Nacionalinis Kauno dramos teatras

Festival DIVE INTO THE THEATRE: the theme of the 10th-anniversary festival is oceans

Diving is possible in many places: you can dive in the bubble bath, in the pond among the frogs, in the lake amid the lilies, in the ocean together with the sharks… Diving is also possible in the theatre – in the vast, limitless ocean of creativity among the mysterious decorations, the many hard-working people of different professions, the performances, telling you the incredible stories, and the out-of-this-world lights, carrying you to the weirdest places of the imagination. This year, Dive into the Theatre, the only educational theatre festival for children and youth in Lithuania, is held for the tenth time at the National Kaunas Drama Theatre. The theme of the 10th-anniversary festival is oceans, so come to the theatre and let your imagination swim in the vast waters of knowledge. The Theatre Ship will take you to fun encounters with theatre creators: actors, artists, and directors. It will also carry you to the cozy islands of performances, the bays of creative workshops, and remind us of the garbage monster roaming our oceans along with other environmental issues. This year, the festival offers a considerable international program of performances with the guests from Iceland, bringing the rainy Icelandic weather, Hungarian actors, arriving with African beats, and Polish guests, coming with puppets, performing underwater, and even bringing a flood together with Noah’s Ark. The festival programme covers all age groups from infants to adolescents as well as includes families and teachers.

 Full programme

The performances:

The African Witch

Theatre: Kabóca Puppet Theatre (Hungary)

Director: Viktória Szántó

Actor: Danny Bain

Recommended age: from 3 years old

March 5, 12:00 noon

Duration: 50 min

Rūta’s Hall

Kabóca Puppet Theatre invites you to the mysterious hut where an African wizard-musician lives. He plays, sings, dances, and tells stories about two brave orphans Kaili and Szandzsi, jumping mouse, graceful antelope, and merciless African witch Kodzsugukil.  Exotic rhythms, songs, and puppets create a specific African atmosphere filled with great music and magic spells. Miraculous ancient instruments not only make bewitching sounds but also tell mysterious legends of the far Africa.

Actor and musician Danny Bain was born and raised in the USA and studied music in Africa. Since 2010, he has been living in Hungary. In his plays and performances for children, he creates a unique storytelling style based on African music traditions, combines original folk stories with intriguing melodies as well as hypnotising rhythms by playing ancient African instruments. Danny gives children a unique way to analyse language, music, dances and learn about foreign cultures as well as to find out some new interesting instruments.

The Flower (or Petals)

Theatre: Kabóca Puppet Theatre (Hungary)

Director: Viktória Szántó

Actors: Krisztina Nagy, Patrik Miller

Recommended age: 1–3 years old

March 6, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Duration: 25 min

On the Main Stage, the maximum number of viewers: 100

Two little gardeners are growing a magical flower. They have the same aim: to grow a bud as big as possible and see how it blooms into a wonderful flower blossom. Slowly they understand that by arguing and irritating each other they will not achieve anything, as only tenderness, friendship, love, or music can create miracles. The play is created in collaboration with a well-known puppeteer and director Karel Van Ransbeeck, who has great experience in developing plays for the little ones (children up to 3 years old) in Hungary, Belgium, and the Netherlands.


Theatre: Walny Theatre (Poland)

Director, scenographer: Adam WalnyActor: Adam Walny

March 6, 2:00 p.m.

Duration: 50 minRūta’s Hall

Inspired by a well-known work of William Shakespeare, the actor creates a non-traditional story of Danish prince Hamlet and his relationship with his father. In the play, the original technique of underwater marionettes is used as well as various puppets among which you will see even a traditional Japanese theatre puppet bunraku. The only character that is portrayed not by a puppet but by a live actor is the Ghost of the Hamlet’s murdered father. It is designing a revenge plan and wants to implement it through the hands of its son. However, Hamlet is indecisive, hesitant, lonely, separated from other members of the palace, and closed in an aquarium filled with water.  Polonius, the Queen, Laertes, and Rosencrantz represent the material (underwater) world, while Hamlet releases their desires and fears.  Hamlet is powerless against his own imperfections but only he has a connection with his Father’s Ghost and can breathe. He is trying to change the tragical plan of his Father’s Ghost; however, his attempts are unsuccessful. The almighty Ghost assembles the life situations in a way that Hamlet revenges his Father’s death by feeling disappointed with all people around him as well as accusing and punishing them for his Father’s death. The tragedy of Hamlet also becomes their tragedy. Walny Theatre was established in 1999 by Adam Walny, who is one of the most established puppet theatre creators in Poland. He is a solo puppeteer and playwright as well as puppet designer, director, and performer. With his works, he is threading into various theatrical traditions of puppets, masks, and other things in the circumstances of the stage and street. He also uses puppets off the stage: for education and art therapy purposes.


Theatre: Walny Theatre (Poland)

Director, scenographer: Adam Walny

Actor: Adam Walny

March 7, 6:00 p.m.

Duration: 45 min Rūta’s Hall

The family ticket is not valid? This is an original story about a music composer filled with imagination. In the play, conductor named Noah has to perform the composition Flood. Sadly, scared by the title of this concert, musicians run away from the orchestra. The conductor, trying to satisfy the expectations of the audience and to save the concert, starts playing by himself. Slowly music fills the stage like water; due to the maestro’s imagination, the sounds turn into a flood that can be stopped only with the help of the audience.  The piano turns into a giraffe, while the trumpet becomes an elephant. Maestro Noah invites all animals and audience to his boat by turning the audience into a joint orchestra as only the mutual creation can save them all from doom. The music is created here and now – in front of the audience and with their help. When the concert is over, Noah keeps on conducting thinking what to do next: turn to the shore or remain in music? The flood continues…

Vera and the Water

Theatre: Bird&Bat (Iceland)

Choreographer: Tinna Grétarsdóttir

Music: Sólrún SumarliðadóttirActress: Snædís Lilja Ingadóttir

Recommended age: 1–5 years old.

March 7, 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 noon

Duration: 25 min

On the Main Stage, the maximum number of viewers: 100

Vera and the Water is a playful play for children of 1–5 years old; in 2016, this play was awarded by an Icelandic Performing Arts Award Gríman as the best performance for children of the year. The play tells a story about a playful air creature Vera, her adventures, experiments and experiences in the rainy Icelandic weather. By skating on frozen water, jumping through puddles, hiding from the rain and being tossed by a huge storm, she is playing and amusing the children. After the play, the little viewers are invited on the stage to meet Vera and play with objects present on the stage. Vera and the Water has visited many kindergartens and stages of international festivals.

Orfeo. City Lights (14 years old and over)

Director: Naubertas Jasinskas

Dramatist: Dovilė Zavedskaitė

March 3, 6.30 p.m.–7.15 p.m.

The Main Stage (Laisvės al. 71)

Orfeo. City Lights is a play inspired by Greek myths about Orpheus and Eurydice. It is a fragmented journey through the mind maps of Eurydice, who is trying to understand Orpheus’ feelings. In this journey, reasons for loneliness and sadness of a modern-day youth as well as challenges arising between two people are analysed. The play balances between the attempt to speak and the comprehension that this conversation will never occur.

After the play, there will be a discussion together with the actors of the play.

Musical Story about Juozas Naujalis

An Empty Chair (12 years old and over)

Director: Agnius Jankevičius

March 6, 7.00 p.m.–8.20 p.m.

Rūta’s Hall (Laisvės al. 71)

In this play, the personality of organist, composer, educator, and choir conductor Juozas Naujalis is revealed in a dynamic and surprising way: with the sound of electric guitars, beatboxing, thuds of balls, and hearts quavering from the melody of Lithuania Dear (Lietuva brangi). It could not have been otherwise since the director of this play-musical collage is Agnius Jankevičius and it is performed by the young and musically gifted actors of the theatre.

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