On the present situation of theatre in Lithuania - conversation with theatre scholar D. Šabasevičienė 0

Questions prepared by Elvina Baužaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2015-07-06
Theatre scholar Daiva Šabasevičienė. D. Matvėjevas photo

In brief: As the theatre season is coming to an end it is important to pause, look back and think about it. To talk about the life of theater in today's Lithuania we invited the doctor of humanities in theatre studies, the head of Lithuanian National Drama Theatre literary department and lecturer at the Vilnius Academy of Arts - Daiva Šabasevičienė.

I wanted to know what kind of theatrical event(s) - director, actor, and troupe and performance D. Šabasevičienė would highlight as the most important in this season. According to her, the birth of performance "Heroes Square" is a unique case. "Director Krystian Lupa presence alongside the actors, rehearsals and its metaphysics is the most interesting experience I have ever had observing and being near theatrical processes. Another piece that was great in every sense is Vilnius Lėlė Theatre performance "Sandman" based on the Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann's tale of the same name. Even though it was shown in the evenings - audience of all ages could learn a lot from it. And Russian Drama Theatre troupe is perhaps the strongest company in Lithuania. Maybe due to the fact that the actors are least torn and the repertoire contains many ensemble works.

Talking about the Lithuanian theatre trends, D. Šabasevičienė says, "Lithuanian theatre is flustering, looking for itself and something else. It is normal. It happens everywhere. I am currently more interested in the self of the theatre, its philosophical state, not in its tendencies. It would be fair if more philosophers would be doing theatre, because it was born before philosophy. And based on our structure we are closest to it. Through theatre, philosophers could find out and explain many things, unfortunately, they often engage in "idioms."

I wondered how the art critic sees the young generation of theatricals. Daiva Šabasevičienė noted that young people have more opportunities to go crazy, differently that artists of her generation. "I really pity young actors who, at the end of their studies shine brightly like meteors, create a few memorable roles, but their fate is tragic - passive agony, waiting for an invitation. The trend of directors mostly inviting their students or "tested" actors will remain forever.

How does the critic view today's viewer? According to D. Šabasevičienė, "Today, a sophisticated viewer has returned to theatre. Of course, they are different people and select the performances they prefer from all the good plays. Most importantly, it is no longer interesting to think about the entertainment plays - it has become a thing of the past that only completely fizzled out theatres care about.

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