Director – Karolina Jurkštaitė
Starring – Erika Mažulienė, Justina Jukonytė
Composer – Aušra Vaštakaitė
Production Designer – Viktorija Dambrauskaitė
Creative Consultant – scenographer Renata Valčik.
Duration – 40 min.
Opened in 2013.
A miniature tea set, catchy music, two actors and a friendship born out of mutual revelations. Director Karolina Jurkštaitė’s third puppet play Teatime can strike you as a comedy, yet one that is based on an earnest call for a creative reflection of day-to-day life.
A steaming cup of fragrant drink can be a great start of a book or conversation. This magical ability of tea to open up a space for interaction and discovery is used to propel the plot of the play. Tiny cups and saucers glimmer before the audience giving start to an adventure full of surprises, shape-shifting and humour. Older viewers will recognise fragments of circus clown gags or the artistic language of the silent movies of yesteryear while the kids will burst in laughter watching the expressive and dynamic actors’ duo.
Teatime is a bit unconventional for a puppet play. It features live drama actresses Erika Mažulienė and Justina Jukonytė aided by baloon with a great talent for reincarnation. It has been a long-time wish of the director Karolina Jurkštaitė to employ them in a play and as soon as she started working on Teatime, the first task was to try and make actors out of them. ‘A baloon is a slippery shape; it can look cheap, like some birthday prop. Maybe that’s why we decided not to have as many of them as we first planned. We had to come up with a theatrical form. We wanted the children to understand that beauty is right next to you; that a balloon, for example, can have legs and dance. They are seen in a different light in the play. No longer as ballons,’ says the director. She started writing the play on her own but later on the actresses got actively involved and the final script was a result of a joint creative process.
The choice of everyday objects over puppets encourages the viewer to wake up the inner eye of amazement and discovery. Evidently, you don’t need fancy complicated toys to have fun – all you need is immagination and anything around you can come to life.
Karolina Jurkštaitė tests her every play on the youngest audience. She feels a great responsibility for what she does. ‘Making a play for children is a great responsibility. It is a contribution to their development, after all. I am very cautious that the kids aren’t frightened by the play. A number of things can frighten them, such as story or harsh music. It’s easy to slip when creating the mood of a children’s play.’ The little testers help her understand whether or not the scenes are too long, the action thick enough, the play is clear enough and accessible.