Austėja Masiokaitė , 2010 09 02

In brief: Laisvės Alley echoed with whoops which reminded of an important message, offering, protest and confession at noon of the 1st of September. The completely unexpected, non-advertised street action “Message”, which lured crowds of passers-by immediately, was organised by the troupe of students P.S. of Vilnius College, Art Faculty in Kaunas.

The troupe of students of the third, final course headed by the actor, director, winner of the National Culture and Art Prize Valentinas Masalskis started their action at St. Michael the Archangel Church. The “Message” was announced in three stages of 10-15 minutes each: at the church, at Kaunas Drama Theatre and at Kaunas City Municipality. Voices of young theatre people, their ritual chants did not silence down while marching from one place to another.

“It was like a strong lightning stroke from the clear sky: passers-by hushed down after getting a split-second slash of energy, sincerity, aesthetical cleanliness; later they continued their road in the chaotic crowd of the street but they had been marked by a strong emotional shock,” the theatre critic Vida Savičiūnaitė shared her impressions after the action.

“I did not see such harmony of form and content, aesthetical cleanliness, internal energy and such belief in what was done even in theatre for a long time. I was charmed by the strict and harsh form of the ritual action and the absolute internal freedom of every participant, the power of individuality in the structure similar to a regiment of soldiers.

It was a message, confession, statement, speaking in non-verbal language about aches of the performers, about important things to them, about good things which they longed for. If all this was expressed in understandable words, the mission would have failed as the musical power of language would have vanished. To me it was a message of young and talented personalities that theatre could be alive, that it could astound and inspire for reflections at lightning speed,” said the theatre critic.

The “Message” granted a possibility to each viewer to receive the sent message in one’s own way. The emotional speaking, singing and whispering of the performers in “no language” could be interpreted by the listener in one’s own way. The only song that sounded during the show was in ancient Celtic. The only thing that the actors had during the performance were wooden plates, which were also used as music instruments.

According to V.Masalskis, “art should have strict borders of form and internal determination; the freedom of the creator and the spirit of the work appears only in the case of this restriction.”

The troupe P.S. is formed of students of one course of entertaining stage art. According to V.Masalskis, the name can be understood as post scriptum or Pferdestärke (horse powerin German).

Students prepared for musical pop culture events should become dancers or accompanying vocalists in pop performers’ programmes. V.Masalskis relates much bigger plans with this course – after finishing three courses at Vilnius College, the students will continue studies at Klaipėda University, Department of Theatre Directors. They will be taught by V.Masalskis and the head of the department Doc. Dr. Danutė Vaigauskaitė further.

V.Masalskis watching "Message" of his students in Kaunas

V.Masalskis emphasises the importance of giving a chance for such a strong troupe as P.S. to find its place in the theatre market. He also speaks about the importance of the actor as part of the collective, which has been forgotten by teachers preparing theatre people today.

“Even the biggest talents have to learn Christian values: serving to others, seeing others, sensibility. They have to learn to share as art is belief in what you do, sharing with others. Moreover, art does not exist at all.

Contemporary theatre is trying to please tastelessness of the masses; still, it is incapable of stopping a singe passer-by. We are trying to stop a person by internal energy rather than empty screams, cheap information or taken off pants,” told V.Masalskis.

The passers-by of Laisvės Alley, who saw and heard the energetic “Message” of students of V.Masalskis, also stopped, listened, watched and admired the action. When everything ended suddenly, the audience, who experienced an unexpected shock, started to applaud sincerely. They lingered around and discussed the action. The “Message” reached its aim, even though nobody knew that it was related with the talent of V.Masalskis, who has made Kaunas and Lithuanian theatre famous.

Photos by A.Masiokaitė

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