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Theater in a parcel machine: new format of show to premiere internationally

Latvian, Estonian and Dutch playwrights and producers have put together a brand new format of theater in the themes of the pandemic, Latvian Television reported March 18.

“Belonging exercises” is the name given to the show. The premiere will take place on 18 March in Estonia, but will also take place in the summer in Latvia and in the Netherlands. The authors of the idea of the international project are four theater artists – partnerships, one from Estonia, one from the Netherlands, and two from Latvia – Katrīna Dūka and playwright Jānis Balodis.

Over the past year there has been an increase of shipments through a courier or a parcel machine. Theater artists are also using these means to reach their audience. Viewers of the new play receive a letter with an instruction and four phone numbers to be called during a given show.

The playwright Jānis Balodis explained the progress of the show: “The viewer is at home and has four phone numbers to call. Behind each of these numbers is a person with their own story, who tells it for about 10 minutes, and during this story, the viewer opens an envelope containing photographs related to what the person is telling them. In a way, this person brings the viewer in their dining room and shows their photo album.”

Tonight, the first show will be viewed and listened to by 48 Estonians.

“We concealed the faces for each photograph, and in the process they hear the voices of the authors, but [the viewers] can imagine themselves in place of these people,” noted the show's creator Katrīna Dūka.

She said the stories were all the different, they were joined by a theme of belonging: “There are stories from people who have moved from neighboring countries to Estonia, live for 13 years, but are still seen as strangers, and there are also very personal stories about families where there have been no mother or father, and how a man builds his own family and creates this sense of intimacy and community.”

 

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