Directors
Aira Naginevičiūtė-Adomaitienė

„Dancer, choreographer and educator Aira Naginevičiūtė is an extraordinary creator who produces dance performances that are complex, large-scaled and based on deep philosophy. Performances and compositions by A. Naginevičiūtė are symbols of authentic methaphorical theatre […] and are defined by quality for their careful attention for every detail and ability to see the picturesque view as a whole“ (Vita Mozūraitė, dance critic).

Aira Naginevičiūtė-Adomaitienė is a Lithuanian choreographer, contemporary dance performer and educator, founder of AIROS Dance Theatre, the first contemporary dance creator to have won the most important theatre award in the country (the Golden Stage Cross). This year, she has also received the governmental prize for culture and art.

A. Naginevičiūtė-Adomaitienė entered the professional theatre stage in 1989 when she founded FLUIDUS Dance Company and became one of the creators and pioneers of contemporary dance in Lithuania. Since then she has created over 40 dance performances and compositions, the most prominent of which are Processus (2002), Pregnant Silence (2005), The Moon Does Not Care About Barking Dogs (2008). In 2013, she established the AIROS Dance Theatre, which introduced itself to the world with Chimera‘s Beads (2013) – a performance where, using a combination of various constructions, objects, surroundings and dancers’ bodies, the choreographer creates sculptures of sound. Later on the theatre presented two more large-scale, complex performances, which were called Glass Gardens (2015) and Towers of Melancholy (2016), respectively.

Today, the creations by Aira Naginevičiūtė-Adomaitienė are widely know to have a strong identity characterized by intensely visual stage images, an interdisciplinary way of thinking and examinations of the inner states of a human being through movement. As a choreographer, she is always on a quest for artistic innovations, which involve contemporary music, sounds, dance cinema, improvisation, text, voice and poetry. Her uniqueness lies in her visual and meditative character, seemingly vision-like, full of metaphors and links to philosophical truths and filled with sound architecture.

Arturas Bumšteinas
ARTURAS BUMŠTEINAS (1982) is an artist working with music and sound. He is interested in sound and Higginsian intermedia practice and works on crossroads of music, exhibition art, performance art, theater and radio. Bumšteinas’ work was presented by various festivals and institutions, such as Holland Festival, Unsound Festival, Ultraschall, Cricoteka, Operomanija, Deutschlandradio Kultur, CAC Vilnius, Vartai Gallery, Berghain Kantine, and many others. In 2014 Arturas was awarded Palma Ars Acustica prize for his radio art, in 2019 – Borisas Dauguvietis earring for the integration of audible experiments into new theatre forms. In 2017 Bumšteinas was an artist in residency at the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD. In 2019 Arturas appointed as the artistic director of Jauna Muzika festival which takes place every April in Vilnius.
www.refusenik.org

“OPEROMANIJA” – a production house dedicated to creation and promotion of new music theatre through diverse cross-disciplinary collaborations. Since 2008, it has produced around 50 contemporary operas and various multidisciplinary art projects, amongst which – works awarded with “Golden Stage Cross”: monoplay-opera “Izadora” (2009), opera “Have a Good Day!” (2014), spatial opera in the dark “Confessions” (2016), comic strip opera “Alpha” (2019), and performances “Olympian Machine” as well as “Bad Weather” awarded with “Borisas Dauguvietis Airring” (2019). Organization runs Contemporary opera festival NOA (New Opera Action) – one of the leading international new music theatre events in the Baltic region, that will be organized for the 8th time in April 2020.

Eimuntas Nekrošius

The director was born in 1952 in the village of Pažobris, Raseiniai Region. He went to school in the nearby town of Šilu­va. Nekrošius studied theater directing at the State Institute for Theatre Arts in Moscow (GITIS, Moscow) under the leadership of Andrey Goncharov. He graduated in 1978. Nekrošius debu­ted as a director in 1977 with Shelagh Delaney’s play A Taste of Honey at the State Youth Theater. For one year, he worked at Kaunas National Drama Theater, where he directed The Ballads of Duokiškis by Saulius Šaltenis and Ivanov by Anton Chekhov in 1978. Then the director returned to the Youth Theater, where he worked on plays that became part of the golden fund of the 20th century Lithuanian Theater: The Square based on V. Eliseeva’s short story (1980), Pirosmani, Pirosmani (by Vadim Korostyliov, 1981), Love and Death in Verona (by Kęstutis Antanėlis and Sigitas Geda, 1982), The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years (by Chinghiz Aitmatov, 1983). Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vania, and Nose by Nikolai Gogol (1991).

In 1992, Eimuntas Nekrošius became the artistic director of the Lithuanian International Theater Festival LIFE and retained this position until 1998 when he established his own theater studio Meno fortas, which he led until his death. In Meno fortas Nekrošius collaborated significantly with his wife, costume designer Nadežda Gultiajeva and son, scenographer Marius Nekrošius.
During the LIFE period Nekrošius staged three famous plays: Mozart and Saljer, Don Chuan, Plague by Aleksanr Pushkin (1994), Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov (1995) and Hamlet by William Shakespear (1997).

Macbeth (1999) by William Shakespeare was the first performance under the banner of Meno fortas, it was followed by Othello in 2000.
Theater productions directed by Nekrošius toured major cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He worked in many Italian theaters, such as Milan’s La Scala, Rome’s Teatro Argentina, Teatro Massimo of Palermo and Teatro Storchi of Modena. In 2012 and 2013, Nekrošius was the artistic director of the Classical Plays Festival at Teatro Olimpico in Vicen­za. In Russia, he worked at Moscow’s Bolshoi and the State Theater of Nations. In Lithuania, Nekrošius cooperated with the National Drama Theater and National Opera and Ballet Theater, directing The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri in 2012 and Boris Godunov by Aleksandr Pushkin in 2015 in the former and The Valkyrie by Richard Wagner in 2007 and Othello by Giuseppe Verdi in 2011 in the latter.

Nekrošius’ more recent directorial work included The Song of Songs based on the Old Testament (2004), Johann Wolf­gang von Goethe’s Faust (2006), Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoy (2008), The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (2009), and Charles Gounod’s Faust (2010), Paradise by Dante Alighieri (2013), The Book of Job (2013), Forefathers’ Eve by Adam Mickiewicz in Warsaw’s Teatr Naradowy (2016).
A Hunger Artist, based on the eponymous short story by Franz Kafka (2015), and a co-production with The State Youth Theatre Zinc, based on the novel Boys in Zinc by Svetlana Aleksijevich (2017) were Nekrošius’ last productions with Meno fortas. He also directed the play Ivanov by Anton Chekhov at the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb (2017), Sons of a Bitch by Saulius Šaltenis at the Klaipėda Drama Theater (2018) and The Marriage by Witold Gombrowicz in Warsaw’s Teatr Naro­dowy (2018).

Among the many awards Eimuntas Nekrošius received in his lifetime were the Baltic Assembly Prize (1994), the Europe Prize New Theatrical Realities (1994), the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts (1997), Commander of the Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas (1998), Prize of the Konstantin Stanislavski International Foundation (2001), the Grand Cross of the Order for Merits to Lithuania (2003), the Arts and Science National Advancement Prize in Culture (2008), the Golden Cross of the Stage Award of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture for Best Director of the 2009 theater season, the Star of Lithu­ania’s Millennium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania (2010), Medal of Duke Žygimantas Augustas for Merits to the city of Vilnius (2010), Award of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Nešk savo šviesą ir tikėk (Carry Your Light and Believe) (2012), and Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2015).
Eimuntas Nekrošius was the first and so far the only Lithua­nian theater artist to be awarded the title of Doctorem Honoris Causa at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater (2013).
Eimuntas Nekrošius died on November 20, 2018 in Vilnius and was buried at the Šiluva Cemetery.

Gildas Aleksa
• Was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, raised in Haifa, Israel, working as a director in Kaunas, Lithuania;
• Finished his BA and MA in the Lithuanian Academy of Theatre and Music;
• In his works he talks about severe social problems through humor;
• Creating his works by devising them with the creative group – discussing the subjects, improvising and usually keeping most of the performance improvised;
• Working in the cultural field of Kaunas, he emphasizes cultural decentralization (creating apartment-performances, making international festivals in the post-soviet neighborhoods etc.);
• Paraphrasing known works (Shakespeare, Voltaire, mythology and Lithuanian authors) as well as social constructs, prejudice and the notion of a jester – saying the painful truth but in a way of laughter.

Greta Gudelytė
Greta Gudelytė is a wide-ranging creator of young generation: one of the founders of the Apeironas Theater, actress, director, playwrighter, author of staging and various socio-cultural projects and initiatives.

At Apeiron Theater, she alone and together with her colleague Egle Kazickaite have staged 13 plays, including 6 plays based on her own playwriting, and has created 14 roles.
She develops her competencies as a creator by participating in international creative masters’ camps, exploring different methods of preparation of an actor.

“Man is also the cause of culture and the example by which culture is created. Hence, culture must be like a human being. If we answer the question of what a person is we will discover what culture is and what it should be. ”
In her work, Greta looks for an archetypal metaphorical language, a penetrating word, subtle psychologism. The creator always delves deeper into the human being and processes in and around him. Her relationship with the environment, the pie, the actors and herself is very important to her. “No relation- no creation,” she says. The director thoroughly analyzes the process of the creation of the performance: from the chaos and the emerging mosaic to the refined essence of the performance. According to her, refining the essence of the performance is the most difficult part of the creative work. It is for this reason that the works she creates or plays do not stop transforming after the premiere. “The expression of free theater, like freedom itself, is always a process and never a result,” the creator says. Despite her faithfulness to the philosophical, metaphorical search for a theater, the creator does not avoid straight, sharp expression, which attempts to nudge the public falsity, primitive human expression, analyse the causes of anger, and internal conflicts. “I try to create what I experience and experience what I create, therefore my works or performances where I participate in is usually a pretty open act of nudity of myself.”

Jonas Vaitkus
Jonas Vaitkus was born in the Armonai Village (Raseiniai distr.), on May 20, 1944. In 1974, he graduated from Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography. In 1974-1975, he worked as a chief director at the Šiauliai Drama Theatre. From 1975 to 1978, Jonas Vaitkus was employed as a director at the Kaunas Drama Theatre. During 1978-1980, the artist studied at the High Courses for Directors in Moscow. In 1980-1988, Jonas Vaitkus was the chief director of the Kaunas Drama Theatre. The artist has also been employed as a director of the Lithuanian State Academic Drama Theatre since 1988 and was appointed its chief director during 1990-1994. Jonas Vaitkus was granted the title of a Professor in 2006 and has been giving lectures at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre since 1988. Vaitkus has been working as a pedagogue in the USA, Norway and Denmark since 1991. In 2008-2018, he was the head of the Lithuanian Russian Drama Theatre. Jonas Vaitkus has produced performances both in Lithuania as well as abroad and has directed films. In 2003, he was granted the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award. In 2007, the director was awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (Officer’s Cross). His earlier works include, inter alia: Pilgrim of Dreams (Lith.: Svajonių piligrimas) by Eugenijus Ignatavičius and Jonas Vaitkus, Ubu the King (French: Ubu Roi) byAlfred Jarry, The Last Ones (Russian: Последние) by Maksim Gorky, Red and Brown (Bulgarian: Червено и кафяво) by Ivan Radoev, Blue horses on Red Grass (Russian: Синие кони на красной траве) by Mikhail Shatrov, Caligula by Albert Camus, Thrush, the Green Bird (Lith.: Strazdas – žalias paukštis) by Bronius Kutavičius and Sigitas Geda, Richard II by William Shakespeare, Golgotha (Russian: Плаха) by Chinghiz Aitmatov, Ghetto by Joshua Sobol, All Souls’ Day (Polish: Dziady) by Adam Mickiewicz, A Doll’s House (Norwegian: Et dukkehjem) by Henrik Ibsen, A Dream Play (Swedish: Ett drömspel) by August Strindberg, The Village of Stepanchikovo (Russian: Село Степанчиково) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Kamilė Gudmonaitė

Born in 1992, based in Vilnius, Lithuania
Contact number: +37060498596
E-mail: kamilegudmonaite@gmail.com
Education and work 2018 Master of theatre directing (Lithuanian music and theatre academy)

2018-present – PhD student in art (Lithuanian music and theatre academy)
2019-present – lecturer at Lithuanian music and theatre academy

THEATRE
Directed productions 2014 A. Strindberg “Dreamspell” (Lithuanian national drama theatre) 2015 F. Richter “God is a DJ” (Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre) 2016 W. Shakespeare “Timon” (Lithuanian national drama theatre) 2017 “Trans trans trance” (Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre) 2018 V. Pelevin “Four” (Kaunas national drama theatre)
2018 J. Pommerat “Two Coreas” (Klaipėda Youth theatre) 2019 T. Kavtaradze “I had a dream” (The State Youth theatre)
2019 M. Myllyaho “Panic” (Kaunas national drama theatre)

International experience
2014 Performance “Dreamspell” – Venice Open stage festival, Italy 2014 Performance “Dreamspell” – Spoleto festival (The festival of two worlds), Italy 2015 Performance “Dreamspell – International theatre festival Encounter, Chezch republic 2015 Performance “God is a DJ” – Spoleto festival (The festival of two worlds), Italy 2015 Performance “Dreamspell” – New Now festival, Amsterdam, Holland
2015 Performance “Dreamspell” – Tour at Teatro India (Teatro di Roma), Italy
2015 Performance “Dreamspell” – Festival “Sens Interdits 2015”, France
2016 Performance “Dreamspell” – International Prize Il Teatro Nudo di Teresa Pomodoro, Italy 2018 Performance “Trans trans trance” – Teatro India (Teatro di Roma), Italy
2018 Performance “Trans trans trance” – Spazio theatre NO’HMA, Italy 2018 Performance “Trans trans trance” – Deutsches theatre festival, Germany
2018 Performance “Trans trans trance” – Lithuanian Culture weekend, London, United Kingdom
2018 Performance “Four” – International festival of Young directors “Fast Forward”, Dresden, Germany
2019 Performance “Trans trans trance” –“Konfrontacje teatralne” festival, Lublin, Poland
2019 Performance “Trans trans trance” – TR Warszawa theatre

Awards/nominations

2014 Performance “Dreamspell” – The prize for “Best performance” at P.I.N. days festival, Lithuania
2014 Performance “Dreamspell” – 1st place in Young theatre groups’ competition, Spoleto festival, Italy
2015 Performance “Dreamspell” – Prize for “Outstanding direction”, Encounter festival, Czech republic
2015 Performance “God is a DJ” – 2nd place in Young theatre groups’ competition, Spoleto festival, Italy
2016 Performance “Dreamspell” – Winner of the 7th edition of the International Prize “Il Teatro Nudo” di Teresa Pomodoro
2018 Performance “Trans trans trance” – nomination in National Equality awards of Lithuania
2019 Performance “Trans transtrance” – audience prize for the best performance, „Il teatro nudo“ di Teresa Pomodoro

Workshops
2016 Baltic Film Talent Lab, Riga‘s International Film festival, Latvia
2016 Fast Forward – European festival for Young Stage Directors, Germany 2016 Baltic theatre forum/Contemporary theatre workshop „Epos. 21st century. Livonians“
Given workshops
2019 m. theatre workshop at Frühlingscamp, Deutsches theatre, Berlin

Acting experience
Irina – Movie “Winter Thaw”, dir. Adam Thomas Anderegg, Kaleidoscope pictures, release date – 24 November, 2016
Brigita – Movie “Songs for the fox”, dir. Kristijonas Vildžiūnas, Uljana Kim production, release date – 2020

Kiril Glušajev
Kirill Glushajev – theatre director, actor, improviser and lecturer. In his performances are the most relevant and sensitive topics such as suicide, depression, addiction, etc. “Every Brilliant Thing” directed by Kiril in 2018, gathers full halls not only in Lithuania but in other countries as well and travels through international festivals. Spectators called this performance “a therapy”, which must be experienced by everyone. His play “Every Brilliant Thing” received various awards for: public prize in theatre festival of Alytus “COM-MEDIA”, special prize in the international festival of mono drama “Monocle”, St. Petersburg and an award for best actors work in the international festival “Andriyivsky Fest”, Kiev.

Education:
2002-2004- Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts (design)
2004- 2008 Music and Theatre Academy of Lithuania (Theatre Directing and Acting under Rimas Tuminas)
2005-2006- Dartington College of Arts, Devon, UK (ERASMUS exchange program, workshops, seminars)
2007-2009- Improvisation Theatre Laboratory (Improvisation Theatre “KITAS KAMPAS ” (“Different point’’) under Andrius Zhebrauskas)

Works:
Director:
2008 – Aleksej Slapovskij “THE SHOELACE…”, Vilnius State Small Theatre.
2008 – Ivan Vyrypajev ”DREAMS”, Kaunas National Drama Theatre.
2009 – Simon Stephens ”PORNOGRAPHY” –reading of the play, in corporation with Gabriele Tuminaite, Vilius Malinauskas, Paulius Ignatavičius, Neli Ivančik, ACTION OF NEW DRAMA.
2010 – Simon Stephens ”PORNOGRAPHY”, in corporation with Gabriele Tuminaite, Vilius Malinauskas, Paulius Ignatavičius, Neli Ivančik, Festival for Theatre debuts “TYLOS!”
2010 – Pavel Pryazhko “COWARDS (The Study)”, Festival for Theatre debuts “TYLOS!”
2011 – “BOOGIE NIGHTS”- Disco Cabaret, Vilnius State Small Theatre.
2011 – Maksim Gorkij “THE MOTHER (Vassa Zheleznova)”, Vilnius State Small Theatre
2017 – Birutė Kapustinskaitė “THERAPY“, Oskaras Korsunovas Theatre.
2017 – “IMPROVISATION FGHTING”, theatre „Kitas kampas“.
2017 – Ingman Bergman “A SPIRITUAL MATTER”, Vilnius State Small Theatre
2017 – Dena Blizzard “ONE FUNNY MOTHER“, “Idio theatre”.
2018 – Duncan Macmillan “EVERY BRILLIANT THING”, theatre ,,Kitas Kampas‘‘.
2020 – Sigitas Parulskis “JULIA”, Lithuanian National Drama Theatre

Actor:
Kaunas National Drama Theatre:
2005- Frog kid, H.C. Andersen “Thumbelina”
Vilnius State Small Theatre:
2005- Frog kid, H.C. Andersen “Thumbelina”, dir. S. Rachkys
2006- General-Mushroom “Small Theatre’s Fairytales”, dir. R. Tuminas
2007- General- Mushroom, J. Marcinkevichius “ War of Mushrooms”, dir. P. Ignatavichius
2007- William Shakespeare “The Thempest”, dir. Etienne Glaser
2011- Pierre Leroux, M. Ivashkevichius “The Wizzard”, dir. R. Tuminas
2011- Mr. Boogie, Disco cabaret “Boogie Nights”, dir. K. Glushajev
2011- Seagull’s Child “The Happy”, L. Sepulveda “Tom-cat the Mother”, dir. E. Jaras
2012- An Artist, 7th Husband, Son, F. Dürrenmatt “Dame’s Visit”, dir. E. Jaras
2012- Homsy, T.Janson “ Dear Uncle from the Rollercoaster Park”, dir. O. Lapina
2014- Woodman, F.G. Lorca “Bloody Wedding”, dir. P. Ignatavichius
2014- Nykštukas Kvailutis – “Seven Dwarves are looking for Snow White“, dir. Evaldas Jaras
2018- Mr. Trijulis – Carsten Brandau “Head Over Heels“, dir. Giedrė Kriaučionytė
Anzelika Cholina’s Dance Theatre:
2009- Awkward Lover, “Men and Women”, chor. A. Cholina
2010- Count Tverskoy, “Anna Karenina”, chor. A. Cholina

Improv Theatre “KITAS KAMPAS”:
2009- Improv show “FREESTYLE”- performs steadily till now
2012 – Improv show with live musicians and beatboxer “Everyday Best Specimens”
Oskaras Koršunovas/Vilnius City Theatre/OKT
2014- Medvedenko, Shamrayev, A. Chekhov “The Seagull”, dir. O. Koršunovas

Mara Kimelė
Mara Kimele (b. 1943) is one of the most famous figures in Latvian theater, director and teacher. 1969 graduated from the A. Lunačiarski Theater Art Institute in Moscow, a student of Anatoly Efros. 1969-1989 Director of Valmiera Drama Theater. 1975-1993 taught the actor’s mastery and directing at the Latvian Jazepas Vytuolis Conservatory in Riga, since 1996. – Latvian Academy of Culture in Riga. One of the most famous students of Professor M. Kimelė is the world-famous Latvian director Alvis Hermanis. 1990-1993 Kabata Theater in Riga, 1994-1996. and since 2003 Director of the New Riga Theater. 1987 she was awarded the title of a deserving Latvian artist; 1995 received the Spidola Award; awarded the Gamma Nights Awards three times as Best Director of the Year (1994, 2002, 2005); 2003 awarded the Order of the Three Stars of Latvia of the fourth degree. 1994 awarded the prize of the Ministry of Culture for the education of Latvian culture. 2016 A. Strindberg’s drama “Father” was staged at Klaipėda Drama Theater, and two actors won the Golden Stage Cross for their roles – Karolina Kontenytė for the role of Berta, Darius Meškauskas for the role of Adolf.
Oskaras Koršunovas
Oskaras Koršunovas was born on March 6, 1969, in Vilnius. In 1993 he graduated from the Vilnius Music Academy (the course of Jonas Vaitkus) with a Master’s degree in Theatre Directing. While still a student Koršunovas presented the trilogy “There to be here,” “The Old Woman,” and “Hello Sonya New Year” based on the work of the twentieth century Russian avant-garde writers Daniil Kharms and Alexander Vvedensky. Already at that time the young director stood out for his unusual theatrical language. Although the first performances, including “P.S. FILE OK” by Sigitas Parulskis and “Roberto Zucco” by Bernard-Marie Koltès, were created under the aegis of the Lithuanian State Academic Drama Theatre (now called Lithuanian National Drama Theatre), they were often referred to as a separate body, a theatre within a theatre. Contemporary theatre critics, titling their articles simply: “Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre?” envisaged the inevitable emergence of a new theatre.

In 1998, the director, together with a few like-minded fellows, founded an independent theatre, called Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre, shortened to just OKT. Koršunovas, assisted by guest directors, has built a solid repertoire, which encompasses both contemporary drama and classic stagings. The director’s credo to stage classics as contemporary plays, recognizing what is relevant to the present time, and contemporary plays – as the classics, conveying what is universal and timeless, became paradigmatic in that creative period. In the director’s opinion, contemporary theatre must reflect the present day and sometimes even be ahead of the time, predict the future and act as a warning. “Shopping and Fucking” by Mark Ravenhill, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare, “Fireface” by Marius von Mayenburg, “Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov, “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles, “Playing the Victim” the Presnyakov Brothers, and other performances, which became cornerstones of the theatre’s repertoire and its foreign tours, were staged adhering to the above-mentioned principles and credo.

William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” presented in 2008 and the play’s work-in-progress marked the beginning of a new phase in Oskaras Koršunovas’ biography. The director discovered a new work space – the OKT studio, and turned in the direction of laboratory explorations. During the work on “Hamlet” the director and the actors were more concerned with the creative process itself than the play. “The Lower Depths” by Maxim Gorky – an absolute example of theatrical laboratory, which was created in the unusual space of the OKT studio, still continues to be shown there. “Miranda” based on Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” and his other works, was also born in the OKT studio and was relocated to a larger space only before its premiere. “Cleansed” after Sarah Kane, “Wedding” after Bertold Brecht, “Delhi Dance” after Ivan Vyrypaev, “Madman” after Nikolai Gogol, “Attempts on Her Life” after Martin Crimp, “Lucy Skies” after Laura Sintija Cerniauskaite, “A Man from Podolsk” after Dmitry Danilov – the latest productions of Oskaras Koršunovas, staged in OKT Studio.

The main prize of the Edinburgh Festival awarded in 1990 to a student of theatre directing was a symbolic beginning, which has paved the way to most prominent international awards. The most prestigious of them – the Europe Theatre Prize for New Realities – was awarded to Koršunovas in 2006. In 2009, Oskaras Koršunovas was given the honourable title of the Chevalier of the French order of Literature and Arts, and the next year he was awarded with the main prize of the Annual Meyerhold Assembly. The awards ceremony of almost every international festival involving the OKT theatre does not go without the mention of the name of Oskaras Koršunovas.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Shopping and Fucking,” “The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,” “The Lower Depths,” “Miranda” and “Išvarymas” (Expulsion) have won the director the Golden Stage Cross Award for the year’s best production. The OBERIU trilogy has been awarded in the young theatre artist category. In 2002, the director became a laureate of the Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Award. In 2004, he received the city of Vilnius St. Christopher Prize for Contribution to Culture. In 2012 Minister of Culture Arūnas Gelūnas awarded the Koršunovas with the Medal of the Ministry of Culture “Bring Your Light and Believe.”

The tours in international festivals, performances and projects in foreign theatres encompass the United States, South Korea, Australia, Argentina, and the territory in between. Each year, the OKT theatre appears on more than ten different stages in different parts of the world. Hence, the motto of the director and his theatre: only being “there” can we stay “here.”

Paulius Markevičius
Thirty-year old Paulius Markevičius performs in theatrical productions and films by various directors, directs performances in theatre, radio and unusual spaces, plays in an ensemble and brings together his peers to create (the project Collaborations). The works that he directs often break the usual boundaries, seek for new theatrical territories and an immediate contact with the audience. His work The Things (Lith. Dalykai) shown at the festival Sirens is the first performance of the Art and Science Laboratory (ASLAB), a theatrical experiment based on quantum physics. As regards the big-screen, lately, the general public of cinema-goers have known Paulius Markevičius as a charismatic actor who played the main role in the debut film Summer Survivors (Lith. Išgyventi vasarą, 2018) by young director Marija Kavtaradzė presented successfully in various international festivals. When the film was shown in the festival Kino Pavasaris (Lithuania), the international jury selected Paulius Markevičius as the best actor.

Markevičius studied acting in the course led by Eimuntas Nekrošius; therefore, the first roles of the entire course occurred on the professional stage, i.e. in The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) directed by Nekrošius based on the work by Dante Alighieri. Speaking about cinema, Paulius Markevičius made his debut in short films by his peer Marija Kavtaradzė during their study years. And so the creative path of this young artist has been unfolding between classics and modernity, between a canon and experiment. He has also directed a traditional performance at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, and has played a part in the performance The Oedypus Myth (Lith. Oidipo mitas) by Gintaras Varnas staged in the same theatre. Also, the artist has directed various experiential spectacles and has been acting in performances by young directors. He seems to be more attracted to searching and exploring, whereas the link is stronger with the present day and the creators of his own generation.

“I’ve always been interested in inventing things perhaps even more than in doing them,” Paulius Markevičius has once said. While studying acting, he also felt a strong pull towards directing. Perhaps the work with Nekrošius and a caring attitude and interest of this master of directing towards young artists enabled Markevičius to make his debut precisely in Meno fortas, i.e. in the studio of the theatre established by Eimuntas Nekrošius, in his rehearsal space. It is here that Markevičius staged his first performance The Sacrifice of a Bull (Lith. Jaučio aukojimas) based on the novella by Lithuanian master of literature Romualdas Granauskas.

Soon Markevičius started encouraging his peer artists to organise groups, create and present a series of premieres. “Communication through creation is one of the goals that I’ve been posing to myself. Theatre unites a lot of different disciplines, so I’d like to maintain that unity among them and to implement ideas with various other creators.” The project Collaborations initiated by Markevičius has attracted a large number of artists, whereas the young director himself together with dramatist Birutė Kapustinskaitė have created a completely unexpected spectacle called Two and a Half Minutes (Lith. Dvi su puse minutės). This is both an ordinary and a site-specific performance; it’s the installation of darkness with music and monologues of the actors; silent looking into each other’s eyes. Communication and unity occurs when spectators listen to the stories about anxiety and its causes sitting with the creators of the performance, actors and musicians in the common space, having wandered through their created maze. Theatre critic Rūta Oginskaitė wrote, “With their work they speak about themselves, which is neither easy nor comfortable or distinct. I like that they don’t declare their exceptionality, although they’re absolutely different from anything else in Lithuanian theatre and they build the uniqueness of their expression carefully, without any noise, fully concentrated on what they’re interested to say. They explore how their unusual common idea becomes reality; how it reacts in contact with other people who’ve agreed to be their audience.”

Paulius Markevičius continued the experience of close contact by creating the mono-performance Alberai, WRU?, where he himself acts for just one spectator. Albert Camus and Michel Gallimard are listed here as co-authors. Markevičius plays the role of Gallimard – to his only spectator he tells about his friend writer who died as a passenger in the car driven by him. Not only tells but also enables the spectator to feel and experience this through theatrical means. While rehearsing this performance, Markevičius was wondering that, “Theatre can become a good tool to speak the topic you’re concerned with. In the topic of loneliness, there are very many sub-topics that I’ve been analysing recently. The autobiographical mono-performance based on the life story of Albert Camus also speaks about this. I want to talk about those human moments of weakness, losses and the relationship with the other person. What problems one faces, what mistakes one makes along the path of one’s life.”

Markevičius’ activities in the Art and Science Laboratory (ASLAB) – the existence of which started with the performance The Things – also stand out for his search for new ways and paths. The artist liked the idea that scientists and founders of ASLAB Rusnė Kregždaitė and Loriana Kilaitė invited him to contribute to. “First of all, when they invited me to create the first performance, I was most attracted by the unknown, risks and experimenting. This project offered a lot of space to leave the standard. Then we started analysing what science is, what art is; and we started looking for starting points,” Markevičius recalls the beginning of their joint work. Now, ASLAB has already been recognised as a theatre of Vilnius and its performances are shown at the Meno Fortas.

Having attended the lectures on quantum physics, together with the creative group the director started rehearsing The Things. They began from simple etudes on scientific topics, without a play or plot. Together with his actors Markevičius played both physicists and subatomic particles, tried to link hardly related spheres, included a lot of movements and employed audio and visual elements as an equivalent partner of an actor. According to Markevičius, “Physics is the science about things, how they interact, how and why they exist, what impact they have on the environment or the environment – on them. Theatre is absolutely the same science about things. Having discovered quantum physics, the eternal question has once again been confirmed – we are all interested in the same, discovering new aspects of attitude or research.” In the opinion of critics, the performance has become one of the most interesting theatrical alternatives in Lithuania. As theatre critic Rimgailė Renevytė puts it, “In this performance, Hamlet’s question ‘to be or not to be (in theatre)?’ turns into the answer, ‘to be and not to be (in theatre)!’.“ Whereas reviewer Julija Šatkauskaitė observes that, “if, having returned home, you catch yourself imperceptibly repeating the strange movements of the actors, it can be said that the process has not only occurred but has also left a mysterious imprint, has set a riddle or offered a hint for further insights of a reasoning body and consciousness.”

Within three years, Paulius Markevičius has created three more performances linking art and science for the repertoire of ASLAB, i.e. interpreted the play The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, where he destroyed the barrier between the audience and the characters placed in a mental hospital – the performance is called The Things; staged the play Errorai (dramatist Justas Tertelis) written specifically for the Art and Science Laboratory and telling about the mistakes of scientists that have become discoveries; and invited spectators into the nature at night, asked them to lie down on blankets to see the starry sky and listen to the stories about stars, galaxies and human relationships – that’s how the performance Signals (Lith. Signalai) based on the play by Birutė Kapustinskaitė looks like.

And yet The Things has remained the most attractive and boldest work of ASLAB and Paulius Markevičius, preserving everything that characterises this young director avoiding standards: he continues working without noise, focused, not being afraid of mistakes and discovering more and more untested things, matters and signals in theatre. That’s also how he defines himself, “I think that first of all I’m a seeker travelling through experiences in theatre.”