Persistence of vitality and salvation through art – international theatre festival “TheATRIUM” in Klaipėda

  • 2024-05-07

For the eighth year in a row a third biggest town in Lithuania, Klaipėda, steps into a summer with a festival, dedicated to theatre art. Its programme is divided into two distinct segments – Lithuanian theatre showcase, allowing in a few days’ time to watch the most interesting theatre productions from a whole Lithuania and International programme, bringing to Klaipėda renowned theatre creators from around the globe.

This year the festival starts on May 15th with a Lithuanian showcase, that will extent to May 19th. During the four-day period audience will get a chance to see 11 very different performances by Lithuanian theatre creators. The Lithuanian showcase starts with premiere by Dmitry Krymov “Requiem”. 

The International programme will continue from May 24th to June 12th. It will open with a masterpiece by renowned theatre iconoclast Romeo Castellucci “Bros” and will continue with performances from Argentina, Latvia, Estonia-Ukraine and Israel. International programme has an added bonus – an in-depth conversation with a representatives of every performance straight after its viewing – a delightful chance to meet artists themselves and hear them explain their ideas.

All the events of the festival centres in a historical heart of Klaipėda old town, Klaipėda drama theatre. “TheATRIUM” is famous for its smooth and excellent organization and friendly, inclusive atmosphere. The festival is traditionally followed by some open parties and enriched with art projects, growing from collaborations with artists from different fields – visual, sound, etc. 

“TheATRIUM” has a very distinct face and voice. Its symbol, art loving god Apollo, every year goes through an intricate eagerly awaited transformation and is followed by an oracular phrase, emphasizing the underlying thoughts and ideas behind that year festival (Apollo is an oracle after all, too). This year, marked heavily by war,  Apollo breaks apart in a midnight dark, disclosing its golden divine core and proclaims “Despite us”. Mysterious phrase as all oracular proclamations can be understood in many ways. It could be a dark omen, predicting fallibility of men, but also a hopeful promise of persistent vitality. In any case – “TheATRIUM” invites its visitors to open their mind and explore the vast network of artistic ideas revealing themselves on its stages, to build their own interpretations and come to their own realizations.

During its eight year life “TheATRIUM” grew up to be one of the main theatre events in all Western Lithuania. Its strength combines not only an excellent curatorial work of its team, but also the geographical location of an event. The Lithuanian seaside in late spring and early summer is a superb time to combine cultural and leisure plans: art and beach. 

Klaipėda, nestled on the Baltic Sea shore is famous for its renowned pristine white sand beaches, its laid-back atmosphere, rich history and intense industry. The town is somewhat removed from the capital Vilnius and its close neighbour Kaunas. But that distance allows Klaipėda to maintain its own unique style, its own flavour of life. 

For those who seek hidden gems – Klaipėda is exactly that. And “TheATRIUM” is an excellent justification for visiting it already this year.