Benas Sarka, a graduate of the Vilnius Music Academy is an example of the very unique, consequent realisation of the ‘folk theatre’ idea. The programmatic poverty and naiveté of Sarka’s theatre has a flavour of fairs, the paintings of Rousseau and Pirosmani, Peter Schuman’s ‘bread and puppet’.
Why does poverty move the hearts of Sarka’s audience (in particular young outsiders)?, asks Rolandas Rastauskas. Sarka’s spectacles can be perceived as returning to the lost paradise of children’s games (a sand-pit, a pile of wood, the rag doll Anusia, a frightening street behind the fence). The actor is entirely devoted to acting. This ‘naive time’ area is unheard of in the professional theatre. Where a professional ‘performs’, Sarka’s actor just plays a game. In this theatre ‘what’ is more important than ‘how’.
The meaning of theatre, says Sarka, consists in restraining. The most important is to leave statements incomplete, suspended. Poetry lives in between words, it needs space to move. We enter the stage to feel the taste of another life. The whole spectrum of my objects, the complete score comes from my childhood. I approach an object like a thought. Like a picture. I take care not to exaggerate. To extract from an object enough to make it alive on the stage. An object has to experience a lot in order to sound. For me this instrumental nature of an object is significant.
‘I love my audience – confesses Sarka. – Our spectators are people who hate apathy. They are more demanding than the typical public. It makes me fearful because emotions are expressed in a different way here. Our spectators do not go to the Dramatic Theatre. They want to be kidnapped and raped.’