Playing with the audience in the background of historic events 0

Miglė Munderzbakaitė, 2016-10-04

In brief: In summary, the briefing of Revolt would look like this: meeting with an unsuccessful rebel, presentation of the peaceful ways to rebel, fun with sham tools of rebellion and examples of the negative consequences of real revolt. Did the briefing encouraged the future rebels? It is difficult to say, although, probably not. However, a subjective story - the remembering of revolutionary, historical events, introducing them in different forms during the play was a successful solution.

At the end of the Kaunas State Drama Theatre season director Agnius Jankevičius invited the audience to an interactive play-instruction Revolt. Director chose to speak about rebellion and revolution through the phenomenon of colored revolutions - The Bulldozer Revolution (Yugoslavia, 2000), Tulip Revolution (Kyrgyzstan, 2005), Arab Spring (Egypt 2010–2011), Euromaidan (Ukraine, 2014). Also, in a number of ways the director tried to introduce the methods listed in the American civil resistance theoretician Gene Sharp's work of 1973 - 198 Ways to Peaceful Resistance - that have not been used in revolutions and which should be used by the future rebels.

The revolutionaries are dancing and singing on the stage; they bring many props - recognizable symbols - to the stage that help understand the instructions better. In this part of the play the viewer, who has a voting card is remembered; a few questions are asked to which you need to answer silently by raising your card. The actors rarely ask people questions that must provide a live, short answer.

Of course, no one should assume that this play is only for fun. Definitely not. The director later uses a documentary video material connected to January the 13th and a recent events in Ukraine.

What kind of revolution and an attempt to bring people together is this, if there is no music? Here the music is chosen quite aptly - amid the hits of the Queen it is hard to say if the spirit of revolution is felt or on the contrary - the idea of the briefed revolution is forgotten, but the audience is humming united. The other musical part consists of Georgian songs that add a lot of value to the play and its aesthetic side.

This instruction of rebellion looks more like a game with the audience than training or preparation of future revolutionary. And the creators of the play manage this game quite well: although glancing at each other skeptically, almost everyone carries out the proposed tasks and plays the suggested "games" - the audience appears to be quite easily manipulated and it does not rebel against the rules imposed in the play.

The nearest A. Jankevičius' play-instruction Revolt will be shown at the Kaunas State Drama Theatre on the 7th of October, at 6 pm.

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