2023 08 29

On the 26th and 27th of August, after a short summer vacation, the Vilnius Theatre “Lėlė” will open its doors to its audience once again. On the last weekend of summer, the Theatre will invite the audience to see the popular performances designed for children of different ages: “About the World” (director Justina Jukonytė), “Tale About A Little Turtle” (director Algirdas Mikutis), “Riddle(s)” (director Aušra Bagočiūnaitė Paukšienė). And on the 2nd and 3rd of September, the most recent play will be offered for spectators – “Karlsson” (director Ainis Storpirštis). Meantime, if you have not had time yet to visit the exhibition “Felted. Chiselled. Carved” at the VVJ Art Gallery, which introduces the world of the Theatre “Lėlė” and its history, please hurry up – the exhibition will be open only until the 10th of September.

“A very intense season awaits ahead of us, including new creative tasks and continuous works on the renovation of the Theatre, international cooperation. After the pandemic and the lengthy repair of the Great Hall, when we could only see a distant light at the end of the tunnel, we are already starting to feel more comfortable – we are entering and returning to the normal rhythm of activity, and at the same time we are also stepping into the era of a new quality of the technical conditions at the Theatre. This year, we will be greeting our audience with new performances, finally – with a fully functioning repertoire, a laboratory designed for the integration of young creators, exhibitions, celebrations of the anniversaries of Vilnius and the Theatre and, as always, abundant tours, visits to various regions of Lithuania“, told Vilmantas Juškėnas, the Head of the Theatre.

The first premiere of the upcoming season that will take place in the Great Hall will be the puppet play “My Vilnius, Mine” directed by Paulius Tamolė for older children – based on the book of the same name by Justinas Žilinskas (the writer is also the author of the adaptation of the book for the stage). The premiere will be presented in October while celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Theatre and the 700th anniversary of the city of Vilnius. It is a story about two children who enters an abandoned house in Vilnius – this is where a mysterious journey from Gediminas’ dream to the present day begins. As Paulius Tamolė noticed: “This is a journey through the most important events that shaped our city as we see it today. The children will meet Queen Bona, spend some time in Vilnius during a plague outbreak, observe the emergence of Vilnius University and something much more gruesome – the establishment of the Vilnius Ghetto... The book by Justinas Žilinskas, based on which we have staged the play, is very thick, thus one of the most difficult tasks was to choose the most subtle and important events.” The artist of the performance is Giedrė Brazytė, the composer – Tadas Dešukas, the choreographer – Eugenijus Slavinskas, and the cast consist of the actors of the Theatre “Lėlė”.

A modern interpretation of “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas for older children is planned to be presented in the Great Hall Until before the New Year as well. Nowadays the motto of “The Three Musketeers” – “All for one, and one for all!” – is more relevant than ever due to the grimaces of today’s reality; however, there are surely no plans to simply directly convey Alexandre Dumas’ classic work, which is characterized by an abundance of stereotypes... The creative core of the performance will consist of a team of well-known Polish creators, already familiar to the audience of the Theatre “Lėlė” from the play “Coffee Grinder”: the author of the adaptation is Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszcuk, the director – Ewa Piotrowska, the painter – Michal Dracz, the composer – Wojciech Blazejczyk.

“Lėlė” will continue, while integrating young artists, the operation of the contemporary puppet and object theatre laboratory “Surreality check”, which this year will be exploring the topic of taboo. After a strong educational part that took place in the spring, two sketches of the laboratory participants selected by the commission will be developed and presented this autumn: one – sex education for teenagers, the other – the topics of the myth of the Androgyne and non-binary people. According to Žilvinas Vingelis, the laboratory curator: “When we received sketch applications, the benefit of the educational part became apparent: this time, most of applications were submitted accompanied with full sketches, a production plan and even puppet-related solutions (the latter were usually attempted to avoid). It seems that the efficient educational phase encouraged the participants to think about the different components of the theatre, and then to develop them, in addition, stronger creative teams were formed during that time...”

After the New Year, the work on the creation of two more new performances will begin at the Theatre. Director Olga Lapina, together with artist Julija Skuratova, will stage in the Small Hall a children’s play of puppets and objects “A Flat for Rent”, based on a verse tale of the same name by Leah Goldberg. The main theme of the poem is tolerance, the ability to live peacefully and to understand each other, no matter how different we are. Meanwhile, Milda Mičiulytė, a young director, will start works in the Great Hall, staging a performance of puppets and objects based on “Gulliver's Travels” by Jonathan Swift (the playwright, author of the adaptation – Daiva Čepauskaitė). Also, after a long break, the performances “Pinocchio”, “Oh Lord, Lithuania!” and “Tick-Tactics” will return to the Great Stage.

This season, the investment project aimed at the modernization of technology equipment will be continued. Upgrading of the technological communications and stage lighting has already been implemented; this year, most of the stage and hall sound equipment renovation works have been already completed, and preparations are underway for the last stage of the multimedia equipment renovation. In addition, organizational works related to the Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase which ought to take place in the autumn of 2024 will also be started in cooperation with the Tallinn State Youth Theater (Noorsooteater) and the Riga State Puppet Theatre.

And as every year, “Lėlė” will tour a lot to various regions of Lithuania. Tours to Radviliškis, Panevėžys, Elektrėnai, Anykščiai, Varėna, Švenčionėliai, Biržai, Molėtai and Klaipėda are being planned already before the New Year. Meantime, the audience in Poland will be able to see the plays “Coffee Grinder” and “About the World”.



Info by Vilnius Theatre “Lėlė”