Birutė Kapustinskaitė. SIBERIAN HAIKU Premiere

  • Director


  • Duration

    1 h 20 min

  • Stage

    Small Stage

  • Premiere date

    20th October, 2023

  • This play is for 8-12 year olds


Based on the book "Siberian Haiku" by Jurga Vilė and Lina Itagaki


Jurga Vilė and Lina Itagaki's comic book "Siberian Haiku", voted the best children's book of 2018, finds a way to tell children about the atrocities of exile and everyday life inside it in a sensitive and unrelieved way. Like the book, the performance focuses on children's experiences and a child's view of exile.

The book's protagonist, little boy Algiukas, dreams of wandering the world with his friend Martynas the goose. Soon he does, but in a completely different way than he thought. In the early hours of June 1941, a regiment of soldiers throws the boy, his sister Dalia, his dad Romas and his mum Uršulė out of their beds and tells them to get ready for their journey – this is how Lithuanians set off for Siberia in groups, not of their own accord. The child is overwhelmed with many questions. Why are they being deported? What did they do wrong? Where is Siberia? There, in a distant and alien country, the family has to survive by eating frozen potatoes, salting soup with tears, and warming their hearts with songs. There, the exile choir "Obuoliai" (Apples) is born, wings are grown by singing, and the hope of returning home never leaves.

"Inspired by Jurga Vilė's book "Siberian Haiku", the performance finds a unique way to tell children about the extremely difficult experiences of exile through their own view of these atrocities. With this performance, we aim to preserve the playfulness of the book, which gives these stories a lightness of touch and makes them more accessible to a young audience. By exploring the theme of exile, the play seeks not only to illuminate or retell the events but also to help children understand what seems incomprehensible," says Augustas Gornatkevičius, the director of the children's play, which is not the first time that he has staged a play for children.

Augustas Gornatkevičius' theatrical manner is based on the constant combination of humor with serious issues, changing visuals, active physical movement, the use of symbols recognizable to the audience, and the enrichment of the classics of drama with contemporary issues of today. Augustas Gornatkevičius, a theatre director of the younger generation, has successfully proved that he is able to create not only for adult audiences but also for children: for his 2021 play "The Emil of Emils" (Emilių Emilis), the director received a Golden Stage Cross nomination and a Fortūna Award.

According to the director, his new work "Siberian Haiku" contributes to the preservation of national memory, the formation of moral norms for the younger generation, the promotion of civic awareness, and the ability to understand, sympathize, and inspire for life. The themes of death, loss, and injustice seem to be the most difficult to explain to children, but the team of the performance does not run away from them but seeks to make sense of them through the stories of the main character and his friends.


The creation of the performance is financed by the European Union's "Creative Europe" program.




  • June 19 (Wed), 17:00 Small Stage

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  • Director — Augustas GORNATKEVIČIUS
  • Designer — Simona DAVLIDOVIČIŪTĖ
  • Composer — Jūra Elena ŠEDYTĖ
  • Light Designer — Dainius URBONIS
  • Movement Coordinator — Gintarė ŠMIGELSKYTĖ
  • Director's Assistant — Regina GARUOLYTĖ
  • Producer — Rugilė PUKŠTYTĖ



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