Lithuanian National Drama Theatre

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Lithuanian National Drama Theatre
Three Muses. Lithuanian National Drama Theatre facade, photo by Dmitrij Matvejev

Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (Lithuanian: Lietuvos nacionalinis dramos teatras), located on Gediminas Avenue in Vilnius, is one of Lithuania’s most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues and cultural institutions. Founded as a Vilnius State Theatre in 1940, it became Lithuanian National Drama Theatre in 1998. The theatre’s façade featuring the Three Muses sculpture has become a landmark of Vilnius city.

History[1][edit]

The story of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre began on the 6th of October, 1940, when the play "Hope" by Dutch playwright Herman Heijermans was performed in the then Vilnius State Theatre on Basanaviciaus St. 13. The main visual motif of the play – a fisher’s boat – has become the emblem of the National Theatre.

During the Second World War, the theatre operated as the Vilnius City Theatre, throughout 1944-1947 – as the Vilnius State Drama Theatre, in 1947-1955 it was called the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, until 1998 – the Lithuanian State Academic Drama Theatre, and since the 3rd of August 1998 it has been known as the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (LNDT).

The theatre has been operating in the current premises on Gedimino Avenue 4 since 1951. This place has a rich theatrical tradition – in the beginning of the twentieth century it hosted events of the theatrical Polish Cultural Society "Liutnia". In 1981, a major reconstruction of the theatre (the architects – brothers Algimantas and Vytautas Nasvytis) was completed. Then the Big Hall, which can accommodate 660 spectators, was opened. The Small Hall (171 seats) opened the door a few years later. The Studio (former rehearsal space) is used for small and experimental productions. The Main Lobby is often used as a venue for set design, theatre costumes and posters exhibitions.

The sculpture "Three Muses" (by sculptor Stanislovas Kuzma) crowning the main entrance to the theatre has become the symbol of the LNDT. The muses of Drama (Calliope), Comedy (Thalia) and Tragedy (Melpomene) are patrons of the theatre’s wide and diverse repertoire, and the sculpture "The Fount" decorating the lobby symbolizes the course that the theatre has taken: to cherish tradition, but remain vigorous and open to innovation and change.

In the summer of 2007 the ticket office and the Big Hall were renovated (new audience chairs and carpeting). In the Small Hall the audience chairs were also replaced and the cafeteria on the second floor was renovated.

The LNDT presents a wide variety of genres; its repertoire comprises the classical, modern and Lithuanian playwriting. The theatre acts as an umbrella organisation commissioning shows to the most prominent Lithuanian and European artists and young professionals. Such directors as Kirsten Dehlholm (Denmark), Krystian Lupa (Poland), Yana Ross (USA), Árpad Schilling (Hungary), Valters Sīlis have directed their works here. Lithuanian theatre directors Oskaras Koršunovas, Eimuntas Nekrošius, Jonas Vaitkus, Gintaras Varnas, Cezaris Graužinis as well as Agnius Jankevičius, Paulius Ignatavičius have also presented their shows here.

Since 2005, the LNDT has organized the national drama festival "Versmė" (The Fount). It is the culmination of a national playwriting competition. First, a competition is announced, then readings of the best plays organized, and, finally, the best plays are staged and presented at the festival. The aim is to promote the development of Lithuanian dramaturgy, and raise the interest of theatre professionals and the public in national playwriting.

Notable productions[edit]

2010-2016[2][edit]

Išvarymas (Expulsion), director O. Koršunovas. Photo by Tomas Lukšys.jpg

Visuomenės priešas (Public Enemy) by Henrik Ibsen directed by Jonas Vaitkus (2011)

Chaosas (Chaos) by Mika Myllyaho directed by Yana Ross (2011)

Išvarymas (Expulsion) by Marius Ivaškevičius, directed by Oskaras Koršunovas (2011)

Katedra (Cathedral) by Justinas Marcinkevičius directed by Oskaras Koršunovas (2012)

Mūsų klasė (Our Class) by Tadeusz Słobodzianek directed by Yana Ross (2013)

Kosmosas+ (Cosmos+) directed by Kirsten Dehlholm (2014)

Jelizaveta Bam (Elizabeth Bam) by Daniil Charms directed by Oskaras Koršunovas (2015)

Mūsų klasė (Our Class) director Yana Ross

Kankinys (Martyr) by Marius von Mayenburg directed by Oskaras Koršunovas (2015)

Didvyrių aikštė (Heroes‘ Square) by Thomas Bernhard directed by Krystian Lupa (2015)

Borisas Godunovas (Boris Godunov) by Alexander Pushkin directed by Eimuntas Nekrošius (2015)

Oidipo mitas (The Oedipus Myth) by Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus directed by Gintaras Varnas (2016)

Theatre managers[1][edit]

1940-1944 and 1953-1954

Romualdas Juknevičius (1906-1963)

Most notable works as a director:

"Battleship" 14-69 by V. Ivanov (1941), "Uncle Vanya" by A. Chekhov (1954), "The Fate of Dawn" by B. Sruoga (1956), E. de Filippo "The Lie with Long Legs" (1958), "Masquerade" by M. Lermontov (1960), "A Month in a Village" by I. Turgenev (1962).

1944-1949

Borisas Dauguvietis (1885-1949)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Cherry Orchard" by A. Chekhov (1945), "Tartuffe" by Molière (1945), "Enemies" (1946) and "Egor Bulychov" (1948) by M. Gorky, "The Forest" by A. Ostrovsky (1948), "Intrigue and Love" by F. Schiller (1949)

1949-1951 and 1954-1966

Juozas Rudzinskas (1905-1975)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Fire Bridge" by S. Romashov (1954), "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare (1959), "An Irkutsk Story" by A. Arbuzov (1960), "Ghosts" by H. Ibsen (1961), "The Lower Depths" by Gorky (1964), "Skirgaila" by V. Krėvė (1966)

1966-1989

Henrikas Vancevičius (b. 1924)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Village of Stepanchikovo" by F. Dostoevsky (1971), "The Wild Duck" by H. Ibsen (1973), J. P. Sartre "The Condemned of Altona" (1968), the trilogy: "Mindaugas" (1969), the "Cathedral" (1971), "Mažvydas" (1978 ) by Just. Marcinkevičius

1989-1995

Jonas Vaitkus (b. 1944)

Most notable works as a director:

"Dziady" by A. Mickiewicz (1990), opera "The Lamb of God" by F. Bajoras (1991), "Madamme de Sade" by Y. Mishima (1992), "Persona" by I. Bergman (1994), "A Dream Play" by A. Strindberg (1995), "Miguel Mañara" by O. Milosz (1996), "The Village of Stepanchikovo" by F. Dostoevsky ( 1998)

1995-1999

Rimas Tuminas (b. 1952)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Emigrant of Brisbane" by Georges Chehade (1980), a variation on "Fairy Drops" by Kuternitzky, "Here Will Be No Death" by V. Kukulas and R. Tuminas (1982), "Silent Night" by H. Muller (1984), "One More Time there Lies the Sea of Lights (Jeanne)" by Alexander Galin (1986), "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles (1998), "Richard III" by William Shakespeare (1999)

1999-2000

Composer Faustas Latėnas (b. 1956)

2000-2005

Actor Vytautas Rumšas (b. 1951)

2005-October 25, 2010

Actor, director Adolfas Večerskis (b. 1949)

Most notable works as a director:

"The Navel" by J. Anouilh (2002), "Loot" by J. Orton (2003 ), "Run for Your Wife" R. Cooney (2005), "Man of La Mancha" by D. Wasserman J. Darion, and M. Leigh (2009 ), "The Story of God’s Man" by A. Gotesman (2010)

From 2010

Lithuanian theatre and film actor Martynas Budraitis (b. 1969)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History - Lithuanian National Drama Theatre". www.teatras.lt. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  2. ^ "List of LNDT productions - Lithuanian National Drama Theatre". www.teatras.lt. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 

External links[edit]