Kaunas State Puppet Theatre
Kaunas State Puppet Theatre was founded in the middle of the last century by drama actors S Stasys Ratkevičius (1917 – 2010) and Valerija Gruodytė – Ratkevičienė (1916 – 2004). Throughout its existence, the theatre chronicles a weighty list of stage directors, actors, scenographers, composers, over 200 titles of performances, more than 2,000 puppets, over 17,000 shows performed for the audience of over 2.7 million spectators, as well as successful appearances in many festivals and tours in over 20 countries.
The troupe of the Theatre consists of 12 actors: Saulius Bagaliūnas, Rasa Bartninkaitė, Audronė Grėbliauskienė, Remigijus Endriukaitis, Darius Krapikas, Jolita Ross, Laima Strazdauskienė, actor and stage director Andrius Žiurauskas representing the older generation, and Mindaugas Černiauskas, Indrė Endriukaitė, Vigita Rudytė and Rokas Lažaunykas representing the younger generation. The theatre still enjoys cooperation with its long-time actors Ona Stankevičienė and Lucija Zorūbaitė.
Kaunas Puppet Theatre provided a space for the implementation of creative ideas to a great number of stage directors (Stasys Ratkevičius, Algimantas Stankevičius, Laima Lankauskaitė, Rimas Driežis, Olegas Žiugžda, Jūratė Januškevičiūtė, Arvydas Lebeliūnas, Agnė Sunklodaitė, Oksana Dmitrijeva, Michailas Jaremčiukas); set designers (Dionizas Barauskas, Jūratė Stauskaitė, Jūratė Račinskaitė, Julija Skuratova, Sergėjus Bocullo, Aldona Jankauskienė, Lesia Lučko, Giedrė Brazytė, Natalija Denisova); composers (Eduardas Balsys, Bronius Kutavičius, Mindaugas Urbaitis, Giedrius Kuprevičius, Faustas Latėnas, Vidmantas Bartulis, Deividas Gnedinas, Jonas Jurkūnas). Plays for he theatre were authored by talented poets and writers, including Kaunas citizens Daiva Čepauskaitė, Violeta Šoblinskaitė and Kęstutis Navakas. Extremely bright creative footprint in the history of the theatre was left by the set designer and stage director Vitalijus Mazūras.
The Theatre houses two performance halls (230 and 50 seats respectively). With the assistance of EU funds, the Great Hall was reconstructed in 2018, and the Small Hall, the puppet museum and production facilities in 2019 – 2020. Some 300 shows are performed and four new ones are made here every year. Every season offers 26 repertoire performances, including staging of the classical plays from different countries and original dramaturgy for children. On the initiative of Valerija and Stasys Ratkevičiai, a puppet museum was opened in the theatre in 1996. The museum has a collection of more than 900 valuable exhibits representing different stages of the long creative journey of the theatre. The museum provides space to educational events and programmes for the audiences of all ages, and displays exhibits from the museum fund.
Traditional theatrical events of Kaunas State Puppet Theatre are popular both among the local and foreign visitors of Kaunas. Among them is the opening ceremony of the season „Į Pasakų šalį – su fotoaparatu!“ (Bring a Camera to the Country of Fairy-tale) and the international festival „Šypsos lėlės ir vaikai“ (Smiling Puppets and Children), which has been organized for three decades already.
In order to become modern, open and well known, the theatre makes effort to expand their audience and is constantly searching for new forms of communication to be used with the existing and potential audiences, works on the development and strengthening of the partnership network.
Laisvės al. 87A, LT-44297 Kaunas
Tel. (8 37) 22 71 58; e-mail: email@example.com