Lithuania’s National Youth Theatre

Valdas Vasiliauskas at Eurozine:

During the romantic 19th century, even at the beginning of the 20th, art legends were born in the attics and garrets, preferably Parisian. During the more practical decades of the late 20th century, artists relocated to much more prosaic places, such as the smoke-filled cellars of Liverpool (The Beatles) or the garages and student dormitories of the American West Coast, populated by computer magicians and IT wizards. The great legend of the Lithuanian theatre was born in a warehouse in Vilnius, more specifically, in the section of the Youth Theatre used both as a workshop and a warehouse in which stage decorations were stored. Nowadays, the building – a newly redecorated palace, originally built during the 15th and 17th centuries by the Radziwiłł family – is difficult to recognize and hosts the Museum of Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema. In the 1970s, it was a dilapidated structure, despite the fancy name – Experimental Stage of the Youth Theatre – given to one of its decrepit halls. It was this stage, the most modest among the Lithuanian theatres of the time, that was chosen by Eimuntas Nekrošius for his debut as a theatre director in 1977. Then a student of GITIS, the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts in Moscow (renamed the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts in 1991), Nekrošius directed his diploma performance A Taste of Honey (Medaus skonis) with the troupe of the Youth Theatre.

more here.