The word “sirens” has a double meaning – a siren can be both a saviour and a murderer. On the one hand, it’s an alarm warning us about danger, on the other hand, it is also a mythological creature that lures us across the boundary. The festival has a dual mission as well – to warn people about the dangers awaiting our society, and to lure us into the world of art.
Vilnius International Theatre Festival Sirenos will take place this year. However, the artistic programme is changing radically: foreign performances have been cancelled and the budget of the entire festival has been redistributed in such a way as to encourage Lithuanian artists to develop new theatre forms suitable for pandemic conditions and to present them on the usual festival’s dates in the autumn. This is a difficult and radical decision for the festival team, but it is also well thought-out and in line with the festival’s values as well as supporting the country’s theatre makers in an extremely tough situation. The internationality of the festival will be maintained through the inclusion of workshops and mentorships by world-renowned directors in the festival programme.
The festival announces an open call to Lithuanian theatre maker to develop projects during the summer that reflect the themes of today’s global social, political, psychological shifts and meet the quarantine requirements for theatre in the variety of forms and experiments.
We used a large purple field to cover the festival artists, conveying the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic in society. The purple field can be understood as a stain, or as a wall: a state when we are outside the wall and we are unwelcome because of the consequences of a pandemic.