© Arvydas Gudas

Big Pharma

Big Pharma

Director: Arturas Bumšteinas

Producer: Juozas Miltinis Drama Theater

Duration: 1 h 10 min

Language: Lithuanian with English surtitles

Premiere 4 December 2021 

Date: 24 September, 1 pm
Venue: Arts Printing House, Black Hall (Šiltadaržio  str. 6, Vilnius)


In 2020, 264 million people worldwide suffered from depression. Studies show that the pandemic will only increase these numbers. Medicine and the “Major Pharmaceutical Companies” present their anti-depressant measures which are detested by some, and a salvation to others. Diving into this complex and multifaceted topic, Arturas Bumšteinas first offers to look at the ritual of drug use and the inertia surrounding it. The leaflet of the instructions for the use of antidepressants becomes the starting point and axis of the narration of the vocal performance Big Pharma – the texts written in it are performed on stage by the actors of the drama theatre. The performers on the stage become musical instruments, their own voice, different tones and semitones varying the text to different melodies and rhythms. During the performance, the viewer has the opportunity to get acquainted with the strict instructions for the use of drugs, which gradually become overwhelmed by the experiences created by different emotions – laughter is replaced by nastiness, anxiety – by anger. However, what do the daily memorized and repeated directions turn into? How can monotonous instructions become an emotionally influential tool?



An interdisciplinary Lithuanian artist whose work is born from the collision of sounds, music and visual art. His activities could be divided into separate branches: experimental music, acoustic sound works, sound installations, theatre works, radio art, etc.  A. Bumšteinas is the first Lithuanian artist who used the Internet in his work in the mid-1990s: he put the sounds sent by people all over the world into a collage composition. Since 2000, he has been creating and collaborating with recognized Lithuanian and foreign music and theatre artists, including Vladimiras Tarasovas, Krystianas Lupa, Žilvinas Kempinas, Gintautas Trimakas, Lina Lapelytė, Vaiva Grainytė, Anton Lukoszevieze and others. The artist’s works are presented in various galleries in the country and around the world, from the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius to art festivals in Berlin or the United States. In 2013, his radio art work was awarded the EURORADIO Palma Ars Acustica prize. In 2021, A. Bumšteinas won the Lithuanian Theatre Award the Golden Stage Cross for his work at the State Youth Theatre.

Juozas Miltinis Drama Theatre of Panevežys

The history of the Juozas Miltinis Drama Treater is related to one person, one extremely bright personality and a talented artist. This also makes the theatre distinctive and unique. The origins of the Panevėžys theatre go back to 1938. Returning to Lithuania after studying in Paris and London, Juozas Miltinis (1907-1994) took over the leadership of the Theatre Studio of the Chamber of Labor in Kaunas. The future ensemble of Panevėžys Drama Theatre began to form from the members of this studio.

On December 1, 1940 Juozas Miltinis, who was chosen among the other directors in a competition, came to Panevėžys with a group of actors from the Theatre Studio of the Kaunas Chamber of Labor. Panevėžys Drama Theatre was officially opened on March 15, 1941, with a premiere of Silver Valley directed by Juozas Miltinis, based on N. Pogodin’s play.