History representations and interpretations in contemporary Lithuanian theatre

  • Kristina Steiblytė
Keywords: memory, history, national myths, ethnic minorities, soviet period


The text deals with (re)interpretations of history in professional contemporary Lithuanian theatre.According to historians, nowadays there are few dominating narratives about Lithuanian history: the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the grand dukes in the forefront, the only Lithuanian king Mindaugas, and the history of the 20th century wars, occupation ant battles for independence. Based on that, the text provides an attempt to figure out how these narratives are represented and reinterpreted in contemporary Lithuanian theatre with the 20th century stories dominating the repertory of historic performances. Those are both confirming the predominant narratives and reinterpreting them and establishing new relation with personalities and events dominant in memory politics. The text also deals with the narrative of the victim that dominates historic Lithuanian self-perception. Two performances help as examples understanding how this narrative can be strengthened or criticised. The last part of the text presents the place that Polish, Russian and Jewish minorities get in contemporary Lithuanian theatre to represent their versions of history and asks whether contemporary Lithuanian theatre is contributing to the creation of a more involving social environment.