MARIJAMPOLĖ DRAMA THEATRE (1942-1944)

“…Here is your burning desire came true. Marijampolė Drama Theatre - the fifth professional theatre in Lithuania, joined the cultural bar together with theatres of Kaunas, Vilnius, Šiauliai and Panevėžys. Honour for you winning a difficult few year war...“ - during the celebration in 12 Sep 1942, K. Dineika, actor from Kaunas, congratulated people for the opening of the new theatre in Marijampolė.

The time was not prosperous: the war was running, the occupations were changing and the future was obscure. However, the owners and all the guests of that night were full of enthusiasm: the new theatre born- the forerunner of a different life bringing the hope of brighter tomorrow to all people.

The director of the theatre J. Pileckis, the artistic director K. Tumkevičius, the art director V. Vijeikis, The administrator J. Sodaitis, the troupe of 20 actors and seven technical workers started the first season of creation. After the first-night play "Disturbed calm" directed by P. Vaičiūnas, people were not only performing, rehearsing new plays, but also studying dramatic art in the workshop. Specialists from other theatres were invited to help for staging and working in the workshop. After a half-year, the doors opened the new theatre: better conditions were provided for more difficult staging, which could be shown for more than 800 people.

During the two seasons there were shown 9 first-nights. C. Winter‘s "Marietta", directed by J. Grybauskas, was very successful and highly appreciated by the critics. Writer P. Andriušis in the review “Clearly done” was admired by the professional staging, the acting of such actors as L. Arminaitė, B. Kvedaras and the scenography of the art director V. Palaima. “…Having such a first-night, people of Marijampolė can courageously look to the future. Bravo Marijampolė!- the reviewer ends. ("Ateitis", 1943 11 04).

S. Čiurlionienė‘s play “The Twelve Brothers, Twelve Black Ravens” directed by K. Tumkevičius, had a huge success (scenography by V. Vijeikis, dances by J. Karalienė, musical part by K. Gurevičius).

However, the front was coming and the theatrical activity came to the end in 1944 autumn.

VYTAUTAS VILIŪNAS

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