© Laura Vansevičienė

Tales from the Vienna Woods

Based on Ödön von Horváth’s play

STAGE ADAPTATION AUTHORS: Yana Ross, Mindaugas Nastaravičius
DIRECTOR ASSISTANTS, INTERPRETERS: Saulė Norkutė, Goda Januškevičiūtė, Uršulė Bartoševičiūtė
TRANSLATOR: Teodoras Četrauskas
COSTUME DESIGNERS: Juozas Valenta, Flore Vauvillé (Prancūzija)
SCENOGRAPHER: Justyna Elminowska (Lenkija)
VIDEO ARTIST: Algirdas Gradauskas
COMPOSER: Gintaras Sodeika
CAST: Matas Dirginčius, Sergejus Ivanovas, Irmantas Jankaitis, Aleksas Kazanavičius, Janina Matekonytė, Dalia Morozovaitė, Vidas Petkevičius, Aušra Pukelytė, Simonas Storpirštis, Dovilė Šilkaitytė, Paulina Taujanskaitė


PRODUCER: Lithuanian State Youth Theatre


DURATION: 3 hrs (with intermission)


LANGUAGE: Lithuanian with English surtitles

DATE: 27 September 2019, 19:00

VENUE: Arts Printing House, Black Hall (Šiltadaržio str. 6, Vilnius)

Austrian playwright Ödön von Horváth wrote his Tales from the Vienna Woods in 1931 in order to depict how the seeds of fashism had started to sprout in the consciousness of German and Austrial people. Already in 1933 Hitler was able to come into power and later, in 1939, to occupy Austria without any resistence… Although interpreted in European theaters many times, the play is virtually unknown in Lithuania.

Director Yana Ross, who’s working at the State Youth Theater for the first time, and a playwright Mindaugas Nastaravičius offer a different interpretation of the play: they create an adaptation, but the main themes of the play – nationalism, cultural traditions, and hypocrisy – remain at the core of the performance. It’s a tragicomedy. The performance provokes laughter, but at some point laughter can make one feel very uncomfortable…


“All his short and tragic life Horváth felt an impending disaster – be it his tragic death or the Nazis rising to power. Horváth had a premonition that fate would be ruthless to him and that he woud die young. He died under mysterious circumstances, killed by a broken tree branch in a storm. It happened in 1938, in Paris, where he had emigrated from Vienna to avoid persecution by the Nazis. What was it? Divine providence, fate or the artist’s intuition? It is particularly ironic that the first Humanist Manifesto (a light and positive approach to human cooperation, ethical and religious progress) was declared in the same year that Adolf Hitler came to power and became Chancellor of Nazi Germany. The premiere of The Tales from the Vienna Woods took place in Berlin two years earlier, in 1931. The play was an inconvenient artistic prophecy. Europe’s historical paradox – exalting humanism and at the same time allowing Nazism to prevail – is something we shouldn’t forget.”

Yana Ross


Yana Ross

Yana Ross grew up in Latvia and spent her childhood between Europe, Russia and the USA. After graduation with an MFA from Yale School of Drama in 2006, Ross collaborated with Nobel laureate, Elfriede Jelinek, directing her plays Sleeping Beauty and Bambiland. She continues to work internationally from Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz to Seoul Performing Arts Festival in South Korea. Ross is a recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. She served as a managing editor at Yale Theatre magazine on a special volume: Russian Theatre of the 21st Century, for which she received John Gassner Memorial prize. Recently awarded Best Director in Torun International Festival Kontakt 2016, Best Director (plus 7 nominations) for Seagull, Iceland (2016), Best Director for Uncle Vanya, Sweden (2015), Best Director (plus 11 nominations) for Our Class, Lithuania (2014).

State Youth Theatre

State Youth Theatre was founded in Vilnius in 1965 and moved to its present building in 1982. The theatre became world famous thanks to Eimuntas Nekrošius’ early productions directed under the leadership of his first teacher director Dalia Tamulevičiūtė. In 2016, a renewed artistic programme of the Lithuanian State Youth Theatre was launched. Among its collaborators are such prominent Lithuanian and foreign directors as Eimuntas Nekrošius, Gintaras Varnas, Kirsten Dehlholm, Arpad Schilling, Yana Ross, Kristian Smeds, Eric Lacascade, and Krystian Lupa as well as promising young Lithuanian artists.