Margarita Pilkaitė, 2007 02 16

Scenes from the performance "White Cat in Black Alaska". Photo by G. Bunevičius.

In brief: A pretentious and fanciful title does not always enlarge the value of a thing. The new performance of Kaunas Drama Theatre according to the play “I’ll Be Going” of Gintarė Adomaitytė presented in spring during the Drama Panorama interested by the changed title “White Cat in Black Alaska” first of all. Also, the director Arvydas Lebeliūnas has promised an exceptional story and untraditional theatre clothing of it.


The premiere presented at the Attic Hall is a chamber work that does not offer any novelties. The performance follows the text honestly, and all major arguments of the theatre – direction, acting, stage action, scenography, sound become additional means. The decision to load all the weight of the performance on the text is rather risky. Furthermore, in this case, the text does not have very strong dramaturgy.


The story of a middle-age museum employee and a geography teacher has been written in a rather simple and ironic manner, it has been spiced up by the realia of present-day Lithuania. The director has preserved the idea of the author to organise a staging like in a radio theatre. However, it is not clear why the director A.Lebeliūnas chose this way.


Three main actors (Dainius Svobonas, Daiva Rudokaitė, Liucija Rukšnaitytė) are sitting in a studio in isolated booths, they are just reading the play. The actors have a difficult task – to grant vitality to the text sitting in booths and only reading it, to interest the audience by voice, mimics and several gestures. Daiva Rudokaitė found the task the most difficult, she used the psychological method of acting. The actor Dainius Svobonas behaved more freely with his character and demonstrated an obvious ironic attitude towards the play. In this way he managed to create a rather interesting and comic personage.


Liucija Rukšnaitytė demonstrated perfect acting skills – she showed how it was possible to read the text in three different methods, she presented the process of creating the role directly to the audience. Acting different characters, she disturbed the static of the performance and granted life to it. There is a fourth actor on the stage who was not planned in the play. Vilija Grigaitytė performs the role of a director – she reads remarks and creates some sounds during the reading of the text: clings glasses, moves keys, strikes a match. Manipulation with sounds grants some playfulness to the performance.


However, if a spectator hoped for something more from the performance, he/she was not lucky. One may not tune into the story due to the demonstration of the radio “kitchen”, the illusion-like reality of the love story is not real as well – neither the museum employee, nor his beloved woman exists. It is only a text about them.


Thus, the performance seems an attempt to present the play which is weak from the drama point of view and the direction point of view on the professional stage. As a result, a question occurs whether the focus on the renovation quality of Kaunas Drama Theatre is more important than the quality of the repertoire of the theatre and respect to the audience.

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