Lina Klusaitė, 2008 12 17

Scene from the performance "The Ugly One"

In brief: While the society is becoming more and more woeful with the hardening conditions of life, one starts searching for safe, positive artistic hideaways stopping time. After the young actors’ course of Prof. Algė Savickaitė joined the staff of Kaunas Drama Theatre, it seems that time has stopped and returned to the years of youth. Tortured by lasting repairs, Kaunas Drama Theatre does not live its best days now, and, if not for the aforementioned young course, the situation would be among the hardest.

Still, astonishing success may not be noticed as well. Studio performances filled the repertoire of the theatre. The debut diploma performance “Baltaragis’ Mill” in the Parquet Hall was not successful. The premiere was hardly noticed in the information about the performance of Bernard Shaw “Home of Broken Hearts” while speaking about the opening of the new but shabby rehearsal hall. The performance of the new course “Mauglis” that appeared silently in the repertoire was not announced at all.

For a good performance to be born in hands of a clever director, not much is needed today: a good play and good actors. The young director of Rimas Tuminas‘ course Vilius Malinauskas, who presented the performance according to the play of Marius von Mayenburg “The Ugly One“ in the small hall, implemented these requirements. The actual play revealing mechanisms of beauty industry is full of irony and black humour. The collective of professional actors enabled the director to create an “audience-friendly“ performance in which hot social problems and entertainment found their place.

Differently from earlier stagings by the director Michael Baran at Helsinki Theatre and Ramino Gray at the Royal Court Theatre, the director V.Malinauskas refused gay themes, sophisticated stage solutions and limited with minimalistic scenography – a surgeon’s chair and actors’ wigs hiding the combed surface of levelled thinking (scenographer – Kristina Buklytė, costumes – Jolanta Rimkutė).

Focusing on the issue of lost identity, the director trusted actors exclusively. The relations of characters are complicated by attributing several parts to one actor. All of the characters, except for the scientist Lette, had several identities in the play and performance; therefore, the genre variations of characters are visible as if through a magnifying glass.

Even though actors enjoy the created roles, not everybody masters different styles of acting. Ričardas Vitkaitis, who creates the caricature of the assistant Karlmen and a gay son of a rich investor, and Liubomiras Laucevičius, who acted the parts of the company owner Schefer and plastic surgeon, seemed too relaxed occasionally. Sigitas Šidlauskas, who created the main part of Lette, was exceptional by the stronger psychological features of his hero.

Be it purposeful or not, Aurelija Tamulytė, who created her characters with precision of one hundred percent, was the prima donna of this performance. She switched from one part to another easily: the blond Fanny, embodiment of innocent insipidity, and the immoral investor charmed the audience from the first phrases.

Meanwhile, another director of R.Tuminas’ course Kirilas Glušajevas, who staged the play “Dreams” of the contemporary Russian playwright Ivan Vyrypajev at Kaunas Drama Theatre, remained loyal to believes of his generation. The director chose problems of young people known to him and, contrary to V. Malinauskas, risked by several aspects – by inviting young non-experienced actors of A.Savickaitė’s course and by choosing the play speaking in abstract language, with no particular characters.

“Dreams” is the debut play of I. Vyrypajev based on feelings of people affected by drug-addicts’ delirium. It is not the meaning but the energy of the phrase which enables to achieve the highest degree of dialogue with a spectator that is the most significant here. The director K.Glušajevas refused the abstract text reading and let his actors search for tangible characters, for internal statuses revealing them. One may say that the appearance of characters on the stage saved the performance from a school-like text reading. However, the performance lacks authentic power, internal energy, true passion.

Speaking about the new course of Prof. A. Savickaitė that joined the staff of Kaunas Drama Theatre, one may surely notice high-level professional preparation, special attention to the method of role creation, stage language and other good things. This professionalism was demonstrated in the performance “House of Broken Hearts”. The young actors created a factory of colourful characters in this performance according to the play of B.Show. They listened to each other here and tried to respond to partners' emotions.

The notices expressed here invites one to think about work methods of other directors working with young troupes. One does not need to ask why works of Aidas Giniotis, Gintaras Varnas or Cezaris Graužinis’ young actors are enjoyed. Their parts pulsate with natural unrestricted mastery, released energy, authenticity, uttered internal truth. A live performance stimulating imagination and belief in what you are doing may be born only from this truth.

Youth is always inclined to follow a strong personality, whom they respect and trust. One may only hope that the new actors’ course will find their director and that Kaunas Drama Theatre will discover its personality attracting young people as well as everybody searching for the “real door”.

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