• Director

    Jonas TERTELIS

  • Duration

    1 h 10 min (one act)

  • Stage

    Main Stage

  • Premiere date

    December 3, 2016



◊ 2016 National Theatre Award. Best show for children – „Old Man Bones on the Iron Mountain“ 

A play based on the Lithuanian folk tale recorded by J.Basanavičius and illustrations by B. Žilytė.

Director Jonas Tertelis: “Illustrations by Birute Žilytė have graced many Lithuanian folk tales. Her artwork not only illustrates the stories, but also, in its own way, comments on the worldview that they form. While B. Žilytė’s work can be characterized by bold openness, mystical and sometimes cruel playfulness, it remains rather intimate and personal. First, it is very inspiring, and secondly, I think, it helps better understand the folk tales recorded by Basanavičius and others. Unfortunately, the world of B. Žilytė’s fairy tales is not very well known to young people, so there is a natural wish to show it to the youth.

Nowadays, illustrations accompanying children’s books are often very “safe”. The fear of hurting the younger generations with cruel and mysterious worldview of the Lithuanian folk has made folk tales and our cultural roots for that matter look infantile, excessively sublimated and, in my opinion, very distant from the worldview of the people from the periphery. Although the purpose of the folk tales has always been not only to educate children, but also to scare them, their primary mission is to familiarize the audience with the other, the invisible, side of the world and its stories – to make people wonder, be afraid, laugh, and in other ways experience nature that is so difficult to explain.

Do young people need this today? Well, let us have a look at the books they read, the games they play, the films they watch, and so on. There is a lingering stereotype that fantasy stories and myths are part of the Western culture, and we are somewhat lagging behind. I think the cliché has formed because we tend to focus on the stories and their grotesqueness, completely forgetting the atmosphere, an inseparable part of the tales. In general, no storytelling is possible without the adequate atmosphere. Without it, it is just superficial literature.

Birutė Žilytė (b. 1930 in Nainiškiai, Panevėžys reg.) – a graphic artist and book illustrator. In 1956, she graduated from the Lithuanian State Art Institute (now Vilnius Academy of Arts), and from 1963 to 1987 taught at M.K. Čiurlionis art school. B. Žilytė has created graphic art and wall paintings, and illustrated of dozens of books. The artist has been awarded numerous Lithuanian and international prizes for her children’s books’ illustrations and in 2015 received the Lithuanian National Prize.



  • Director — Jonas TERTELIS
  • Set designer — Paulė BOCULLAITĖ
  • Designer-sculptor — Donatas JANKAUSKAS DUONIS
  • Costume designer — Sandra STRAUKAITĖ
  • Composer — Gintaras SODEIKA
  • Author of video projections — Mantas BARDAUSKAS
  • Light designer — Vilius VILUTIS



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