In November, a series of events dedicated to the memory of director Eimuntas Nekrošius will be held in the Youth Theater. It’s culmination: the tour of the Warsaw National Theater on November 23 and 24. The theater will bring “The Marriage”, the last production directed by E. Nekrošius, based on the play of the same name by Witold Gombrowicz. It was in the Youth Theater that Nekrošius began his creative path and here we’ll bid farewell to his last work.
“Eimuntas Nekrošius did not seek relevance in his work, but his performances are relevant as ever. He once said: “I’m not looking for anything new. All I’m looking for is humanity and warmth in cold and grim material.” This is what makes the Nekrošius theater so invaluable. And like Atlantis it sinks into nothingness with every disappearing work of the director…” says Audronis Liuga, head of the Youth Theater.
“The Marriage” by W. Gombrowicz is one of the most significant works of the 20th century Polish dramaturgy. The play not only broke the canons of the romantic tradition, but also promoted a change in theatrical language. For directors of different generations, transferring “The Marriage” to the stage becomes a challenge, and the best interpretations have gone down in the history of modern Polish theater.
Where to look for a new beginning in the ruins of the old world order? What do we face in life: other people or our own image? Does our world automatically create itself among us? And if so, why is there “so much noise” when we are with others? In “The Marriage”, Nekrošius looks for answers to these essential questions asked by W. Gombrowicz in his work in his own way, employing humor, complementing the images of the play with memories from his youth and dramatic forebodings of the “approaching horizon”… According to the well-known Polish theater critic Łukasz Drewniak: “In “The Marriage” by Nekrošius the space is like a sheet of water that reflects people like a mirror. When stirred, it starts to ripple and twinkle, and reflections multiply. The sea of time, the ocean of the past, the dead waters of death are the three-dimensional mirror Henry enters in his dream…”
On November 24, at 12 o’clock at the Youth Theater there will be a meeting with the audience in which the actors of the Warsaw National Theater, who created roles in Nekrošius’ productions of “Forefathers’ Eve” based on the poetic drama by Adam Mickiewicz and “The Marriage”, will share their memories and insights about working with the director. The conversation will be moderated by Ł. Drewniak, a researcher of the Nekrošius theatre of many years.
The cycle of events at the Youth Theater dedicated to the memory of Eimuntas Nekrošius will begin on October 31, right before the demonstration of the play “Zinc” directed by him, with the opening of the unique exhibition “Unseen Nekrošius” prepared by the “Art Fort” department of the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum. The exhibition first opened at the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum in 2022. It will contain photographs by Nadežda Gultiajeva, the wife and creative companion of Eimuntas Nekrošius. Marius Nekrošius, the director’s son is the author of the exhibition’s design. The exhibition’s curator – Audrius Jankauskas. The exhibition will be open in the theater’s lobby until November 26.
The creators of the exhibition sought to show a different Eimuntas Nekrošius than was known by many. Myths have been created about the director’s somber character, his insistence on high standards for himself, the actors, colleagues, and everyone else around him. Often, this professional insistence and focus caused anxiety and tension. But those who worked or spent a longer period of time with Eimuntas saw a completely different side of the director’s personality. Nekrošius had a subtle sense of humor and liked to fantasize about many things and topics. He had a unique ability to filter out what’s insignificant and inspire one’s faith in his or her abilities. In N. Gultiajeva’s photographs we’ll see moments from Nekrošius’ life and work that’ll reveal the unseen, simple, strange and witty side of his character. Alone or surrounded by nature, friends and family. The exhibition is a memory journey through meetings, works and coexistence with Eimuntas Nekrošius.
The Youth Theater became the first creative home for Nekrošius as a director. Here, in 1977, he made his debut with the play “A Taste of Honey”. Then he went on to create the plays “The Square”, “Pirosmani, Pirosmani…”, “Love and Death in Verona”, “The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years”, “Uncle Vanya”, and “The Nose”. They established the phenomenon of the ”Nekrošius Theater” and changed the theater world forever.
On November 4 there will be a screening of a documentary essay “Eimuntas Nekrošius – the Beginning” directed by A. Liuga. It is a reflection on the theater of that time, created with the help of photos and footage of performances. A closer look at the images captured by photographers Stanislovas Kairys, Audrius Zavadskis and cameraman Donatas Buklys can help discover the “lost time” moments of Nekrošius’ performances. During his youth, the theater seemed more real than the surrounding reality. It is a utopian effort to revive those moments… The Youth Theater invites you not only to remember the work of one of the most outstanding artists of our time who left us five years ago, but also to think about what message it sends us today.