Lithuanian National Drama Theater: Young Artist Program Commences!

For the first time, the Lithuanian National Drama Theater has organized an international program for young artists. Of the 38 applicants, three winners were selected, who will present their theatrical ideas to the Lithuanian audience in the spring of 2019. Approximately half of all submitted applications were from abroad: artists from Cuba, USA, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, France, Kazakhstan, India, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Finland and Lithuania submitted their ideas for theater productions.

Theater makers from different fields until the age of 35 were invited to take part in the competition. This year’s theme is related to the period of the reconstruction of the Lithuanian National Drama Theater, so the main keywords are: migration, home, community. Competition participants offered a range of genres: from the theater of senses to pantomime and clowns, from dance and movement to musical theater performances. The commission consisting of producer Ana Ablamonova, theater scholar Elona Bajorinienė, philosopher Kristupas Sabolius, head of the LNDT Artistic Department Kristina Savickiene and coordinator of the Young Artist Program Kamilė Žičkytė, evaluated the applications according to five main criteria: relevance to the theme, originality of the idea, innovativeness, professionalism and experience of the creative team, and the expediency and validity of the cost sheet.

One of the winners of the competition – project Shell-Ter by Romualdas Kręželis, an artist from Poland, and Monica Duncan, USA. Romualdas, a representative of performative arts, choreographer who received numerous awards for his solo dance performance The Wedding as Me Myself, who now lives in Berlin, and Monica, a choreographer, have created a motion installation project that examines the concept of a home today. Is there still a place we can call home? With the constantly changing circumstances, travelling from one project to another, from one country to the next, perhaps our homes travel with us? This model of adaptation to the capitalist world that can be encountered in nature was the inspiration for a very original performance at the Lithuanian National Drama Theater.

Monica Duncan & Romuald Krezel. Photo by PatMic

The second winner, Naubertas Jasinskas, an MA student of Theater Directing at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, who studies with Yana Ross, introduced Boys of Europe or Orpheus. This is a modern interpretation of the oldest and most romanticized Greek myth about the love between Orpheus and Eurydice. According to Naubertas, a loving person is guided by two poles – the brain, who tells us what is right within the rules of this age and tends to meet the interests of others, and the heart. It’s interesting to the director how the concept of love changes in the twenty-first century, how much it is controlled by the mind (the brain), and how much by feelings (the heart), what can we call a myth today? In his performance the artist will reveal the classic myth using contemporary events as well as images and themes relevant to the youth.

Naubertas Jasinskas. Photo by Julija Kulevičiūtė

And the third winner of the competition, a representative of the queer culture, Maciej “Gąsiu” Gosniowski from Poland, a model, actor and dancer. Maciej has worked with director Krzysztof Warlikowski in the performance We Are Leaving, as well as with Marta Ziółek and Jacek Łumiński. His idea for the LNDT competition: Borderline Queen – Revenge on Flatland, a performative game, a live installation show, in which the audience will be offered to participate. Four members of the creative group (two queer scene representatives from Poland and two from Lithuania) will invite to take part in a theatrical play, to face prejudices.

Maciej Gąsiu Gośniowski. Photo by Maciej Nowak

The winners of the competition will soon form their creative teams and start implementing their ideas, then, in accordance with the conditions of the competition, they will rehearse for 6 weeks. As a result, in the spring of 2019, viewers of the LNDT will be presented three new productions. LNDT will provide more information about the performances in the future.