“The problem which is at stake in the play “Under Ice” is a serious issue. Starting from the early school days, we are constantly being told to be active, productive and always promising. It has become an obsession. We must graduate, get a degree, land with a fantastic job and never cease to cultivate our potential. We are never introduced simply as people, but rather as representatives of some particular profession: a scientist, a composer, a director. In our Western culture the identity of an individual is defined by his or her own profession. We want to be anything, but a human being, that is to say, we are excellent at our jobs, and yet fail to respond to ordinary situations. Our professions steal the humanly lives we ought to live,” says the director Artūras Areima with regard to his new play.
The author of “Under Ice”, Falk Richter, is one of the most important German playwrights of his generation. In this play he seeks to examine the lifestyle of economic elite, focusing on behaviour and thought, as well as the consequences they lead to. In the process of writing, the author viewed around one hundred hours of footage, documenting numerous business consultants at work. The central location of “Under Ice” is a conference hall. It is a place without love, concerned only with production. The main character, a business consultant Paul Nobody, constantly feels under pressure. Step by step Paul Nobody’s life is revealed: his workplace has monopolized his life only to diminish his personal identity, Mr. Nobody is demanded to adapt in becoming more and more effective. Given these conditions, is there a possibility for balance between personal existence and the needs of organized society?
Director Artūras Areima is a young and provocative artist, who constantly seeks to create the conditions for discussion in view of various phenomena and encourages questioning the contemporary world. He is one of the most prominent Lithuanian theatre directors, having received multiple awards: in 2013 he was awarded for seeking innovative stage forms, in 2013, 2014 and 2015 he was nominated for Golden Stage Cross in the Theatre Director category, and in 2014 the Ministry of Culture has awarded Areima with the Young Creator’s Prize. AAT | Artūras Areima’s Theatre was founded by the director in 2014, at the eve of Sirenos Theatre Festival, due to his wish to develop his skills as an artist and to seek novel theatre forms in order to find original means of expression. A number of inspired artists from the younger generation work alongside Areima.