The Repertoire and Interpretative Dynamics of Shakespeare’s Dramaturgy in the Twentieth-Century Lithuanian Theatre

  • Ramunė Marcinkevičiūtė
Keywords: Shakespeare, Lithuanian theatre, repertoire, direction, interpretation


The repertoire and interpretative dynamics of Shakespeare’s dramaturgy in the twentieth-century Lithuanian theatre have shown that despite the fact that the first premiere on a professional theatre stage in Lithuanian took place only in 1924 (Othello), the main European tendencies of the playwright’s directorial narrative (from Romantic rhetoric and retrospectivism to deconstruction or postcolonial practices) were repeated over the course of the century. The author of the article observes that the general turn towards Shakespeare by many Lithuanian theatre artists, not just one director or repertory theatre, reflects and connects various phenomena of major social changes and new beginnings: the creation of an independent state and a professional national theatre in the interwar period; the creation of a more modern theatre and a more relaxed society during the thaw of the 1960s in the wake of the Stalinist regime and its terror; the transformation of the role of theatre in society in the 1990s following the restoration of the country’s independence; the challenges brought about by the new century and the changing generations of artists. This hypothetical parallel between changes in history and in the theatrical discourses distinguishes Shakespeare as a prominent factor of theatre development and puts the Lithuanian professional theatre in the context of the traditions of European Shakespearean theatre repertory choices formed throughout the centuries.