LATVIAN THEATRE IN TRANSITION . THE ROOTS IN THE 1990s

Zane Kreicberga
2022 Culture Crossroads  
This paper focuses on the emergence and evolution of the so-called independent theatre scene in Latvia in the radically changing socio-political and institutional context of the 1990s. The analysis concerns the question why in Latvia the independent theatres did not become a significant alternative from the inherited institutional repertory theatre system until the second decade of the new century. Examples of the independent theatres Kabata, Skatuve and Mūris help to illustrate the general
more » ... encies showing that a lack of a strong artistic vision and managerial strategy in difficult economic circumstances lead to the underdevelopment of a diversity of production models in performing arts in Latvia. In addition, after a short loss of direction, institutional theatres in the mid-90s started to attract nearly all artistically interesting new initiatives, especially if it already had proved itself within the independent scene. The New Riga Theatre and The Atelier of Unbearable Theatre characterize these processes, moreover indicating that the avant-garde directors of the time – Alvis Hermanis, Dž. Dž. Džilindžers, Viesturs Kairišs, Gatis Šmits and Regnārs Vaivars – were interested in a radical break with the past in terms of aesthetics of theatre, but they were not interested in politics. The comparison with the independent theatre scene in Estonia and Lithuania shows that the similar initial circumstances may lead to different outcomes.
doi:10.55877/cc.vol19.30 fatcat:wrw5bqbjcnfihmtxarmjnvzvoe