director Oskaras Koršunovas
with Juozas Budraitis
set designer Dainius Liskevicius
composer Gintaras Sodeika
technical director Mindaugas Repsys
props and costumer Aldona Majakovaite
stage manager Malvina Matickiene
subtitling Aurimas Minsevicius
touring manager Audra Zukaityte
Duration 1h 15′
Played in Lithuanian with Italian and English subtitles
Director Oskaras Koršunovas and actor Juozas Budraitis fostered the idea to stage Samuel Beckett’s play Krapp’s Last Tape for more than two decades.
It is one of the classic works of absurdist literature, questioning the painful theme of a person’s change throughout their lifetime. According to the main and only character of the play, Krapp, it is his personal retrospective journey to the past. A man who has lived a long life sits in his room, surrounded by heaps of tapes with recordings of his own voice made a long time ago.
«I had the idea of staging Krapp’s Last Tape twenty years ago, after I’d staged my first play There to Be Here by Daniil Kharms. In the course of those twenty years, meeting with Juozas from time to time, we kept remembering this common idea of ours. Now we feel the time has finally come.» says Koršunovas.
Juozas Budraitis is a film, television and theatre actor who has played close to a hundred roles in various Lithuanian and foreign film and television productions. «Many details in the play coincide with real life. The play consists of an elderly person’s recollections, reflections, analysis of his life, and condemnation of the mistakes he has made. All these paradoxes do take place in one’s life, even though it seems to them that their life is calm, gentle, and logical. In reality it is full of different errors, surprises, unjustified and inexplicable things. All of this can be found in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape» says Budraitis.
Koršunovas agrees that putting on Becket’s play is not easy. On the other hand, it is yet another accepted challenge. A difficult but somewhat interesting one, especially when you work with an actor of the calibre of Juozas Budraitis. «Beckett’s plays are like stones. Purified existentialism and strong characters do not leave room for interpretation. You either become the symbol or not. There is nothing to act. I would never have staged Krapp’s Last Tape if not for Budraitis, who may very well become the Beckettian symbol due to his age, experience and intellect.» says Koršunovas on the iron logic of the play.
Oskaras Koršunovas was born on March 6, 1969, in Vilnius. In 1993 he graduated from the Vilnius Music Academy (the course of Jonas Vaitkus) with a Master’s degree in Theatre Directing. While still a student Koršunovas presented the trilogy There to be here, The Old Woman, and Hello Sonya New Year based on the work of the twentieth century Russian avant-garde writers Daniil Kharms and Alexander Vvedensky. Already at that time the young director stood out for his unusual theatrical language. Although the first performances, including P.S. FILE OK by Sigitas Parulskis and Roberto Zucco by Bernard-Marie Koltès, were created under the aegis of the Lithuanian State Academic Drama Theatre (now called Lithuanian National Drama Theatre), they were often referred to as a separate body, a theatre within a theatre. Contemporary theatre critics, titling their articles simply: “Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre?” envisaged the inevitable emergence of a new theatre.
In 1998, the director, together with a few like-minded fellows, founded an independent theatre, called Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre, shortened to just OKT. Koršunovas, assisted by guest directors, has built a solid repertoire, which encompasses both contemporary drama and classic stagings. The director’s credo to stage classics as contemporary plays, recognizing what is relevant to the present time, and contemporary plays – as the classics, conveying what is universal and timeless, became paradigmatic in that creative period. In the director’s opinion, contemporary theatre must reflect the present day and sometimes even be ahead of the time, predict the future and act as a warning. Shopping and Fucking by Mark Ravenhill, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Fireface by Marius von Mayenburg, Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Playing the Victim the Presnyakov Brothers, and other performances, which became cornerstones of the theatre’s repertoire and its foreign tours, were staged adhering to the above-mentioned principles and credo.
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet presented in 2008 and the play’s work-in-progress marked the beginning of a new phase in Oskaras Koršunovas’ biography. The director discovered a new work space – the OKT studio, and turned in the direction of laboratory explorations. During the work on Hamlet the director and the actors were more concerned with the creative process itself than the play. The Lower Depths by Maxim Gorky – an absolute example of theatrical laboratory, which was created in the unusual space of the OKT studio, still continues to be shown there. Miranda based on Shakespeare’s play The Tempest and his other works, was also born in the OKT studio and was relocated to a larger space only before its premiere. The most recent laboratory explorations of the director will develop into the performance Krapp’s Last Tape based on the play by Samuel Beckett (with actor Juozas Budraitis).
The main prize of the Edinburgh Festival awarded in 1990 to a student of theatre directing was a symbolic beginning, which has paved the way to most prominent international awards. The most prestigious of them – the Europe Theatre Prize for New Realities – was awarded to Koršunovas in 2006. In 2009, Oskaras Koršunovas was given the honourable title of the Chevalier of the French order of Literature and Arts, and the next year he was awarded with the main prize of the Annual Meyerhold Assembly. The awards ceremony of almost every international festival involving the OKT theatre does not go without the mention of the name of Oskaras Koršunovas.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shopping and Fucking, The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, The Lower Depths, Miranda and Išvarymas (Expulsion) have won the director the Golden Stage Cross Award for the year’s best production. The OBERIU trilogy has been awarded in the young theatre artist category. In 2002, the director became a laureate of the Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Award. In 2004, he received the city of Vilnius St. Christopher Prize for Contribution to Culture. In 2012 Minister of Culture Arūnas Gelūnas awarded the Koršunovas with the Medal of the Ministry of Culture Bring Your Light and Believe.
The tours in international festivals, performances and projects in foreign theatres encompass the United States, South Korea, Australia, Argentina, and the territory in between. Each year, the OKT theatre appears on more than ten different stages in different parts of the world. Hence, the motto of the director and his theatre: only being “there” can we stay “here.”
Koršunovas also teaches acting at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy. In 2012, Koršunovas together with the actors Darius Meškauskas and Nelė Savičenko gathered a course of future actors.
Born on October 6, 1940 in Liepynai, Kelmė district. A Lithuanian film, television and theatre actor. In 1973 graduated from Vilnius University Faculty of Law. In 1981 finished the Higher Courses of Scriptwriters and Film Directors in Moscow. A film actor since 1965. Between 1979 and 1989 an actor of the Kaunas Drama Theatre. One of the Lithuanian film legends, with more than 80 roles in film and television productions under his belt. Has worked with such filmmakers as Vytautas Žalakevičius, Almantas Grikevičius, Arūnas Žebriūnas, and Raimondas Vabalas. In theatre, has worked with such directors as Jonas Vaitkus, Kristian Smeds, Gintaras Varnas, and Oskaras Koršunovas. Among the most notable roles on stage: Solness in Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, Cherea in Albert Camus’ Caligula, King Richard the Second in William Shakespeare’s Richard II, Gayev in Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, Cadmus in Euripides’ The Bacchae, and Morten Kiil in Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People.