History

The story of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre began on the 6th of October, 1940, when the play “Hope” by Dutch playwright Herman Heijermans was performed in the then Vilnius State Theatre on Basanaviciaus St. 13. The main visual motif of the play – a fisher’s boat – has become the emblem of the National Theatre.

During the Second World War, the theatre operated as the Vilnius City Theatre, throughout 1944-1947 – as the Vilnius State Drama Theatre, in 1947-1955 it was called the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, until 1998 – the Lithuanian State Academic Drama Theatre, and since the 3rd of August 1998 it has been known as the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.

The theatre has been operating in the current premises  on Gedimino Avenue 4 since 1951. This place has a rich theatrical tradition – in the beginning of the twentieth century it hosted events of the theatrical Polish Cultural Society “Liutnia”. In 1981, a major reconstruction of the theatre (the architects – brothers Algimantas and Vytautas Nasvytis) was completed. Then the Big Hall, which can accommodate 660 spectators, was opened. The Small Hall (156 seats) opened the door a few years later. Plays are also performed in the Lobby of the theatre. It also often becomes a venue of set design, theatre costumes and posters exhibitions.

The sculpture “Three Muses” (sculptor Stanislovas Kuzma) crowning the main entrance to the theatre has become the symbol of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. The muses of Drama (Calliope), Comedy (Thalia) and Tragedy (Melpomene) are patrons of the theatre’s wide and diverse repertoire, and the sculpture “The Fount” decorating the lobby symbolizes the course that the theatre has taken: to cherish tradition, but remain vigorous and open to innovation and change.

In the summer of 2007 the ticket office and the Big Hall were renovated (new audience chairs and carpeting). In the Small Hall the audience chairs were also replaced and the cafeteria on the second floor was renovated.

The Lithuanian National Drama Theatre presents a wide variety of genres; its repertoire comprises the classical, modern, and Lithuanian playwriting. The repertoire is drawn up according to the tastes of different audiences, as well as the regulations and objectives of the theatre. The Arts Council formed every two years helps shape the repertoire of theatre. The theatre strives to provide the ability to create for different theatre artists. It commissions experienced and world-famous as well as young and promising directors, set designers, and composers. Directors from other countries are often invited to stage productions at the LNDT.

The group of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre collaborates with theatres from other cities and performs before the audiences of the capital as well as other Lithuanian towns, and participates in theatre festivals in Lithuania and abroad. The theatre hosts plays of other professional Lithuanian theatres and foreign guests. In 2001, the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre became a member of the European Theatre Convention which helps to develop international links and participate in interesting projects.

Since 2005, the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre has organized the national drama festival “Versmė” (The Fount). It is the culmination of a national playwriting competition. First, a competition is announced, then readings of the best plays organized, and, finally, the best plays are staged and presented at the festival. The aim is to promote the development of Lithuanian dramaturgy, and raise the interest of theatre professionals and the public in national playwriting.

 

THEATRE MANAGERS:

1940-1944 and 1953-1954

Romualdas Juknevičius (1906-1963)

Most notable works as a director:

"Battleship" 14-69 by V. Ivanov (1941), "Uncle Vanya" by A. Chekhov (1954), "The Fate of Dawn" by B. Sruoga (1956), E. de Filippo “The Lie with Long Legs” (1958), "Masquerade" by M. Lermontov (1960), "A Month in a Village" by I. Turgenev (1962).

 

1944-1949

Borisas Dauguvietis (1885-1949)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Cherry Orchard" by A. Chekhov (1945),  "Tartuffe" by Molière (1945), "Enemies" (1946) and "Egor Bulychov" (1948) by M. Gorky, "The Forest" by A. Ostrovsky (1948), "Intrigue and Love" by F. Schiller (1949)

 

1949-1951 and 1954-1966

Juozas Rudzinskas (1905-1975)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Fire Bridge" by S. Romashov (1954), "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare (1959), "An Irkutsk Story" by A. Arbuzov (1960), "Ghosts" by H. Ibsen (1961), "The Lower Depths" by Gorky (1964), "Skirgaila" by V. Krėvė (1966)

1966-1989

 

Henrikas Vancevičius (b. 1924)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Village of Stepanchikovo" by F. Dostoevsky (1971), "The Wild Duck" by H. Ibsen (1973), J. P. Sartre "The Condemed of Altona" (1968), the trilogy: "Mindaugas" (1969), the "Cathedral" (1971), "Mažvydas" (1978 ) by Just. Marcinkevičius

 

1989-1995

Jonas Vaitkus (b. 1944)

Most notable works as a director:

"Dziady" by A. Mickiewicz (1990), opera "The Lamb of God" by F. Bajoras (1991), "Madamme de Sade" by Y. Mishima (1992), "Persona" by I. Bergman (1994), "A Dream Play" by A. Strindberg (1995), "Miguel Mañara" by O. Milosz (1996), "The Village of Stepanchikovo" by F. Dostoevsky ( 1998)

 

1995-1999

Rimas Tuminas (b. 1952)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Emigrant of Brisbane" by Georges Chehade (1980), a variation on "Fairy Drops" by Kuternitzky, "Here Will Be No Death" by V. Kukulas and R. Tuminas (1982), "Silent Night" by H. Muller (1984), "One More Time there Lies the Sea of Lights (Jeanne)" by Alexander Galin (1986), "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles (1998), "Richard III" by William Shakespeare (1999)

 

1999-2000

Composer Faustas Latėnas (b. 1956)

 

2000-2005

Actor Vytautas Rumšas (b. 1951)

 

2005-October 25, 2010

Actor, director Adolfas Večerskis (b. 1949)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Navel" by J. Anouilh (2002), "Loot" by J. Orton (2003 ), "Run for Your Wife" R. Cooney (2005), "Man of La Mancha" by D. Wasserman J. Darion, and M. Leigh (2009 ), "The Story of God’s Man" by A. Gotesman (2010)

 

From 2010

Lithuanian theatre and film actor Martynas Budraitis (b. 1969)