Augustas Sireikis. #noschoolbell

  • Director

    Paulius TAMOLĖ

  • Duration

    1 h 40 min (one act)

  • Stage

    Vilniaus S. Nėries gymnasium

  • Premiere date

    4th November, 2017

  • N-14, show takes place in S. Nėries gymnasium in Vilnius


2017 National Theatre Award. Best Actress in Supporting Role – Kamilė Petruškevičiūtė 

Director Paulius Tamolė: ‘In this performance, I am looking for an answer to the question “what is wrong with our education system?”’. On the one hand, they say that our schools “seek to produce creative educated people” or that “we need a creative society” etc., but, on the other hand, these creative people are given standardized tests and examinations that turn them into mediocrities. These people are passed through a metaphorical mincer, which destroys their creativity. The question is why does this happen? Why the education reform in Lithuania that has been going on for twenty-seven years never seems to end? Maybe because we are a land of cowards who are afraid of making a mistake or doing something wrong? Then we do as we are used to: for example, create multiple-choice history tests and think we are fine. Wait, what about the relationship between the cause and effect?

We use the name “#nobell” as a metaphor. The bell (now it is often replaced with a beautiful tune, which, I am sure, does not change the essence) rings at the beginning and the end of every class. So we ask what it would like be if we got rid of it? By contrast, the Scandinavian countries do not have a bell and there are several schools in Lithuania that do without it too. So why do most Lithuanian schools still have it? I understand it was necessary in the Soviet era, because they were interested in bringing up people who would work in factories (there the bell would ring at the beginning and the end of a work day). But now everything is different, but the bell rings just the same. Is there any other explanation for this, except the wish to allow the person who is in charge of the ringer to keep their job?

The problems that start at school, later spread to other areas of our society including the theater. They affect the relationship between the employer and the employee. The employer becomes the metaphor of the bell. As long as the employer does not yell at us, we show no initiative, and only when they start yelling at us do we understand we need to do something. Problems pertinent to schools have spread to all areas of our life. My task is to combine all of these themes. We will talk about the things that concern us as actors and artists, but we will dress our performance in a school uniform. The experience will remain ours. It will be the foundation on which we shall build our performance. And the “uniform” – the corridors and paths we will take towards the core, towards the final result – will be a real school where professional actors will play.

It is naive to expect our schools to change immediately once they switch off their bell ringers, but I believe it can be a small, symbolic step towards a systemic change. Most importantly – in our heads!


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