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About the workgroups

Self-Creating Story (Narrative)

by Aleksandr Špilevoj

In this workgroup, participants will analyze the storyteling, the basic principles of creating and performing a verbal (non-written) narrative, a modification of history when it is transmitted from mouth to ear in the form of a legend. 

About the mentor:

Aleksandr Špilevoj is a director, playwright, actor, theatre educator. With an educational background of music technologies, Aleksandr is a graduate of Acting in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA) as well, where he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Theatre Directing. At present, Aleksandr holds the position of artistic director of Juozas Miltinis’ Drama Theatre, he is also the founder and the head of the theatre-art laboratory “Alchemy of Art”.

Aleksandr Špilevoj’s debut play “Unlearned Lessons” (2016) won “Open Space” competition in Arts Printing House, hortlisted one of the most prestigious Russian festivals of contemporary drama “Liubimovka” program, won the Dalia Tamulevičiūtė Competition for Lithuanian Authors of Performing Works of Art. In 2017, performance based on this play and directed by Aleksandr himself was nominated for the main Lithuanian theatre award “Golden Stage Cross” in the category “Theatre +”. In 2018 Aleksandr Spilevoj has been awarded with the Young Artist Award from Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and in 2019 he has been awarded with “Golden Stage Cross” for the dramaturgy of performance “Almshouse” (“Bagadelnia”, dir. by Aleksandr himself). In 2020 Aleksandr received the Best Director award at Dalia Tamuleviciute Professional Theatre Festival for the performance “Iran Conference”.


Site-Specific Research: Distance – Geometric Paradox

by Miglė Bereikaitė

The reality in which we live today very often evokes the enigmatic experience of distance. In this artistic research workshop we would like to raise a question of the spatial paradox, or more precisely, the amount of the space between two places that we speak of when we use the term distance. As we have seen in the given examples, what lies in between is always mysterious. What is the nature of this amount of space? How is it experienced and how is it embodied? Is distance just a matter of geometric measurements, or is it something more?

Through different locations in Vilnius, which we will define at the beginning of our work, we will try to answer these (and other) questions by applying art-based research methods in relation to the specific places. The aim is to experience these questions ourselves, to translate them into a performative, multidisciplinary language and to find an artistic way to share our three- to four-day research results with an audience.

About the mentor:

Miglė Bereikaitė is a director, actor, theatre educator. Miglė has completed her Acting studies in France but has came back in Lithuania, where she gained master degree in Staging and is now pursuing doctoral degree in Theatre Directing. Miglė Bereikaitė has experience in theatre acting and directing and has also tried the cinematic lense in both acting and directing roles.


How to Create a Performance for Babies and Children Under Five?

by Ieva Jackevičiūtė and Raimondas Klezys

Theatre for children has been around for around one hundred years, while theatre for babies and children under five is only about forty years old. In some countries, this form of theatre is not a new phenomenon, but in some countries, theatre for very young children is viewed with a great deal of scepticism. There are still questions about the need for theatre for children who cannot even walk or talk yet. The answer is unequivocal – they really do need it. It is scientifically proven that human personality development is fastest before the age of five. Therefore, theatre can also contribute positively to these processes. As much as one is involved in artistic activities with one’s family in childhood, one becomes an active cultural participant in adulthood. However, there is still a lack of knowledge and skills on how to prepare plays for the youngest audience. This is a special audience that defies the usual theatre canons. Young children do not sit, do not cry, do not clap. They don’t pretend to like something if they don’t like it. When they protest, they do so immediately and very strongly. When they like it, they reward it with maximum concentration, surprise, admiration, thus filling the theatre space with pure childlike energy, shrieks and joy, which makes people want to create for them.

Once the riddle of what attracts children’s attention has been solved, once you’ve discovered your creative key and once you’ve been exposed to this audience, you want to experience it again, and again, and again. It’s always inspiring to hear the positive feedback that comes during and immediately after the performance. When parents see their little ones change, get involved, or just watch the action attentively during the performance, they experience special states of mind of their own, for which they express their gratitude and trust in the creators. It’s a really fun creative field, but not having children of one’s own, or having never been exposed to them, can lead creators to a number of questions:

  • How do you create a play that meets the needs of young children?
  • Why is there a need for plays for such young children?
  • What do they like, and what don’t they like?
  • How should actors act during such a play?
  • What to create about, what kind of dramaturgy?
  • What should be the structure of the play? Scenography? Music?

Join us! We promise you a creative, interesting, fun and playful time, after which you might feel that creating plays for babies and children up to five years old is your path of artistic exploration.

About the mentors:

The workshop will be moderated by a family duo of art educators and theatre makers and researchers Ieva Jackevičiūtė and Raimondas Klezys. The couple has three children, so the creative and pedagogical direction of creating for young audiences was not chosen by chance. Ieva graduated from ballet school, then studied acting and theatre education, worked as an actress on TV and film, danced in contemporary dance and physical theatre productions, and nowadays, in her PhD studies, she carries out artistic research on the creation of plays for young children, teaches theatre classes to babies with their mothers, organizes trainings for teachers, and directs plays. Raimondas is a qualified theatre educator, as well as a professional actor, dancer and playwright, who writes dramaturgy for baby, children’s and youth plays, and who presents his work not only on the Lithuanian and foreign professional stage, but also to socially sensitive groups, working with youth in orphanages and prisons. Raimondas’ recent artistic research focuses on the application of stand-up expression in the creation of one-man plays and the search for an artistic and educational dialogue with the audience in post-performance discussions. The artists have combined their creative and pedagogical activities to create an independent theatre called No Shoes Theatre, where audiences are invited to come without shoes because it’s the cleaner way.


Verbatim Theatre on a Global Crisis

by Loreta Vaskova

Verbatim theatre formed at the beginning of the 20 C. Derek Paget describes it a type of performances where the play text is based only on interviews, with very few edits to the spoken language, and where actors repeat the people’s words as accurately as possible. Up to this day verbatim performances it is based and draws inspiration from more various sources like diaries, articles, video recordings, court cases, photos etc.

In the context of documentary theatre, verbatim performances represent various social groups or individuals and give a voice of voiceless also this form of theatre is capable of social change, because it can incur change beyond the limits of the theatre. Most often, through their work, verbatim theatre artists attempt to influence the audience, to provoke dialogue, challenge stereotypes and inform opinion. Also, social change can be directed outward, manifesting through real action. Here, verbatim theatre artists aim to influence legal or political systems and implement short-term or long-term change, on an individual as well as a group level. That is also one of the reasons why verbatim theatre is often popular as an artist’s reactions to various local and global crises.

In the 20th century performances reflected on world wars, atomic bomb invention, later on various social and political problems. Sometimes documentary theatre could be as a tool talking about crisis. No exception is COVID – 19 situation in which verbatim theatre artist had to search new ways of communication with audience and performance forms. So, in this seminar “Verbatim theatre on a various global crisis” we will pay attention how verbatim artist cope with such situations, what tools they use, and we will try to experiment with some of them in artistic research. Also, during the seminar the participants will get knowledge about the historical development of the documentary theatre, main tools of the verbatim theatre form, artistic responsibility making verbatim performance, pandemic strategies of communication with audience.

Homework: bring an example theatre project which was of overcoming pandemic restrictions in your native country.

About the mentor:

Loreta Vaskova is a theatre director and teacher. After graduating from Klaipėda University, she continued her Master’s studies at the Vsevolod Meyerhold Centre, Moscow. Loreta Vaskova obtained PhD in Art at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA) and, in 2014, started to teach there. Her first course focused on biomechanics for actors; later, Loreta Vaskova assisted director Oskaras Koršunovas in the course for actors he was leading. Currently, Loreta is teaching Documentary Theatre. 

Besides this, as a theatre director, Loreta Vaskova practices documentary theatre beyond the walls of the Academy: her numerous publications and various seminars are all dedicated to the topic of documentary theatre. In addition to her research work, Loreta Vaskova has always been devoted to the theatre: she has directed 12 drama performances, five contemporary operas, and as many as 15 non-traditional theatre projects for play readings.

Loreta Vaskova is a passionate life-long learner, continuously developing her professional skills in internships and seminars in the USA, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Portugal, Great Britain, France and other countries.


We Stage Movies Too

by Augustas Gornatkevičius

Movie scripts or cinematic narratives keep coming back to theatre stages. It’s no surprise – the shift of theatrical language in the last century was deeply influenced by the birth and rise of cinema. Theatre makers could even be scared at first. We always suppose that the new will kill the old – tv was supposed to kill radio, internet was supposed to kill tv. In the same manner movies could have potentially killed theatre. Yet we flourish!

What goes around, comes around. Cinema didn’t kill theatre and in the recent decades theatre creators started interpreting (or reusing, performing) cinematic scripts on stage. Theatre started feeding of cinema. Movie narratives or scripts are a huge source of material for contemporary theatre makers. Yet differently from plays, written with theatre in mind, we rarely read movie scripts before seeing the movie. That supposes that even when staging a movie script in theatre, we are deeply influenced by the original movie itself. So how do we deal with that? What do we do with the signs and metaphors, colors and camera angles seen in that movie? Do we try to close our eyes and forget what we saw, or do we start a dialogue with the original?

What’s more important, movies can be seen as a document of time. Movies are created in a certain time frame and then sealed. Theatre, on the other hand, is always a live (or living) process. So, while researching and analyzing a movie for a theatre performance, we can search for the signs of a certain period and then actualize those signs in our interpretation. In this way we discuss the DISTANCE of time in a movie and create our own PRESENCE in theatre.

During the workshop we will be analyzing different approaches to staging a movie (script) in theatre and researching the differences and similarities between those two mediums. Is there something more to “steal” from cinema and what can we offer them back? 

Homework: Watch “Naked” by Mike Leigh (1993).

About the mentor:

Augustas Gornatkevičius is a theatre director, LMTA graduate and currently – lecturer in is alma mater. Augustas has completed bachelor in Theatre Directing mentored by legendary Lithuanian theatre director Jonas Vaitkus and masters at the course led by Yana Ross.

In 2019 performance “Trip to Eden” directed by Augustas has received the “Golden Stage Cross” nomination for the best supporting actress. He has staged theatre performances and play readings of various forms; his latest work – performance “The Flickering” – takes place in a completely online surroundings where the spectators can participate in a performance equally as the actors.

During his studies, Augustas actively participated as a students’ representative in E:UTSA network for theatre schools. His international experience also concluded his final work at the Academy – the performance “Calamari Union 2. Megastar” was staged together with the Acting students of Helsinki UNIARTS.