“Stabat Mater“ / Apeironas Theatre / III international theater festival „TheATRIUM“

Author: August Strindberg
Director and designer set: Eglė Kazickaitė
Costume designers: Erika Jankauskaitė and Pelkių Tyla
Composer: Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Assistant director: Greta Gudelytė

Greta Gudelytė, Ričardas Bartašius, Kristina Švenčionytė, Valerijus Kazlauskas

Duration: 1 h 15 min. (without intermission)

Premiere: 2018

Stabat Mater play by Theater Apeironas (director Eglė Kazickaitė) is based on 1907 August Strindberg’s play “The Pelican”. The classical Nordic and Eastern European theaters’ dramaturgical work here is presented by the most unexpected, but visually precise and highly compelling form.

The plays of Strindberg at that time in Sweden were critically appraised, accusing the writer of rough language and indecent literary paintings. Paradoxically, in 2018, the apogee of democracy, the director rejects all dramaturgical texts while making the play Stabat Mater. Relying on her choice, the director cites the words of the Daughter from the play Pelican: “We talk a lot, but it may be that we do this to mask the essence of truth” According to the director, truth and certainty are not in words.

This phrase unintentionally becomes the cornerstone of the performance when text is replaced by metaphorical body language of the actors. The performance, which does not prove to be a dance performance, becomes a thoroughly psychologized, silent field of speculative actions of actors, in which the manipulation of relationships manifests itself through rendering the views of body shapes and real forms. The main character of the sequel Stabat Mater, the Mother by her husband is turned into the clone, icon of Milo Venus sculpture. In order to limit the freedom of a woman to serve a Mother’s function, her hands are cut off. The tragedy of the Woman and her family is shown in the background of hundreds of pots which represent the corrupted archetypal world view and domestication: Woman’s life goal is to be a Mother. To be devoted, self-sacrificing, suffering, weeping only when night falls and silently wiping tears for her children. To give it all for husband and children. First, the heart. Then – the hands. Finally, to be nothing but a torso. Most importantly, to be a beautiful torso.

The woman’s nature is not to regret or spare anything that you give to the family. A woman’s nature is to never feel hunger but to feed the hungry.

She, however, did not feel that nature. She missed the hands that were taken away from her. So she took them back.