© Tadas Povilionis

The Physicists

Based on the play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

LIGHT DESIGNER: Eugenijus Sabaliauskas
VIDEO ARTIST: Paulius Jakubėnas
DRAMATURG: Inga Sanakojevaitė


PRODUCER: Juozas Miltinis Drama Theatre
Performing rights belong to “Diogenes Verlag AG Zurich”.


DURATION: 3 hrs (with intermission)


LANGUAGE: Lithuanian with English surtitles

DATE: 28 September 2019, 19:00
VENUE: Arts Printing House, Black Hall (Šiltadaržio str. 6, Vilnius)

“First of all, this is a comedy. This is the funniest comedy in Lithuania. Although it is impossible to make sure whether it is the funniest comedy in the whole Lithuania, because nowadays it’s no longer clear, what is real, what reality is. And when it’s not clear what reality is, there is also no starting point departing from which we could compare what’s funny, what’s funnier and what’s the funniest. This comedy is so funny that tears of tragedy start rolling down from our shut eyes. And for us it is undoubtedly a triumph. Right now. Not later, when somebody else declares our triumph, but right this moment. Because we ourselves know that and state that. If you know what reality is, what’s real and what’s not, if you know who is human nowadays and who isn’t, you have already failed by default. Because only here, at this theatre-madhouse the truth can still be told. That’s why theatre is a default triumph over three-dimensional reality, beliefs, knowledge, shelves and boxes of values. While we still know how to laugh and are not afraid to, we are at some somewhat existing. You are welcome to join us, the madmen, in a sanatorium!”

Creative team


Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990) – a Swiss playwright, humanist writer who was trying to understand a complex reality of the 20th century, to take on the gravest problems of the society related to existential questions of a man who found himself in a conveyor system when major cultural paradigms were changing.

F. Dürrenmatt’s “The Physicists” is a two-act tragicomedy written in 1962. The story is set in a mental hospital “The Cherry Orchard”, where three physicists are undergoing treatment: one of them believes that he is Albert Einstein, the second one believes to be Isaac Newton and the third one believes that he is being visited by the King Solomon. The play touches upon such topics as scientific sacrifice, responsibility towards society, as well as ones (in)ability to change the world. The author reveals such problems through the lives of the physicists, although the very same questions arise among other scientists, creators, clerks, businessmen, and everyone encountering any power structure.

For director Artūras Areima it is his third production at Juozas Miltinis Drama Theatre. Used to working with a younger part of the ensemble, this time A. Areima creatively mobilized a team driven by the actors of an older generation. Together they raise questions about the transformations of moral and human values in the times of great paradigmatic shifts and inevitable changes of the concepts of sanity, morale, reality, and humanism.


Artūras Areima

Having been labelled as a theatre hooligan or enfant terribleat the very beginning of his artistic path, Artūras Areima continues to be one of the most curious Lithuanian theatre artists. His works always provoke discussions among theatre critics and audiences. A. Areima has already been awarded with various titles and prizes: in 2013 he received the Lithuanian theatre award, Borisas Dauguvietis’ Earring, for the quest of new means of scenic expression, in 2013, 2014 and 2015 he was nominated in the category of the best director in the most important Lithuanian theatre awards – the Golden Cross of Stage. In 2016 in Fringe theatre festival in Edinburgh his show Under Ice was awarded with the prize of Summerhall Arts Centre. A. Areima’s artistic stance is balancing between classic, epic theatre and new phenomena of contemporary scenic arts.

Juozas Miltinis Drama Theatre

Juozas Miltinis Drama Theatre is a state theatre in the town of Panevėžys, Lithuania, approximately 130 km north of the capital Vilnius. It is the main place for drama in town with a permanent troupe of actors and large performing spaces. During the Soviet era the theater was well known in all Soviet Union for outstanding performances directed by Juozas Miltinis, a legendary personality who led the theatre for decades and worked with such impressive actors as Donatas Banionis (main role in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris). Because of its noticeable impact on town’s life and culture, the theater continues to maintain a distinct connection with its local audience. Since autumn 2017 a team of young theatre professionals have been leading the theatre – their focus is on developing creative space, providing opportunities for emerging directors to experiment and look for their own stage language, allowing the actors to develop their artistic abilities, and creating new experiences for the whole theatre team.