Lithuania’s highest theatrical award ‘Golden Cross of the Stage’ (2016):
Best Director - Krystian Lupa
Best Visual Design - Lukasz Twarkowski
Best Actor - Valentinas Masalskis for the role of Schuster
Best Actress - Egle Gabrenaite for the role of Frau Zittel
French Theatre Critics Association Award (2016)
"The best International performance in France"
The Lithuanian National Drama Theatre dates back its history to October 6, 1940, when the play «Hope» by Herman Heijermans premiered in Vilnius State Theatre. Since then, a fisher’s boat – the main visual motif of the dramatic events in lives of Dutch fishermen – has become the emblem of the Theatre itself. It has changed numerous denominations through time, and since 1998 it is known by its current name. The Theatre is considered a leading institute for the culture of Lithuania. It is active internationally and commissions experienced and world-famous native and foreign directors, set designers, actors and composers.
«Heroes’ Square» is the last play by one of the most important German-speaking author, an Austrian playwright Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989). The story sets in 1988, in an apartment right on Heroes’ Square (Heldenplatz) in Vienna. The location itself can’t but flash you back to March 15, 1938 – the day when Adolf Hitler declares an annexation of Austria by Germany («Anschluss Österreich ») in front of a hailing crowd. Schuster family holds a reunion to commemorate Josef Schuster – a professor, who once escaped Nazis to Oxford, England, returned to Austria but eventually committed suicide, because the situation in contemporary Austria is «much worse than 50 years ago». A play was a huge scandal after the premiere, but also become a warning to modern society.
Krystian Lupa is a world renowned Polish theatre director and set designer. His rise as an artist is strongly tied to The Stary (Old) Town Theatre in Krakow. His numerous productions based on texts of Polish classical writers Ignacy Witkiewicz, Witold Gombrowicz, on novels of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and on best representations of Austrian literature – texts by Robert Musil and Rainer Maria Rilke - won him an international acclaim. Yet Lupa is rightfully regarded as a leading expositor of works of Thomas Bernhard.
The Alexandrinsky Theatre was the first theatre in Russia to host Lupa’s staging: his ‘Seagull’, based on a play by Anton Chekhov, premiered II International Alexandrinsky Theatre Festival in 2007.
Krystian Lupa was awarded with numerous prestigious theatrical prizes and awards which include Gold Gloria Artis Medal (Poland) for his merits to culture, Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland), Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) and Austrian Decoration for Science and Art.
Co-production with International Divine Comedy Theatre Festival
The production is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania,
Lithuanian Council for Culture and Polish Institute in Vilnius (Lithuania)
Premiered on March 27, 2015
Duration: 4 hours with two intermissions
Media about the
‘This is a serene staging, although the outburst of distant past screams of enraged crowds on Heroes’ Square are heard like a paralyzing buzz throughout the whole play. Their continuous muted rumble, varied in timbre, echoes not only Hedwig’s, Josef Schuster’s widow, dismayed soul, but all the dialogues of the suicide Professor.’
‘Lupa is an explorer of a «deathly matter», which eventually absorbs the characters of Bernhard’s play. Meanwhile, spectators experience the hard process of self-awareness and introspection, they start to seek where personal and collective sufferings begin.’