When in winter 2012 Lithuanian theatre director Oskaras Koršunovas presented the production of “Expulsion” in the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, he did not expect that the play by Marius Ivaškevičius would get so much attention not only at home, but in neighbouring countries as well.
Oskaras Koršunovas
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Did not expect such popularity

In the beginning of this year, Koršunovas directed the play about Lithuanian emigrants in London on the Latvian stage. Very soon the main character Benas Ivanovas will speak Polish – this autumn "Expulsion" will premiere on the grand stage of Poland’s theatre.

“I did not expect that "Expulsion" will be so popular. There were many sceptical opinions before the premiere in Lithuania. Because the play is rather long – the premiere performance alone lasted five hours. Because of the actors' improvisations, it can go on up to six hours. Nevertheless, the audience goes willingly to see the play. All performances are sold out one year ahead. Some viewers watch the play standing for six hours. I did not expect such popularity. However, I did believe that the theme of emigration, dealt with in the play, would be relevant to the audience,” admits the director, who has already transferred about twenty Lithuanian plays to foreign stages.

A sequel in sight

In Lithuania, “Expulsion” won six “Golden Stage Crosses”, the national theatre award, and in Latvia it was nominated for eight prestigious “Spelmaņu nakts” awards.

The success of the play inspired the director to think about a sequel. The director has told DELFI that he is planning to produce "Expulsion 2".

“In Lithuania, this play is hugely popular. When we were producing the play, there were many reservations. For example, we thought that five-hour performance would deter audience, but that did not happen. This is a sell-out play. Moreover, it is getting longer with each performance, because of the talented and fantastic improvisations by the actors,” says Koršunovas. “So I am very serious about bringing to stage a sequel, “Expulsion 2”.

Combining work with pleasure

Currently Koršunovas is working on staging Anton Chekhov's “Seagull” in Italy and will start his work in Poland in autumn.

However, the director will be working with several other plays at the same time. “This OKT’s (Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre) season will be very intense – five or six premieres will be presented to the audience. I will be working with my second-year students and we will develop plenty of strong material” says the director, currently residing in Italy.

Despite a busy schedule, Koršunovas is trying to combine work with pleasant relaxation.

“I am going by taxi in Venetian canals to work. It is so beautiful here, so my work is a pleasant relaxation. Although I am going to work, there is a recreational mood in the air. I do believe it is the best thing to combine work with pleasure,” he says.

Lithuanian theatre director Koršunovas to transfer his hit play about emigration to Poland
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