Socially responsible theater 0

Elvina Baužaitė, 2016-05-13

In brief: Kaunas State Drama Theatre, which has already presented five premieres this season, with two more planned in the end of May, invited an especially broad circle of people to dive into the sea of theatre experiences. The word especially is not accidental, it is purposeful. For the first time in the history of Lithuanian theatre the stage curtain was opened for the deaf and for the seventh time - for partially sighted and blind. The aim to involve everyone into the world of theatre is an initiative showing the self-consciousness of theatre and the sense of its meaning and value.

When asked what led to social initiatives, the head of management at the Kaunas State Drama Theatre A. Burovienė noticed that the theatre, several years ago, encouraged by the Ministry of Culture provided the opportunity for institutions that take care of socially vulnerable groups, i.e. large families, the elderly and people with various disabilities to visit theatre for free. And this season, as if by chance, opportunities, suggestions that emerged one after another allowed to feel the need for social responsibility very clearly and also - to fulfill it.

It is important to note that nice ideas are not enough for social responsibility. "In the press conference The adaptation of performing arts to people with special needs that took place in the theatre, in November, the representatives of Kaunas Rehabilitation Center for the Deaf said that it is best when the institutions, instead of coming up with and creating something that no one needs, respond to a need and offer something that is desired and exactly as desired," explained A. Burovienė.

R. Kudirka who has adapted the play Biography: Play to sound imaging said, "It is a completely new discipline in the world, not to mention Lithuania. Therefore, we can find only a few sound imaging examples and all of them are done by amateurs, students of actors." Thus, according to R. Kudirka, this is a serious challenge not only to the specialist of sound imaging, who is still learning, but also to a person who is visually impaired and who has never been exposed to sound imaging, because it simply does not exist in Lithuania.

Play for adults with a translation into sign language in Lithuania was held for the first time, so it is not surprising that the theatre was faced with uncertainty and questions how to deal with and meet the many nuances.

"It was a truly important and significant event for our theatre. We were preparing for a long time, about two months. We had chosen a play The Promise of Dawn, because it was the best one to meet the criteria of translation into sign language. But even adapting a simple play for the deaf the team faced great challenges: the play is long and has a lot of text, thus the translators had to learn almost all of it by heart," said A. Burovienė.

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