The Wedding, based on the one-act play A Respectable Wedding by Bertolt Brecht, has been produced together with the young actors, former students of Koršunovas, who have only recently completed their Bachelor’s studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music.
Lithuanian director Arturas Areima mounts an adaptation of Falk Richter’s play of the same name, Under Ice. If these names ring obscure, fear not: know that Areima is a brilliant director with a spirited cast of performers and Richter’s words manage to make an impact.
The latest production of Oskaras Koršunovas, “Cleansed”, based on the play of the same name by S. Kane surprises not so much with its violence or brutality, the topic most commonly discussed in reviews of the play’s work-in-progress, but with the courage and depth of the issues it raises. The viewer is forced to restructure what for centuries was fundamentally considered a European identity.
The goal of the play was not to tell a coherent story, but to spit out the inner dirt from the darkest depths of the soul and ask questions about the internal filth of each spectator – hence the name of the play. Or, rather, it is about radical defilement in order to become clean.
The era that OKT once bypassed caught up with its children – the young generation of actors who chose this play themselves. And although I’m always a bit nervous when I go to see plays created by young actors, I will steal thunder from other skeptics – no other generation of actors could ever give such a sensitive rendition of “Cleansed”.
Few in China had heard of Oskaras Korsunovas Theater, or OKT in short, when the Lithuanian troupe first presented Hamlet as part of the mammoth Theater Olympics festival in late 2014 in Beijing.
In “Hamlet” we were invited to ask ourselves the question “Who are you?” Who are you as an actor, who you are as a character, who you are as a spectator? The question asked over and over again, sounding louder and louder, becomes the prologue of the tragedy by Shakespeare, taking us to the time before the beginning of the play, when the actor prepares for his role in the make-up room, that place of transformation and self-creation where an existence and a semblance merge and double.