Alternative theatre showcase

24 - 28 September, 2019
Organizer: Theatre Open Circle I Vilnius City Theatre

24 September, 7 pm I Arts Printing House I Black Hall I 90 min.
Odd Men Theatre

The Odd Men Theatre (Keistuolių teatras) production of a musical mystery play Eddie Aggregate or The Life and Death of The Immortal Optimist combines live experimental rock music with extravagant steampunk-style set design, and an original drama, centered around the story of the fate of someone Eddie Aggregate – a mystical figure in a dystopic world.

In an unknown age of some post apocalyptic time, in different parts of the world, relics are found which originate from a mythical man – the legendary prophet Eddie Aggregate – famous for his perennially happy life. In the joyless society of the future, these relics amount to a miracle which kindles the hope of experiencing the feeling of happiness once again. The seekers, who set out to solve the mystery of this ever-smiling prophet, find Eddie Aggregate's psalm-book, and it reveals to them his true life-story, which turns out to be no less tragicomical, in a commonplace way, than that of any other human being.

The work of Aidas Giniotis, the director, is complemented by the musical side of the Odd Men Theatre (Keistuolių teatras) creative team, who, through their language of musical experiments, subtle absurdity and irony, convey the multi-faceted nature of this mythologized personality's life. The creators of the rock phantasmagoria employ some unusual forms of theatrical expression as they delve into the fringes of life and the approaches of death, while raising essential questions about certain fictions that come up in society and make its members pay the price.

Director: Aidas Giniotis

Cast: Aidas Giniotis, Darius Miniotas, Judita Urnikytė, Ieva Stundžytė, Jonas Šarkus, Giedrius Kiela, Gabrielius Zapalskis

Set and costumes: Ramunė Skrebūnaitė

Light designer: Darius Malinauskas

Sound designer: Ignas Juzokas

25 September, 7 pm I Arts Printing House I Pocket Hall I 90 min.
Kaunas Chamber Theatre
MARI KARDONA I directed by Agnius Jankevičius

Mari Kardona is a one-woman show which rips out of the crowd, oversaturated with everything, one of its discomforting fragments and places it under a magnifying glass. The production is focused on a human being who normally remains an outcast: Mari Kardona, a character with a cameo appearance in Albert Camus' novel The Stranger, who in the production acquires her own, rather tragic story along with the desire to have her own feelings and her own voice so she could relate it all.

Already as a child Mari had realized that she was different. This awareness was brought home to her mostly by the blows to the head that had crowned certain situations, incomprehensible to a normal human being, which the girl was constantly having to face. Mari's greatest wish was to be just like everybody else, and to observe the outside world, yet the world did not appreciate Mari's stare. For this reason she would be hammered on the head. Again, and again, and again until these tragic stories began to appear pretty comical. Her fear of being different, her fear of suffering, of being herself – these were the many phobias that haunted Mari every day, but even during the most horrible moments, her hope of one day finding within herself some feelings – such as everybody has – proved to be stronger.

Mari Kardona is the result of the director's and the actress G. Lydigaitė's creative tandem, which turns its highly tender, emphatic and vivid look at a human being who exists on the margins of society. Every weird, spooky and somewhat tragicomical story coming from Mari's lips creates  a provoking and full-blown, no longer seen in fragments, testimony on the life a human being who is different.

Director: Agnius Jankevičius

Dramaturgy: Agnius Jankevičius

Acting: Gabrielė Ladygaitė

26 September, 3 pm I LMTA Building 5, Theatre Factory I 60 min.

Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy & Theatre Open Circle I Vilnius City Theatre

BACCHAE: THE ACT I directed by Ieva Stundžytė

Bacchae: the Act is a production of the tragedy, written by Euripides in the 5th century B.C., which transports us to a universal time full of traits that can be found in every society and culture – lust, power, cults, and the ways of the crowds who follow their leader. This XXI century interpretation of Bacchae: the Act turns to the very roots of theatre as an art, and brings back ritual to its stage. The rituals which permeate our civilization – from its most ancient form to its most modern version – here acquire the state of theatrical expression, and lay open a field of various interpretations for the themes of the play. The Athenian tragedian's play, which wraps up the Golden Age of this Ancient Greek city, describes the vengeance that the god of wine and ecstasy wreaks upon humanity, and within its present-day context invites us to muse over an individual's personal and collective responsibility, the nature of civilization and culture, as well as on the struggle between reasoning and irrationality.

Director: Ieva Stundžytė

Choreography: Eglė Kančauskaitė

Costumes: Malvina Stankutė

Cast: Lukas Auksoraitis, Matas Pranskevičius, Džiugas Širvys, Tautvydas Galkauskas, Gintautas Ulmis, Urtė Smulskytė, Aistė Šeštokaitė, Diana Kamarauskaitė, Lyja Maknavičiūtė, Justina Smieliauskaitė

Partner: Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy

Producer: Theatre Open Circle I Vilnius City Theatre

26 September, 6 pm I Arts Printing House I Pocket Hall I 80 min.
Theatre Open Circle I Vilnius City Theatre
IDENTIFY I directed by Ieva Stundžytė

Identify chooses for its object of investigation the XXI century human being's reflection on his or her own self and the surrounding worlds. Eight different characters, interconnected by close and complex ties, attempt to create and comprehend their own identities, thus turning themselves into their own hostages. A manipulative psychologist, a failed writer, a student with a double life, a doctor incapable of reconciling with his past, and other characters – they are all consumed by infinite loneliness as they long for the feeling of love, which defies the limitations of gender, time, or fear, to fill their inner void.

Identify suggests we should turn a provoking gaze at ourselves, and recognize in the brutally revealing stories of the characters the discomforting side which exists in all of us. Poignant themes, moral taboos, and the expressive action of this production creates an (at first glance) chaotic and dark space of reflection, in which (self)destruction turns into conditions for contemplating the fundamental issues of human existence, identity, and love. Who is responsible for controlling our lives? Is it possible to understand oneself without understanding others? In Identify, the philosophical questions which have been troubling mankind from its very beginnings, acquire a very human dimension, and unfold within the context of the XXI century media, trauma and everyday existence.

Director: Ieva Stundžytė

Dramaturgy: Ieva Stundžytė

Set and costume: Malvina Stankutė

Music: Arnas Danusas

Video: Eimantas Bareikis

Cast: Gabrielius Zapalskis, Judita Urnikytė, Justina Smieliauskaitė, Martyna Gedvilaitė, Karolina Elžbieta Mikolajūnaitė, Karolis Kasperavičius, Jurgis Marčėnas, Arnas Danusas, Benita Vasauskaitė

27 September, 5 pm I Arts Printing House I Pocket Hall I 80 min.

Theatre Open Circle I Vilnius City Theatre

LAND OF RAIN I directed by Aidas Giniotis

The Land of Rain is a set of biographical improvisations which speak in voices of the cast, seated in a circle, about the events of the first half of the XX century, which have left the deepest imprint in Lithuanian history.  The interwoven stories of people who had lived between the World Wars and during the post-war years – true stories which tell actual life-events of the production creators' grandparents, relatives, or complete strangers – reveal the difficult choices simple Lithuanian folks had to make as they found themselves in a ruthless political situation, and speak of their daily struggle to remain human.  The Land of Rain does not get involved in accusations or politicized polemics – the production touches the history of Lithuania through fragmentary patchwork of life-events, woven into the total fabric of the production which is distinguished by its gentle, soft-spoken patriotism and finesse.

The stories of actual people who had once lived, as they are recreated and interpreted by the actors onstage, emerge out of tiny details, sounds, glances, or even some authentic objects, which let the viewer feel an even closer proximity to the living and breathing past. In The Land of Rain, human joys and woes, happy and unhappy love stories, relationships and experiences – the elements of every individual's and nation's existence that remain indelible even in the face of worst repressions and political upheavals – blend into a sensitive and personal un-textbook-like history lesson.

Director: Aidas Giniotis

Set and costumes: Ramunė Skrebūnaitė

Cast: Justas Tertelis, Jonas Šarkus, Jurgis Marčėnas, Giedrius Kiela, Justina Smieliauskaitė / Vesta Šumilovaitė, Ieva Stundžytė, Judita Urnikytė, Benita Vasauskaitė

28 September, 4 pm I Theatre Open Circle Studio I 80 min.
SAMURAI BOOK I directed by Agnius Jankevičius

Samurai Book is a joint production of A. Jankevičius and the team of his creative syndicate "Bad Rabbits" which focuses on the situation of a small country in the global context and the place of a young person in the modern world – all conveyed through the prism of Oriental wisdom.

The protagonist of this production, a ten-year old schoolboy named Tomas Lašas, reads the Samurai Code and decides to live according to its rules. At first glance, he appears to be an ideal leader for his country – exuding the maturity, uncharacteristic to his tender age, he lives in an exemplary family while meticulously striving for his goal. But this excellence, reminiscent of a facade, hides rather more uncomfortable truths and more complex problems which Samurai Book discusses with its audience in youthful, sometimes comical language, non-the-less capable of retaining its depth. 

The basis of the production, Tomas Lašas' journal, reveals room for thought which impels a young man to yearn for meaning, as he must choose which of the paths offered by the modern world to take, and on what foundation to build his own identity. The duty of every decent samurai is to serve his master, yet who is the master for a child of our times? Can the rules of the Samurai Code apply in the XXI century Europe? Samurai Book engages the viewer's imagination, and it settles for the one-person testimony in order to unlock the issues which are relevant to every member of our society.

Director: Agnius Jankevičius

Dramaturgy: Agnius Jankevičius

Cast: Linas von Jurkštas, Birutė Belada Tauterytė, MC Jurgis Marčėnas

Performances are shown with simultaneous translation into English

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