Latvian Radio Theater expands program during pandemic

Latvian theater lovers can continue to enjoy plays while observing social distancing and quarantine in the comfort of their own homes, as the Latvian Radio Theater expands their nightly program, according to a Latvian Radio broadcast on March 18.

In addition to the usual nightly broadcast, youngsters will have an alternative to screen time while the Latvian Radio Theater broadcasts English writer Dodie Smith's “101 Dalmations” in 18 twenty-minute parts over the next month.

“I think it's a very nice work, very heartfelt and relevant to this time. I don't think anyone will be disappointed while listening,” said Radio Theater Producer Māra Eglīte.

Both old and new theater lovers can get to know various classic stories voiced by legendary actors during the regular nightly broadcast, and online afterwards. The Latvian Radio 1 archive goes back a whole five years, so listeners can have their pick from a wide array of popular plays and works of literature to listen to whenever they please.

Those quarantined with an older person who's not that into their smartphone can help them out by introducing them to the archive. In total the Latvian Radio library contains more than 18,000 recordings of works by writers such as Aleksandrs Grīns, Inga Ābele, Aspazija and Viktors Jansons, voiced by actors such as Vija Artmane, Harijs Liepiņš, Eduards Pāvuls, Elza Radziņa, Antra Liedskalniņa, Kārlis Sebris, Guna Zariņa, Gundars Grasbergs, Lidija Pupure, and Ģirts Krūmiņš.

As previously reported, Latvia is not the only country to produce radio drama, though it seems this most imaginatively stimulating of all art forms is on the wane in our obvious, visual age. But Latvian productions have a sound and flavor of their own which renders them distinctive and more and more enjoyable with every encounter.

Necessarily produced on a tiny budget by a small group of thespians and technicians, Latvian Radio Theater productions have that reassuring feel of the old repertory company in which you meet the same voices taking on numerous roles week-by-week. What is lacking in budget is more than compensated for in the show-must-go-on attitude of all concerned.

With these basic building blocks, practically any drama can be assembled, from ancient Greek classic to Shakespeare adaptation, to Rudolfs Blaumanis reworking. However, there is a notable dearth of comedies.
 

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