The map of ideas on the stage is drawn with the inner ear, sensitivity to truth and introspection 0

Elvina Baužaitė, 2016-04-12
Viktorija Kuodytė. 2009. Diana Birškė's photograph.

In brief: Let the director Krystian Lupa's ideas and Hunger Master's semantic content be the start for the conversation with actress Viktorija Kuodytė while talking about the acting experiences - challenges and discoveries.

I wondered what actress thought of the idea of being herself on the stage, whether it was a new and (or) an acceptable practice. Viktorija Kuodytė says, "To say that a person on the stage can be herself seems like a lie to me. Stage is an unnatural place that does not provide a sense of calmness. A person, whomever he is - actor, banker, artist, teacher, doctor or a president will feel slightly unnatural on the stage. Maybe that is why many people, upon finding themselves on the stage, start talking nonsense. Even intelligent people. After all, even speaking to one person you become someone else. The stage is probably a place where lie has to become the truth and actor (a lie) becomes a character (truth)."

According to Viktorija Kuodytė actor has to be cogitative, "Maybe, just like any human being. But it often happens, especially in art, that things become apparent without much thinking, rather intuitively. Of course, it is much more fun to observe the actor who thinks while performing, rather than blindly and formally carrying out the director's commands. It is much nicer to see the actor who knows what he is doing on the stage and what he wants to tell. I have never believed in a phrase - actor depends on the director. Maybe sometimes it is more convenient to actors, because obeying is much easier than creating something by yourself. I understand the word freedom as responsibility."

An exceptional phenomenon was noticed during the work with K. Lupa - after rehearsals actors were spontaneously applauding, rejoicing the creative process. I asked the actress to share her experiences. "K. Lupa's rehearsals were special because of the uniqueness of the director, not because of some special atmosphere of the group. The cooperation was more internal than external. K. Lupa would speak and all the 8 actors would listen. And this lasted for a month and a half. Such model is really close to me, I am not a fan of discussions. K. Lupa is a magnificent orator and storyteller, therefore at the end of the rehearsal you would feel like after the performance - a very sensitive one, intimate, often shocking, open and always touching you personally, although intended for the whole audience. Perhaps that was the reason why the first applause happened and later it became a habit. A very nice habit that invigorated all," explained the actress.

I was interested to learn what the miracle of theatre and its essence to the actress was. Viktorija Kuodytė says, „What appeals to me when it comes to theatre is the paradox that while playing you start believing that you are doing something very meaningful, when in fact you are simply playing. It is challenging and distressing but still a game. I do not feel hunger for theatre, but there is not much else I am capable of doing. Maybe I know a few things, but not sure what, because I have overstayed in this hunger performance. Just like Kafka's Hunger Master, who feels a constant creative hunger, a true artist, who cannot find food that he likes."

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