The Freedom Formula. LNDT Announces the Young Artist Program Competition

In 2020 it will be exactly thirty years since Lithuania’s independence was restored in the 1990s. In the same year, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, “Home Alone” riveted children to TV screens, East and West Germany reunited, and US celebrity Joe Rogan paid 10.000 US dollars per month for a faster Internet connection at home. The Freedom Formula According to Us is the theme the Lithuanian National Drama Theater (LNDT) chose for the second International Young Artist Program Competition. The artistic projects of its winners will be presented to the audience in the spring of 2020.


A Call to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Applications are open to young creators or creative groups up to 35 years old or older but only starting their artistic career. Like last year, three projects will be selected. For their implementation the theater will provide a budget of up to 15 thousand euros as well as human resources and production services.

LNDT invites the artists participating in the competition to turn to the concept of freedom in the broad sense – to not only rely on the paradigms of the independence or statehood of the country, but to also deconstruct freedom as a fundamental value of individual identity, social and political systems, gender concepts, and so on.

Performance artists as well as representatives of various other fields are invited to dare to step out of their comfort zone, to analyze freedom and to accept it as a creative task – to free themselves not only from clearly defined form and genre frames, to look for the idea of an open theater and to comment on the transformations of the modern world, and to step out of the safe space of the theater stage. As the theater is undergoing reconstruction, the young creators’ ideas will be presented in unconventional spaces.

Winners of the First Competition Are Preparing for Premieres

Last year, for the first time, foreign artists were invited to participate in the competition – 38 applications were received from Lithuania and other countries: Cuba, USA, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, France, Kazakhstan, India, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway and Finland. Last year, the key themes were: home, migration, community. The three creative teams that impressed the commission the most are now intensively preparing for the presentations of their work on stage.

On April 25, LNDT will invite us to the debut performance of director Naubertas Jasinskas, “Orpheo. City lights”. Using the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the creators are going to reveal the tragedies of modern youth. On May 25, the second performance of the competition’s winners will be presented: “Shell-Ter” by Polish and American artists Romualdas Krężelis and Monica Duncan. They are going to transform the themes of the competition into a unique motion installation at the Small Hall of LNDT. The performance “Borderline Queen. Revenge” of a queer culture representative, Maciej Gosniowski-Gąsiu, will invite the audience to shed mental stereotypes and learn about the diverse and endlessly colorful drag culture. The performance will take place at the Culture Bar “Kablys”, on June 5, 6, during Baltic Pride 2019.

Selection Process and Competition Terms

The Young Artist Program is a platform for young artists’ creation formed by open competition. The program’s commission will select up to three projects, which will premiere in the spring of 2020. Selected projects will have to be implemented within the time and budget limits, the winners will receive support from theater managers and communication specialists and have access to LNDT’s technical infrastructure. Not only theatre projects are encouraged to participate in the competition, but also those of dance, performance art, music, visual theater as well as interdisciplinary projects. The competition is international, so foreign artists and creative collectives are also welcome to submit applications.

The organizers of the competition say that a new generation grows up every 20 years, which means that we can talk about a new generation that formed in independent Lithuania. What does freedom mean to it? Recently, the spirit of the 1990s has been felt in the cultural, artistic and public spaces: the 1990s are back in fashion, they are an inspiration for performances and exhibitions. Has it been long enough to evaluate the turning point of the nineties in terms of the nation, the state, the collectivism that prevailed before this time and distinct individualism that followed?

Freedom is one of the fundamental human rights. But what are the limits of freedom, and, in general, does the fact that there are limits contradict the very idea of freedom? We live in times of publicity that not so long ago would be hard to imagine, when a spoken word or available information can often become more dangerous than a bullet. In such a diversity of opinions and views, how is freedom of speech associated with political correctness, where tolerance ends and indifference, hostility and unwillingness to know the other begin? In the new LNDT Young Artist Program Competition, we invite you to talk about freedom – to deconstruct, reconstruct, doubt, and defend it.

If you have questions or comments, please contact one of the curators of the program, Vytautė Brazdylytė,

If you wish to participate in the competition, please fill in the application (you can get it via e-mail from the project curator), attach all the necessary attachments and send a digital version of the application to


Preliminary schedule of the project:

Submission of applications –  by May 24.

Announcement of the results of the competition – by July 5.

Project implementation – January – June 2020.