YOUTH THEATRE "BE DURŲ" ("WITHOUT DOORS")
"BE DURŲ" Youth Theatre (literally: youth theatre WITHOUT DOORS) is a unique phenomenon not only in the world of theatre of the port city but also in that of the entire Lithuania. It is one of the oldest theatres in Klaipėda and the only repertory amateur theatre in Lithuania, presenting performances for children and youth every Sunday.
The theatre, the history of which dates back five decades, has changed its direction of activities and name several times. Initially, it was a puppet theatre group. The performances of the where were created by famous actors, such as Elena Miežiaiškienė, Leonas Ciunis, Balys Barauskas, and Romualdas Grincevičius.
In 1987, when Director Angelė Juškevičienė came to the theatre, the puppets that used to dominate the stage were gradually replaced with actors. The theatre started creating musical drama performances based on the popular literary works for children staged by the Director.
In 1998, the grown and mature team decided to change their name to “Vaje” (“Crickey”) children and youth theatre. Apart from playful performances for children, more complex psychological productions intended for young people were added to the theatre’s repertoire, e.g., based on Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren and Žvangutis by Kazys Saja.
In 2005, by the decision of the troupe, the theatre changed its name and status once again and became BE DURŲ Youth Theatre. The first performance for adults was born on the stage of the theatre: a production based on the Spotty Dog Running along the Seashore short story by Chingiz Aitmatov.
The Director admits that this extremely complex and difficult to create production has become the most memorable in the history of the theatre, and led to a strong unity of the entire theatre company. The theatre, which has been repeatedly awarded at various festivals and celebrations held in the country, gained the highest amateur theatre award for this particular production: the Aukso paukštė (Golden Bird) award of the Lithuanian National Culture Centre for the brightest production of 2006.
All the performances of BE DURŲ theatre are distinguished by their colourfulness, musicality and plasticity. Composers Haroldas Šlikas and Audronis Trakumas create original songs and music for staging, as well as professional choreographers Povilas Fokinas, Jolanta Ženčienė and Arūnas Peštenis and artist Olga Ronkaitienė work with the theatre.
The theatre participates in the celebrations and other events held in the city, and in the Namai (Home) festival organised by the Klaipėda Drama Theatre. Traditionally, at the end of the year, the company presents its latest production to the audience. The mentioned premiere complements the programmes of the Christmas events organised by the ŽVEJŲ RŪMAI Culture Centre. These performances are presented both in the Great Hall and in Theatre halls and always attract a lot of positive reviews from the audience.
The team regularly participates in the Šermukšnis International Street Theatre Festival organized by the ŽVEJŲ RŪMAI Culture Centre, and each time develops special educational programmes for children and youth intended for this event.
According to Director A. Juškevičienė, one of the most important uniqueness of the theatre that ensures a regular repertoire is the dedication and love of the actors to their team. The team is not abandoned by pupils neither when they become students no when they start their own families.
Little spectators love BE DURŲ theatre. Many watch the same performances several times. “We feel needed”, says Director Angelė Juškevičienė who never lacks ideas for new productions.
In recent years, the team of the theatre has been enjoying an increasing attention from Lithuanian communities in foreign countries.
In 2014, the theatre was invited to the 10th anniversary celebration of the Lithuanian school of the Lithuanian community in Hamburg (Germany), in 2015, the team performed at the closing event of the school year in Paris, France, and, in 2016, in Stockholm (Sweden).
In 2022, BE DURŲ Youth Theatre will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding and creative activity.
Currently the repertoire of the theatre includes performances for children:
“Little Longnose” based on fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff
„A Pig Is Moving In“ based on fable-like tale by Claudia Fries
„The Sky Is Falling Not“ based on Lihuanian fairy tale
“The Little Witch” based on the book by Otfried Preussler
“Caliph Stork” based on fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff
"Winnie-the-Pooh“ based on the book by Alan Alexander Milne
"Three Little Pigs And Little Wolf“ based on the book by Sergey Mikhalkov
"Kings Of The Wood" based on the book by Vytautas Kupšys
"Puss In Boots" based on fairy tale by Charles Perrault
"Fairy-tale About Kitten, Cock-a-Dodle-Doo and Seven Goatlings" based on Lithuanian tales
"Fairy-tale About St. Bernard and Kitty Fay" based on the book by Česlovas Navakauskas
"Pippy Longstocking" based on book by Astrid Lindgren
"Mysterious Discovery" based on story by G. Usatch and I.Chapovecky
"The Wizard of Emerald City" based on story by A. Volkov
"The Robber Hotzenplotz" based on the book by Otfried Preußler
"The Most Beautiful Crow" based on the book by Edith Schreiber-Wicke and Carola Holland