Theater festival HOUSE NO. X
Why this festival? And why in Kaunas? The idea of the festival was born from the public debate that has been going on in Kaunas for years: does Kaunas need a different theater and where is the suitable venue of such a theater? The festival aims to introduce “non-dramatic”, “off-stage” theater and to give the audience an opportunity to get to know a theater that is still relatively new in the local context. The axis of the festival is the peculiarities of the site-specific and immersive theater production. The duo of the festival´s organizers is Renata Bartusevičiūtė and Paulina Nešukaitytė.
HOUSE NO. 2
Second theater festival HOUSE NO. 2 took place on July 29 – August 11, 2019. This time the festival invited the audience back to school. The main focus was on the collective creative theater. The organizer was inspired to choose this space because of the second festival’s theme: the transformation of a person from child to adult, the delicate boundary that separates these two groups, and the accompanying element of this transformation – school / education – as a process that begins but never ends. So from creative workshops to day camp, from performances to theatrical experiments, the spectators experienced the whole emotional cocktail that accompanies each of us, not only during our teenage.
HOUSE NO. 1
For the first time, the festival took place in Kaunas in October 25 – 28, 2018. It invited people to question location of the theater, the environment that suited it; community´s involved in the performance, and suggested experimenting at home. After all, a home is an extremely intimate, personal, immediate space – the opposite of a stage, a theater, a public space. In the early years of its life, the festival settled in a house No. 5 on V. Putvinskio Street, Kaunas. The house is rich in history: it was home to the Tarabildos family of famous Lithuanian artists, and now the house has new proprietors. The family of Tomas Biržietis, the director of P. Mažylis Maternity Home, will soon settle in here. And while the house is awaiting renovation, the proprietors have agreed to let the festival in.
2019 Program / HOUSE No 2
The Sensory Cocktail Bar (directed by Sami Henrik Haapala), June 15-16. A perfect show of the Finnish theater company “The Center for Everything” for anyone who has never been to an inclusive theater show and wanted to see what it’s like. This performance is a multi-layered collection of emotions: the one-on-one performance is set up as a cocktail menu. Viewers can choose the cocktail they like from the menu or make their own personal cocktail from the ingredients they want (stimulating various senses). The cocktail menu is organized according to the specific context of the performance, so it is different every time.
Performance “#nobell” (directed by Paulius Tamolė), June 20. This lesson of openness, aimed not only at schoolchildren, but also at their parents and friends, takes place in different spaces of Lithuanian schools. The performance begins in the school hallway – the people gathered there are divided into ten groups coordinated by ten actors. Scattered across different school spaces, the actors share their personal stories. In the end, everyone finds themselves in the hall, where a certain “knowledge test” awaits them, testing the team’s strength, a time for self-reflection.
Children’s Camp “Let’s Create a Theater!”, June 25-29. It’s a five-day theater adventure for kids aged 8-12. During the event, the young theater artists had the opportunity to get to know the localized and immersive theater, to acquire theatrical skills, to develop creativity and self-expression, as well as to create an interactive performance themselves. The camp leaders were Paulina and Inga.
Piece Of CORRiDOR (directed by Niels Weijer), July 4.
Practical Lecture, July 3. The Italian theater artists – lecturers Emanuele Nargi and Riccardo Brunetti, presented to the participants: teachers, psychologists and social workers the possibilities of immersive theater methods inwork with children and youth.
Immersive Theatre Workshop, 4 – 10 July. An inclusive theater workshop with the Italian theater artists E. Nargi and R. Brunetti was designed for theater professionals. The following techniques were used in the workshop: interaction with the audience, structures and elements of inclusive theater, physical theater techniques, one-on-one theater techniques, and work in space as well as with a specific space – localized (site-specific) theater. The workshops were concluded with a public performance for the townspeople.
Immersive Theater performance JOURNEY (directed by Riccardo Brunetti, Emanuele Nargi), July 10. An international Italian-Lithuanian creative team invites to a trip of an unconventional, inclusive, theater in a former centenary school. The objects found in the school and the spaces of the school inspired the creative team to look through the magnifying glass at the journey of human life full of various feelings, passions and experiences. Hidden under masks, the show’s participants roamed the hallways of the school, looking for the place where the action was happening, getting involved, and sometimes becoming the center of the action themselves. The fundamental direction of this theatrical journey involves physical contact between the ‘actors’ and ‘the audience’ and the subtle titillation of the participants’ senses.
2018 Program / HOUSE No 1
HoME…Working In Progress (directed by Howard Lotker), October 25-26. The festival culminated in the premiere of the collaboration of the Czech director Howard Lotker, the Czech troupe “HoME” and the Lithuanian creators “NaMIE” titled “…bėga gyvenimas” (“…Fleeing Life). It is a unique story about the history of the specific house where the festival took place. The work of Tom, who helps the youngest ones to come into the world, also inspired the main motif of the performance – the time journey through the nine most important and mysterious months of human life. This show is an ever-changing journey that responds to the space and history of a particular building. In 2006 first awarded the Příští vlna / New Wave in the Czech Republic in the “Project of the Year” nomination, this performance received much critical acclaim for its innovative interplay of content and form and quite unusual spectators’ engagement.
KALTŪNAS (directed by Saulė Norkutė), October 27. The show for children “Kaltūnas” is a multidisciplinary installation that is reborn in a new place every times and adapts to the venue, it’s an excursion not only for the youngest ones, but for the whole family as well. This is the story of a little girl Gabėta and her magical hair whirlpools where one finds performances, creative tours, and interactive installations.
TENSE IN SENCE (directed by Karolina Žernytė), October 28. The theatrical experiment of the “Tense In Sense” laboratory of senses is tailored specifically to the spaces and history of the particular house on V. Putvinskio street, taking into account not only the memories of the people but also the building. The blindfolded participants of the performance enter the bygone ages and inner worlds of the inhabitants of the house, traveling in time in all their senses. The main directions of research in this project are related to physical contact between “actors” and “spectators”. “Tense In Sense” differs from the former far-reaching performances of K. Žernytė because the participants are free to move around, have contact with other participants and actors, and explore the environment created for them.
The festival is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and the Kaunas City Municipality.