Margarita Pilkaitė )*, 2006 01 16

Scenes from the performance of G.Varnas “Hail of Stars”. Photos by G.Bunevičius

In brief: Kaunas State Drama Theatre presented the first premiere of this year – the performance directed by Gintaras Varnas, a research for young people “Hail of Stars”. The premiere marks the first step of the second course students of acting of the Academy of Music and Theatre headed by G.Varnas on the professional stage.


Therefore, the creative team of the performance was formed from students – scenography and costumes were created by the students of Vilnius Art Academy Rita Urbonaitė and Kristina Buklytė, music – by students of LAMT Vainius Sodeika and Vidas Bareikis, a young playwright Gabriele Labanauskaitė contributed to the writing of scenario. The vitality of action and views, unrestrained format and constant balancing between the amateur and professional acting betrays that the performance has been created by very young people.


“Hail of Stars” is one of the very rare cases in the Lithuanian theatre when the performance is born from “nothing”, without a solid ground of dramaturgy. It is especially unexpected that the director G.Varnas, whose relation with texts has always been very close, has resolved for this. It is one more social, painful and poster-like performance in which G.Varnas continues the investigations of contemporary life started in the performances “Distant Land”, “Innocent”.


The newest performance is a chronicle of life of contemporary youth presenting the psychosis of the present-day world, the endless wish of a young person to become a celebrity as rapidly as possible without too many efforts. This craving has become a phenomenon of the 21st century. The director calls the performance a research but only the research material is presented to the spectator. The conclusions may be made by every person watching the performance. Or no conclusions may be made at all. One may just enjoy the whoop of energetic people on the stage.


The scenography of the performance is bright and illustrative, and the small and heavily furnished acting stage creates the illusion of pseudo-rich but strange surroundings. The dialogues of the reality show, banal situations, easily guessed events start as if from nothing – a complete chaos takes place on the stage which does not differ from the project of “stars making” seen on the TV. The director’s tactics to create a work based on actors’ sketches justifies itself – it is perfectly suitable to render the essence of the reality show.


The characters of the performance represent clear types, they serve as generalised marks representing separate social groups of people – there is a punk Inga, rapper Olga, gothic boy Gabrielius and new types of youths - a Barbie Ieva from Kaunas or a free artist Viltė from Vilnius. Students create formal roles which do not have much psychological depth, they are bright and based on clichés. Actors explore their personages and themselves having appeared on the sage at the same time.


Three essential scenes sustain all the load of the performance – the presentation scene of the reality show participants, the scene of Benas’ selection to the show and the final scene taking part after the end of the show. The self-confident and energetic people of the first scene appear as weak and unformed individuals as the action proceeds, and the dreams of the participants are broken in the final scene. The fight with life is not that interesting or too hard for them, as opposed to the reality show.


The audience sees how the stars and starlets are falling without rising; therefore, the title of the performance “Hail of Stars” describes the plot well. Still, young actors participating in the performance should not distance themselves from their personages. As it was stated, the performance is dedicated to young people, it is about young people; therefore, it is also for the ones who are on the stage of the “Hail of Stars”.


)* Margarita Pilkaitė – 4th year student of Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Arts, to whom grants a possibility to gather practical experience of a theatre critic.

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