The new Riga Theater has completed work on the play “Dubliners on Miera Street”, which has been staged by Pēteris Krilovs according to the collection of stories “Dublinians” by the Irish writer James Joyce. The work process, intermittently, stretches for almost a year. The meeting with Joyce and the opportunity to focus in depth on the characters, their relationships, and the creative group of the show has brought great satisfaction.
This is not the first time that theater and film director Pēteris Krilovs, a lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Culture, has brought the text of James Joyce to the theater, and it is not the first time that the performance has been based on prose or a play. In a conversation on the Latvian Radio program “Kultūras rondo”, Krilov confirms that it is much more interesting for him to work with prose and perform drama himself.
Asked if Joyce’s prose works are good for dramatization, the director of the show says: “Joyce allows you to beat, play. He does it himself for the borrowers. So I realized that Matis Gricman, who is the co-author of the drama, had the right to beat and use it as we wanted and as we intended. ”
While working on the performance “Dubliners on Miera Street”, several generations have met – both long-term actors of the New Riga Theater troupe and current students.
Pēteris Krilovs offers a resemblance that the creative group of the show has worked in the same independent and self-sufficient company as depicted in the globally updated Bocačo “Decameron” during the pandemic.
“We spent this time very interesting. We were happy and pleasant to be with Joyce,” sums up Krilov.
The production was made in three separate stages – in April 2020, meeting on the “Zoom” platform, then in November, December and March of this year. At a time when the theater cannot meet its audience, the rehearsal process is a bit different. The director of the show notes: “While working, we theoretically and technically, of course, thought about the audience, audibility, visibility, clarity, etc., but the phenomenon of the audience was quite foreign to us.
We worked more inside – with roles, relationships, humor coming from Joyce and also with very serious things. ”
In March, Pēteris Krilovs did not think about anything other than “Dubliners on Miera Street”, but now – after the performance of the show – it is possible to return to other creative challenges and pedagogical work.
Regarding the work with students, Krilov says: “During this time of prohibitions and restrictions, we had the opportunity to remember many techniques, how to give half of the theoretical, half of practical film students an idea of acting. I can’t say it looked very full and rich, but something we did and keep doing. ” Currently, audiovisual arts students work on their own genre of short films, and here skills in working with an actor will be needed.
Pēteris Krilovs also shares an observation from the end of last year, when he repeatedly worked as a consultant on professional acting films and series: “I notice how extremely disciplined and responsible the film crews worked. [..]. No one fell ill, no one fell out of line.
I know that people in the arts take restrictions very seriously, but they also work. ”
Krilov avoids emphasizing this time with a special tragedy: “I try not to fall into such a mass psychosis about how terrible it is now and how terribly something is missing. If it is considered as a simulation of a wartime atmosphere, then it must be accepted as it is. ” He is not overwhelmed by any desperate longings, expectations of the audience. When there is an opportunity, he will meet the viewer again.
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