Since 2001 the theatre is working in two major directions –
In the late 90’s the director Astra Kacena started to study the methodology and principles of the Theatresport set down by Keith Johnstone. Therefore, soon after the Jelgava Student Theatre took part in the 4th International Improvisation Festival in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Afterwards the director along with actors and the association Theatre and Education and the State Youth Initiative Centre started the training course on improvisation. That was the beginning of the theatre sports movement in Latvia.
In 2001 the Jelgava Student Theatre actors united with other enthusiasts of Theatrsport from Riga (Latvia) and started/established a permanent improvisation company The Last Premiere(at last renamed Improwin) which worked together with the Student Club of the Latvian Academy of Music. Other scholars of the director Astra Kacena followed the path and created different improvisation companies like Improozoo in Riga and Ink in Madona.
In October 2007 the theatre helped to organize the 1st International Improvisation Festival TheatreSports – 10 in Riga, Latvia. Famous improvisation troupe from Berlin (Germany) Die Gorillas and a troupe from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) Improphondo attended the festival and performed.
In 2006 the Jelgava Student Theatre celebrated its 60th anniversary. Special reunion was organized in the framework of this occasion – actors and directors of different generations and ages were present. In the same year new tradition was born – while working on the staging The Three Musketeers by A. Dimas the actors of current generation were brought together with the former actors of the Jelgava Student Theatre.
Following the new trend more stagings were developed – a project Father’s 3 Sons supported by the Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation included 3 independent productions: Custom Officer’s House by Mr. H. Paukss, Hello, Maria! by Mr. A. Zeibots and A fish and a mouse by Mr. E. Ermansons.
The latest stagings:
- “ La Cafe de Theatre or The weird world of Theatre” was made following the same manner. It is a composition of various one-act plays written by French authors.
- “The Kingdom of Bytterflies ” – poetry and movement performance had its premiere in Lithuania within the framework of International Students Theatre Festival and the European project “The Unity of the Balts under the Sun”.
This performance is following the motives of posthumous poetry anthology by Latvian poet Aivars Neibarts (1939-2001). Because of his extraordinary character, he was a legend already when alive and remained him afterwards. Aivars Neibarts died in his apartment when it was on fire; paper sheets with his poems were left untouched by fire.
The performance is like associatively-poetical message about self-exploration where different characters make their own stories. Stories about uprising against the routine, about joy, about love and pain, about the ability to remember these feelings – legends and myths which from the past are bestowed to people but always have to be re- discovered within oneself. About the wisdom of the heart which creates the true reality.
- “Lions never cry” – The performance will be based on “The Black Mane”, a play by H. Paukss .The goal is to create a musical piece bringing together actors from Student Theatre of Jelgava and rock band “ On The Roof ” from Jelgava’s Rock School for Youth.
Performance is about love and freedom. It’s story with symbolic and also realistic dialogues and characters in psychologically recognizable situations. Like a legend about yearning and trusting in the chance of success.
The play will be shaped by synthesis of body motion, music and spoken words. It will be a musical game of molding your body into its primitive and natural form. Gestures and movements will help line out the poetry of animal instincts, music – presence of spirituality.
The perfomance is intended to take after the dream aesthetics, which was liked by Strindberg. When some characters on the stage are seen by others, but some are not. Two realities overlie each other – rehearsal of a youth rock band and the life of lions in a Zoo.
Performances are created together with vocal teacher Arnis Miltiņš , rhythm specialist Aleksandrs Jalaņeckis, movement consultant Vilnis Bīriņš and set designer Agne Menniks.