Premiere of “The Assembly Kaunas”: performance of a documentary genre with polarizing themes
Performance The Assembly Kaunas is a joint creative project of the Kaunas National Drama Theatre and the documentary theatre Porte Parole (Canada). By using theatrical means, the project aims at creating a democratic dialogue on topics greatly dividing our society. During the creative process of the performance, the creative team invited 4 strangers with different ideological views to a dinner throughout which they discussed the topics greatly polarising our society. Their conversation was recorded. In the performance, you will see the re-enacted discussion: the actors will play real people, who have participated; their language will be authentic and not edited. The audience will be given an opportunity to continue the initiated discussion.
An assembly is a gathering of people in one place in order to compare their ideological differences. The Assembly Kaunas provides an opportunity to hear out others and to be heard. This documentary performance focuses on ordinary people, helps them to voice their opinions, and to communicate with those seeing everything in a different light. The Assembly Kaunas is an aspiration to restore our faith in the possibility of change.
The Assembly started in 2017 as a long-term documentary project. In each touring city (Monreal, Canada, Maryland, Munich, Germany, Sao Paolo, Brazil) the play’s creative team sets up and records encounters in which four strangers of wildly different ideological leanings face off and candidly confront the issues that most divide them. A play script is created from the verbatim content of these recorded encounters and, on stage, actors play the four real-life characters in unique debate-like plays, specific to each city. The series thus creates a safe but challenging space for open democratic discussion, where everyone who is ready to engage in a real dialogue can speak freely.
Authors of the concept: Alex Ivanovici, Annabel Soutar and Brett Watson
Director: Chris Abraham
Playwrights: Brett Watson, Alex Ivanovici
Lighting designer: Luc Prairie
Sound director: Antoine Bédard
Set designer: Simon Guilbault
Projection designer: Amelia Scott
Actors: Aistė Zabotkaitė/Goda Petkutė, Henrikas Savickis, Martyna Gedvilaitė, Marius Karolis Gotbergas, Vaidas Maršalka, Tomas Erbrėderis.
The performance is presented by Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022.
Opening – 2022 February 18, 19, 20 Ruth Stage
On February 18 the play is shown with simultaneous translation in English.