Ina Pukelytė: “Craft is not enough for an actor” 1

Interlocutor Monika Jašinskaitė, 2013-12-02
First-year students of acting programme. From personal archive of Ina Pukelytė

In brief: Professional art is closely related with education gained by artists, with studies. Artists who are graduates of higher schools usually work on stages of the Lithuanian theatre, it is the most typical of the actor’s profession. Acting studies were offered in Vilnius and Klaipėda only for some time, and last year such a possibility also appeared at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), Faculty of Arts, in Kaunas. The first students of VMU acting programme were involved into theatre life very quickly: they could taste the bread of an actor in the first half of the year of studies. They made their debut on the stage of Kaunas National Drama Theatre, in the performance of the director Agnius Jankevičius “Let’s Save Love”.

New students chose this specialty this year. It is meanwhile early to evaluate the professional preparation of students. It is not possible to guess how they will succeed to join the ranks of creating actors. Still, now it is high time to get acquainted with the aims set by the programme creators and with the defined strategic landmarks. Questions related with acting studies are answered by the dean of the Arts Faculty of VMU, chairperson of Kaunas City Culture and Art Council Ina Pukelytė and head of the VMU theatre, actress Goda Piktytė.

According to Ina Pukelytė, the study programme was created as the demand for actors prepared in Kaunas was felt in Kaunas drama theatres. An artist who works in the place where he/she studies, has a family creates a completely different context and different artistic quality than an artist who comes to work in a city for a short while.

According to Goda Piktytė, the aim of the organisers of the programme was high-quality acting studies. This quality is ensured by good lecturers and good material basis (i.e. theatre and its infrastructure). This is why acting studies in Kaunas are directly related with VMU theatre. This theatre is only an educational space, it is devoted not only for practical exercise of the specialty. Professional performances are created and shown here, and students participate in the creation process directly.

I.Pukelytė emphasises that the programme stands out from other studies of this kind by the fact that it is a university programme, i.e. students of the specialty acquire university education that enables them to see the field where they will work as artists wider.

“Craft is not enough for an actor, he/she has to take interest what new happens, what experiments are made, how people go further. The spectator comes to look at a thinking actor, not only masterful. He/she is interested what an actor wants to say about life here and now or in future and not how he/she does it. The tradition of a live actor rather than functional is more significant,” the theatre critic states.

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