stage adaptation of the novel by Mindaugas Karbauskis
Director: Mindaugas Karbauskis
Set designer: Anna Fyodorova
This production is based on the novel first published in the Soviet Union more than 40 years ago. It was written by the former Lithuanian and now Israeli author Icchokas Meras. A Stalemate... is a novel about life and death of the Jewish people in ghetto during the Second World War and about chess. The whole performance is like a chess game which the commandant of the ghetto Schoger suggests to play to Isaac, the son of Abraham Lipman. Isaac’s win would mean his death, his loss would mean salvation of his life but also suffering of the ghetto’s children that would be deported. Only a stalemate will save (rather, as we understand, it will only postpone death) the ghetto inhabitants. Mindaugas Karbauskis’s performance is dry and deliberately unemotional: it does not have either a blood drop, or a tear, or a scream, or a single suffering gesture. If you do not understand the text, only swastika on the Nazi’s armband as well as yellow stars on the Jews’ clothes may bring out the tragic site of what is happening. Otherwise one may think that the actors on the stage are immersed in some Nordic family drama.
The characters of A Stalemate... move as chess figures: sometimes they may ‘freeze’ as if before the next move, sometimes they may slip as if over half-empty game board and then disappear from it. It is clear that it is pointless to ask who rearranges the ‘figures’ and throws people in such terrible circumstances. It does not make any sense to cry to the heavens. The relationship of a man abandoned by the heavens to his death has more than once become Mindaugas Karbauskis’s main theme as a director. Moreover, the director has always avoided sharpness or open manifestation of emotions. Applying to such a material as A Stalemate Lasts by a Moment one may only welcome such a will for self-restraint, fear of pathos, the lack of ‘Jewish flavor’.
And most importantly - a willingness to press on the brake whenever according to all rules of sensitivity one may need to properly push the gas.
19 m x 25 m
FOR AUDIENCE OF
150 - 200
6 m van
SET UP TIME