New Riga Theatre returns to historic premises after seven years

After seven years of reconstruction, in March 2024, the New Riga Theatre (JRT) will return to its historic home. The return is celebrated with five events -- a book, film, and three shows -- that give viewers a chance to look back at theater history and watch the theater's opening new productions in all three halls, the theater announced.

On the morning of Thursday, February 29, “State real estate” (VNĪ) and guests invited by the Ministry of Culture (KM) and JRT met for the solemn opening of the renovated and rebuilt theater on Lāčplēša Street 25.

A book about JRT's history and a documentary "Kur mājo teātris?" (Where does a theater live?) have also been released. 

The first new show in the new building  – the show “The Dream Translator Sect” after Milorad Pavic's novel “Dictionary of the Khazars” – is made by the theater's artistic director Alvis Hermanis.

“For seven years since we were gone, we thought and couldn't figure out what kind of show to open the new Riga Theatre with? It wasn't easy because we wanted to find ideas and material that met too many criteria. Let all JRT actors have roles there. Let it be a show about us, the New Riga Theatre, and its history. Let it be a show about the nature of actors and theater. Let it be a show, too, about the anxiously difficult time we live in. May this show also be a metaphor for Latvia's fate and its possible future. Let this show be a journey in time and space, around the whole world and through all ages. To intersect all the horizontals and verticals of human life. For its performance to be poetic and for its text to be with the highest gold hallmark of literature.

“The task of finding such material may seem impossible. But we managed it. Milorad Pavich's novel “Dictionary of the Khazars” gave inspiration to this JRT opening show. It's the story of an ancient and talkative nation, the Khazars, who really lived 1,000 years ago, in about the same area (between the Caspian and Black Seas) where the fate of the world, and also of us, is now being settled in Ukraine. And finally. It was important that this show had what we JRT liked to do best. To do what we've never done before,“ says Hermanis.

All actors in the theater troupe are on the show. Opening shows at the JRT Grand Hall on March 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 30 and April 5, 6 and 7.

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