|The rehearsal of ”Antigone in Siberia”: Eglė Mikulionytė and Jonas Jurašas. Photo by Donatas Stankevičius
The Kaunas Drama Theatre opened its 90th anniversary season with three premieres. Director Artūras Areima presented the performance Ghosts based on the play by Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Jurašas staged Antigone in Siberia (Lith. Antigonė Sibire) by playwright Aušra Marija Sluckaitė, and Agnius Jankevičius showed his Stone and Ashes (French Cendres de cailloux) according to the play by Daniel Danis.
One of the most famous directors throughout the history of the Kaunas Drama Theatre is Jonas Jurašas. After seventy years from the first soviet exiles as well as twenty years from the restoration of the independence of Lithuania, the director turned resistant consciousness, national memory and modern manifestations of patriotism into his creative object. In 1972, Jurašas was not allowed to stage the drama Antigone by Jean Anouilh as, at that time, it evoked links with unburied "forest brothers" (i.e., partisans). Now, however, the drama has served as the basis for a new dramatic work. Author of the adaptation Aušra Marija Sluckaitė included the Lament (Lith. Rauda) by emigrant Birutė Pūkelevičiūtė as well as other texts of poetic prose into the ancient myth interpreted by Anouilh. The current Lithuanian expedition Mission Siberia and the diaries of its participants were turned into a unique bridge transferring the myth of Antigone into modern times.
Agnius Jankevičius continued his creative series based on the plays by French playwright Daniel Danis. Jankevičius started the previous season with The Last Song of Durans (under the original play Song of the Say-Sayer, Fr. Le Chant du dire-dire) and this year the director chose the drama Ashes and Stones for his stage expression experiments. Shamanic rituals, the magic of primary matter, and the power of imagination serve both as the main characters and the means of stage expression in this performance.
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