Lithuanian Troupe Sets Production of 'The Masquerade'Last year, Seoulites raved about the superb "Hamlet" performed by Meno Fortas, a theater company from Lithuania. "Hamlet" was presented with marvelous simulations of ice, rain and fire. This year, another well-known Lithuanian theater company will be in Seoul, from Thursday to Saturday, to present "The Masquerade."
The Small Theatre of Vilnius, along with Meno Fortas, are the leading theater troupes of Lithuania. Originally, performances of the troupe were held at a small auditorium in the Academic Drama Theater in Vilnius, hence the name the Small Theatre of Vilnius. In 1997, both companies took by storm theater festivals held in Europe and Lithuania and gained worldwide recognition.
The Small Theatre of Vilnius is renowned for its conceptual innovations on stage. Like Meno Fortas, the troupe uses an abundance of creative imagery in "The Masquerade." Different patterns of falling snow are used used to symbolize the emotions of the characters. Blazing fires, graceful waltzes and foolish clowns are some of the other interesting motifs of the play.
When the Small Theatre of Vilnius first staged "The Masquerade," in 1997, the troupe received high praise and performed the work in a number of countries and international festivals. During the same year, "The Masquerade" won several awards, including the Grand Prix of the Contact-97 Festival at Torun, Poland.
"The Masquerade," was originally a tragedy written by Michail Lermantov, considered one of the best Romantic poets of the nineteenth century after Aleksandr Pushkin. Like Shakespeare's "Othello," human feelings of love and hate are at the center of this tragedy, with particular focus placed on a man who distrusts his wife, suffers from jealousy and is betrayed.
Director Rimas Tuminas succeeds in breaking the rules and tradition of a tragedy by including humorous scenes in between the tragic events.
"The Masquerade" will be performed in Lithuanian with Korean subtitles at the LG Arts Center. The performance will start at 8 pm on Thursday and Friday, and 3:30 pm and 7: 30 pm on Saturday. For more information, call the LG Arts Center at 02-2005-0114 (English service available).
by Park So-young
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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