Trigger warning: This post addresses sexual violence and abuse of power.
The Silence of the Sirens was the winning play of the Fast Forward Festival for Young Stage Directors 2022. You can listen to our German impressions of this and the other plays on our website (All Hail the Female: Das Finale des Fast Forward Festivals 2022 – Campusradio DresdenCampusradio Dresden).
For this interview, we sat down with the director, as well as one of the actresses, to discuss the stories behind the play, its conception, and the difficult topics it brings up.
Laura Kutkaitė is a young, up-and-coming director from Lithuania. She studied Theatre Direction at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Last year she staged her first piece The Silence of the Sirens at the Lithuanian National Theatre Vilnius.
We are doing this from this very huge power within ourselves. Even if we are telling this horrible story, we are telling this with fierce power. Our actresses were actually reclaiming the power for those women. ~ Laura Kutkaitė
Laura Kutkaitė photographed by Elena Krukonytė.
If you are interested in more of Laura’s work, you can find her website here.
In this play, Laura Kutkaitė puts the spotlight on the sexism, exploitation, and abuse that women in the entertainment industry face on a daily basis. Onstage, four sirens proclaim their fate and take turns playing victim and offender, although some voices are believed more than others. Choreography, music, sound effects, and stunning performances come together in a haunting and unsettlingly funny show that remains just as unforgettable as the testimonies of the affected women.
The piece was developed in collaboration with Teklė Kavtaradze and the actresses Gerda Čiuraitė, Rimantė Valiukaitė, Toma Vaškevičiūtė, Jūratė Vilūnaitė, and Aistė Zabotkaitė.
Aistė, who portrayed one of the sirens, and her talent as an actress had been on Laura’s radar long before she was invited to join the play. During our conversation, she shared her experiences of what it is like being a young woman in entertainment and an actress in Lithuania today.
I am always going to the play to act for her – for people to hear the story, to fight for her, when she couldn’t somehow. When she became a stone and could not fight for herself. ~ Aistė Zabotkaitė
Aistė Zabotkaitė photographed by Elena Krukonytė.
The music you hear in the interview is by Agnė Matulevičiūtė, composer for The Silence of the Sirens. If you want to see more of her work, you can follow her on Instagram.
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