Features of theatre criticism by Vida Savičiūnaitė 2

Lina Japertaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2016-01-28
Vida Savičiūnaitė (1956–2011). Photo from personal archive

In brief: This time is the most appropriate occasion to remember the founder and chief editor of kamane.lt, theatre critic and journalist, who worked during one of the most significant periods of Lithuanian theatre history - Vida Savičiūnaitė (1956–2011). On the 15th of January of this year, V. Savičiūnaitė would have celebrated her 60th jubilee. The silence after her passing is intuitively ripening the wish of her colleagues and relatives to remember her works and this time, to explore her work in the field of theatre criticism.

V. Savičiūnaitė's thesis analyzing the work of the actress Rūta Staliliūnaitė can be called a certain introduction to the associative critical thought. Its most prominent leitmotif - the value spectrum of artist's personality implies the creation of vertical relations. Savičiūnaitė herself, based on roles of loving - non loving, characteristic to R. Staliliūnaitė, full of destiny dramas, draws a separation widening the actress’ creative range, which started showing when Jonas Vaitkus came to Kaunas Drama Theatre.

In 1988 V. Savičiūnaitė was invited to work at the Kaunas State Drama Theatre as the head of the literary division (she worked there until 1993). Summing this period up, it should be noted that although none of the personal and introspective notes remained, there were plenty of notes on theatrology. The main texts of V. Savičiūnaitė on problem analysis and historiography in this period were dedicated specifically to the analysis of J. Vaitkus' directorial system. Bearing in mind that during this period the Lithuanian theater began to change radically, V. Savičiūnaitė's texts and professional attitude had the opportunity to unfold with the deepest intensity.

V. Savičiūnaitė assigns the nonconformist idea to J. Vaitkus theatre. Not so much for his ability to cover and control the radical forms of expression, but because of his disobedience to settling provisional norms and market laws. As an opposition to them, there is the personalized stance of the artist as the quintessential theatrical communication constantly repeated by V. Savičiūnaitė.

It is quite symbolic to notice the overlapping of the dates, which V. Savičiūnaitė captures as the stirring of the theatre's "living clock" with her work at the Kaunas State Drama Theatre. Here I do not aim at analyzing the overlap between these dates, but noticing it might speculatively describe V. Savičiūnaitė's stance on Kaunas Drama Theatre inner politics. She writes, "In order not to lie at least to myself, I will not do this for a simple reason: to draw a distinction between true radicalism, as an oeuvre born out of self-dissection, which affects the consciousness of society and arrogance or joyride simulating radicalism as a short-term adventure or business."

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