Agnese Rutkēviča. ANIMAL (COO COO)

  • Director

    Rolandas ATKOČIŪNAS

  • Duration

    2 h (one act)

  • Stage

    Second Stage

  • Premiere date

    November 5, 2016

  • N-18


◊ 2016 National Theatre Award. Best Actor in Supporting Role – Arūnas Sakalauskas  

Translation from Latvian by Laura Laurušaitė

Director Rolandas Atkočiūnas: “This will be the fourth time for me to work with a Latvian drama.” The play “Animal” by a young playwright Agnese Rutkēviča has attracted my attention because of its realistic nature, interesting storyline and rich characters. “It’s incredibly difficult to be simple,” Vincent van Gogh once said. It will be difficult to stage this piece in the Lithuanian theatre preserving its authentic simplicity and sustaining from “sophisticated” decisions. There are only two tragedies in life: the first one arises from not obtaining the desired object, and the second, from obtaining it.

Playwright Agnese Rutkēviča: The idea of the play came to me in 2012, when I was having lunch at my grandma’s kitchen and heard a program on the radio. The program was entitled “Market Square”, and worked as a virtual buy-and-sell platform, where anybody could call and sell any item. While I was listening, a man called in; he wanted to give away a wolfhound. I left my food, ran to the room, took a piece of paper and started scribbling the play. Eventhough the play was inspired by a dog, more serious impulses arose from my own experience. The period of my life when I was writing the play happened to be not an easy one, and I can remember trying to cheer myself up with it. I would say this play has even cured me of some strange disease, which doesn’t even have a clear definition. One of the symptoms of this disease is unexplained sorrow and longing. Quite possibly, this disease is incurable. Like loneliness, which lurks in each of us.

The story about brothers is a documentary one. In playwriting, what interests me is a human being. Somebody who lives in some secluded place, in a village, which has almost died out. The characters of the two brothers (Karlis and Janis) have their prototypes in my grandma’s village. The story, as most of the stories, is about love. And love is not selective, it doesn’t care if you’re a man, a woman, gay or muslim. Love has no categories. Another theme that was important to me while writing this play was the quality that can well be attributed to the contemporary Latvian society: the fear and intolerance of any otherness, eventhough we live in the 21st century.

Agnese Rutkēviča (born 1988 in Cesis) is a Latvian playwright, writer and essayist. In 2011, she graduated from the Latvian Academy of Culture, later studied at the Academy of Literature at the University of Latvia and in Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Krakow. In 2015, she attended political theatre workshop conducted by Nicolas Stemann in Berlin, festival “Theatertreffen”. Her plays include “Water Pistol” (2013, staged by Dirty Deal Theatre in cooperation with Latvian National Theatre, directed by K.Vitola), “Dukshi” (2013, staged by New Riga Theatre, director Gatis Šmit, play awarded as “Best Original Drama Work” in the festival  “Spēlmaņu Nakts” 2013-2014; presented and festival New Plays from Europe in Wiesbaden, where it was also awarded with the main festival prize; in 2014 Dukshi was translated into German and published by Drei Masken Verlag publishing house), “My Poor Father” (2015, staged at Latvia National Theatre, directed by Elmar Senkov). She has also published poetry collections “The Silence of Young Wagner” (2012) and “Absences” (2015). Agnese Rutkēviča lives outside of the country’s capital. She works together with her twin sister Madara: they take part in theatre projects, write for cultural media, and participate in contemporary art projects.


  • Director — Rolandas ATKOČIŪNAS
  • Designer — Mārtiņš VILKĀRSIS
  • Composer — Giedrius PUSKUNIGIS
  • Light designer — Vilius VILUTIS



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