are reconstructing the theater building, we’d also like to reconstruct the concept of the National Theater, emphasizing that it is not just a building, but, first and foremost, a community of people who care about their country and the world, a community made up of theater artists (including cloakroom attendants and porters, important guardians of performance arts) and the audience. The reconstruction is also an opportunity to take the theater out of the capital, to the regions – to reach different cities and towns, to practice stage arts not only on the stage, but also on ruins, in arenas, school halls and public spaces. Closer to people.

Tired of the mass media’s endless manipulations with the tensions triggered by extreme situations, people come to the theater looking for reflections on the present, trying to escape the ever-exploding one-day scandals and witch hunts. How to help a modern person to accept reality as it is, without embellishing it, but also without slipping into the hysteria of disillusionment?

How to engage in a conversation with the viewer to achieve a dialogue? Drowning in the excess of information, we are no longer able to understand metaphors. How do you communicate with the generations X, Y, Z, etc.? What does it take the stage arts of today and tomorrow so they not only reflect, but also receive reflections?

These are modern theater’s biggest challenges.

While today’s depressing reality – highest-ranking politicians’ corruption, fanaticism, rising prices (but not salaries), poverty, emigration – seem to be an unprecedented crisis that has befallen our country, it is enough to look at the headlines from a decade ago to understand that we are constantly spinning in a whirlpool of problems. So the mission of a theater maker is to encourage the viewer to discover new approaches to the world around us and its problems and to constantly search for such new approaches.

If a creator knows very well what the theater should and should not be like, it is likely that he or she lives in a hermetic world that unaffected by the tectonic processes taking place in the world. This is where extremely serious and meaningful theater, which, however, is only relevant to the theater makers living in the hermetic world, is created.

Realizing that Lithuanian theater, as well as society, is going through change in terms of values and aesthetics, we do not know what modern theater should be like. But we know it should be.

In the course of the reconstruction, looking for new physical and mental territories, we may be misled and misguided and not produce the form and the content expected from us by society or even different theater communities. But we are not interested in choosing tried-and-tested trajectories and scenarios that guarantee the necessary response of the audience.

We are not afraid of risk - success stories as well as those of failure are equally exciting. We are interested in discovering new things in the Lithuanian theater, in unfamiliar faces of theater creators, in spectators re-discovering the theater, in revived stages, and in unexpected viewpoints. As we know from history, the conditions for art are never perfect: there’s always not enough money, the government always has more serious problems, the auditoriums are either empty or overcrowded, but our goal is to avoid getting stuck in standing water hoping that what we find beyond the walls of the theater building will be of value. Therefore – long live the theater!

 

LNDT Director General

Martynas Budraitis