“Žalgiresses” is an amateur women basketball team. Their common goal is to take part in an amateur basketball championship in Alaska. The captain of “Žalgiresses” team is a small forward, Sandra Fakulina (Sandra the Fucker acted by actress Elzė Gudavičiūtė). Her character is not the golden one but the girl kindly helps her lover, Asta Kilytė (Asta the Killer acted by actress Goda Petkutė), who starts her career as a shooting guard. A center and a slave to beauty, Toma Kunigunda (Toma the Temptress acted by actress Aistė Zabotkaitė), and a point guard heartbreaker, Goda Meilutė (Goda the Sweetie acted by actress Martyna Gedvilaitė), are jewels of the team. Ona Ledinskienė (Ona the Cool-one acted by actress Inga Mikutavičiūtė), a wife of a rich husband, who craves for shifts and changes of life, joins the team. Diana Lazutkina (actress Eglė Grigaliūnaitė), a forward of the team, could be introduced as a vegetarian feminist and an activist. Birutė Vaidilutė (Birutė the Silent-one acted by actress Giedrė Žaliauskaitė), the “silent voice” of the team, should not be forgotten as well. The girl has hearing and talking disorders, yet the team of “Žalgiresses” is a place where the girl finds the meaning of life and demonstrates what a wonderful defender she is. The coach of “Žalgiress” team, a zealot of sports, is the former professional player. The actress Daiva Rudokaitė portraits the coach, Laima Kėlinaitė (Laima the Quarter), who thirsts for glory, is ambitious, strong and yet unhappy personality. The team is the only family she has.
The stage that has been turned into a basketball court, becomes a place where the players not only chase the ball, improve basketball playing technique, but also face their shortcomings, complexes and problems on the way to their dream – Alaska. In fact, we see a personal fight of each player with herself where they discover their personalities and even experience personal victories. They break through the restricting norms of the society, reveal long kept secrets, win over themselves, learn to love oneself as well as a different one.
An easy and active comedy is full of irony, directed against the female basketball and inconvenient, complicated and relevant problems of the society, namely, sexual minorities and gender equality. “Žalgiresses” is a comedy about serious issues. Taboo topics are playfully rendered amidst socially recognizable portraits and an easily followed script without any drama and moralizing.
About the play
The thought of the play came into the world in 2011 when Gabrielė Labanauskaitė Diena got interested in an amateur female basketball team. While playing together she got a permission of team members to use the primary experience of the basketball court as the initial inspiration of the play that originated the same year in a project, organised by “Adelfa” the agency of dramaturgy in Finland. Then an one-act comedy named “Alaska” was introduced in a Russian theatre festival “The Golden mask” (Lith. „Auksinė kaukė“) and “Women Play-writer‘s International Conference” in Sweden. Readings were directed by Swedish director Anna Lina Herztberg who collaborated with a playwright Gabrielė Labanauskaitė Diena. Readings in Lithuania took part during the festival “PiLeFe” (the readings were directed by Agnė Juškėnaitė and the script was read by the team members).
In 2016, director Vidas Bareikis got interest in the play “Žalgiresses”. Gabrielė Labanauskaitė Diena rewrote the text and transformed it into a two-act comedy. Through basketball game or basketball-related situations women basketball players of “Žalgiresses” team talk about stereotypes of female image, presentation of LGBT members in the society and equality of human rights. Women, as opposed to many plays, become the main characters in the comedy. In this way, the attention is drawn to important questions of feminism: why a half-naked blonde is needed in a commercial to sell car tyres? Why professional male basketball players are judged based on their competence and female players – based on their looks when also offered to advertise crab sticks before the game?
A two-act comedy (16+)
Opening – March 17, 18 and 19, 2017
Duration – 3 hours 10 minutes
The Main Stage
Photographer Donatas Stankevičius
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