2014–2015 season

“I hate this country... I do not want anything to do with it... It has demonstrated a total absence of character so often that it has lost its honour... This country has neither attitude, nor shame, yet it was never ashamed of it” – wrote Thomas Bernhard about his native Austria in his last novel “Extinction”. Today, in a world where a brutal imperial power is fuelling a new war, the words of the writer appeal not only to the leaders of the civilized world, but also to every thinking person. Do I have an attitude? What do I choose – comfort or honour? How do I express my views? The present challenges the theatre as the most delicate barometer of the surrounding reality. Is theatre ready to accept it and preserve an independent approach, not engaging in any kind of propaganda?

In the 75th season of LNDT the theatre we shall be asking questions about the world we live in and we’ll try to do it in an intriguing, creative and memorable way.

Two legends – directors Eimuntas Nekrošius and Krystian Lupa are going to meet under the roof of the same theatre for the first time. Nekrošius returns to the National Theatre after more than two decades. The name of the Polish theatre patriarch Krystian Lupa is the most eminent of all the artists who have worked in the Lithuanian theatre.

Nekrošius is staging the drama “Boris Godunov” by Alexander Pushkin. The director decided to take up this task as a challenge. According to Nekrošius, moving the play to the stage today requires a civic stance from the artist. The working title of the play is “BG.” Instead of the name of a historical figure the director chose an anonymous combination of letters. An ominous sign that hides the void. That of the king, the man the state. When a lie becomes state policy, and “the people are silent,” does it not resemble the mask of the new empire which hides not a face, but a horrifying emptiness? The performance will be completed in stages. Its sketch will be presented in November and the première is scheduled for the closure of the theatre season of 2015, at the end of May.

Krystian Lupa is going to present to the Lithuanian the last work by his favourite author Thomas Bernhard, a creative will of the writer and the citizen, called “Heroes’ Square.” Written in 1988, the play was inspired by two anniversaries – the 100th anniversary of the cultural pride of Austria, the National Theatre Burgtheater and the 50th anniversary of the shameful welcoming of Hitler in the main square in Vienna, Heldenplatz. In “Heroes' Square” Bernhard opens up the dark side of the history of his people and reveals the damnation of the public that disregards it. What does “Heroes’ Square” mean for our history and public consciousness? Krystian Lupa and an ensemble of Lithuanian actors will seek to answer this question. “Heroes’ Square” will premiere next year, at the end of March.


In the January of 2015 director Oskaras Koršunovas will present a play based on the work of the Russian avant-garde OBERIU writer collective that existed in 1920s and 1930s. This is a coproduction of LNDT and OKT-Vilnius City Theatre. More than two decades ago, during the fateful days of Lithuania’s fight for independence, Koršunovas began his artistic career in the then Academic Drama Theatre staging works of the OBERIU (English: the Union of Real Art). Today, the director feels the need to return to the same literary material in order to express his views on the present time and the changing world.

A few smaller premieres are also planned for the new season. The play “Keletas pokalbių apie (Kristų)” (A few conversations about (Christ)) by the young playwright Teklė Katvaradzė is directed by the debuting director Tadas Montrimas. Director and actress Birutė Mar is working on the play “Ledo žmonės” (Ice People) about postwar exile of Lithuanians, based on authentic testimonies, and in her play “Moters portretas” (Portrait of a Woman) actress Dalia Michelevičiūtė promises a new insight into the work of the Polish poetess Wislawa Szymborska. In the program of this year’s New Drama Days readings and sketches of the plays will be presented by such directors as Gintaras Varnas and Yana Ross, and by a young Estonian director Marita Sirgmets working in cooperation with the Lithuanian set designer Simona Biekšaitė. There will be meetings with Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and German theatre-makers, as well as educational workshops. We shall continue to explore ways to talk about the phenomena of the surrounding world, and encourage the directors, playwrights and actors fan the flames of the modern Lithuanian theatre.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of LNDT we are also organizing a series of meetings with the major theatre directors of the last decades – we will talk about the past and the present of the theatre, about the present time and the stance of the author in these turbulent times.

I wish the employees and the audience of the theatre a creative and memorable 75th season!


Audronis Liuga

Artistic Director of LNDT