Latvian National Theatre: 300 words on tempest and work

Artistic director of National Theatre, renowned Latvian stage director Elmārs Seņkovs and his creative team planned new productions for the season of 2023/2024 guided by the motto “Changes”. In the context of National Theatre, it meant putting the spotlight on directors who have never before worked in this theatre or it happened a long time ago. The concept of changes served as a keynote for the directors while choosing works for the stage.

In the end, mentioning “changes” in the motto turned into a turbulence which started after the head of the theatre was changed through a competition organized by the Ministry of Culture. It was followed by artistic director’s decision to leave his position and pursue his creative goals on his own as a freelancer. The new head of the theater and former artistic director made a gentlemen’s agreement to carry out previous plans according to Elmārs Seņkovs’ conception as well as to add a few new works to stabilize the situation. This season of changes will include works by Elmārs Seņkovs, Regnārs Vaivars, Dmitriy Krymov and the duet of Klāvs Mellis and Rūdolfs Gediņš on the big stage. Meanwhile other stages will be reserved for directors debuting in National Theatre – Paula Pļavniece, leading Lithuanian director of the youngest generation Arturas Areima, film director Matīss Kaža, Henrijs Arājs and choreographer Kristīne Brīniņa, as well as the face of the theatre, director Valters Sīlis.

Following the order of directors’ names their works are – a staging of Spēlēju, dancoju (I Play, I Dance) by Rainis interpreted by Justīne Kļava in the Big hall examining the role of artist in modern world; it will be followed by Regnārs Vaivars’ variation on the theme from Lars von Trier’s Dogville – modern man and religion – titled Sūnu ciema Nelaimes lācis (The Bear of Misfortune of Sūnu Village); Dmitriy Krymov, outstanding Russian director now living and working in USA, will reflect on the miracle of creative act and the gulf separating art and ideology in his work Pīters Pens. Sindroms (Peter Pan. Syndrome); Klāvs Mellis and Rūdolfs Gediņš will stage for the first time in Latvia “Marate/Sade” by Peter Weiss, an intellectual musical in which they will look into relationships between an individual and power.

Works on the small stages of the theatre: Garderobisti (Cloakroom Attendants), Kā kļūt nelaimīgam (Handbook to Unhappiness), Maigā vara (Soft Power), Ugunsseja (Fire Face), Nejaušā dzīve (Life by Accident) and Terors (Terror).