LLU (Latvia University of Agriculture) Student theatre – Jelgava student theatre – one of two oldest Student theatres in Latvia. The only one with its own settled THEATRE HOUSE.
1946. – the foundation year, when PĒTERIS LŪCIS created drama club in Latvia Academy of Agriculture. Performances created by famous Latvian theater actors and directors – KĀRLIS PAMŠE, Vera Singajevska, Miervaldis Ozoliņš, Vilis Ķimelis, Jānis Lūsēns, Guntis Krūmiņš, Lūcija Ņefedova, et al.
1968. – Academy Drama Studio, student actors led by director RUTA KAĻASS – a 3-year education program SPF (cultural aspects professions faculty) in acting and mastery of speech is created. Theater group obtains an independent rehearsal space in Valdeka castle, Jelgava.
1984. – Latvian State Conservatory graduate ASTRA KACENA is invited to work as a director – and since then we are
A search of new theatrical forms begins:
- Summer journeys with horse carts through regions of Latvia (7-14days long) staging bits of Latvian classical theatre and singing folk songs.
- Theatre room (black box) is created in Valdeka castle, opening a rehearsal space to viewers.
- Musicians, choreographers, and movement and rhythm artists are involved in building the performances, alongside the director and set designer.
1991. – led by professionals student actors build a wooden amphitheater in Student dance hall.
1996. – Dance performance by E.Jonesko “The Bold primadonna”, is played 14 times in Edinburgh Arts Festival Fringe, with support from “Soros Foundation” and “Demarko Art foundation”.
1998. – after returning from Amsterdam 4th International Impro Festival student theatre actors and director Astra Kacena (at that time the President of “Theatre and Education” association) start THEATRE SPORT and improvisation movement in Latvia.
1999. –Student dance hall must be closed due to technical reasons. Actors dismantle the theater, stage boards are taken to the new premises in Jāņa Čakstes Boulevard 5a.
2000. till PRESENT DAY Jelgava Student theatre (JST) – LLU student theatre in the led by Astra Kacena continues creative work in two dramatically different theatre areas:
- Improvising – monthly theater sports and long form improvisation evenings, annual theater sport tournaments for Latvian Higher Education establishments;
- Staging written texts (poetry, prose, drama) – in various theatrical language expressions.
In 2011 LLU gives an opportunity to expand the Student theatre – with support from Student club, inspirited by director, student actors construct, build and sets up a historical Art Space – Melpomene`s guest room, room for rehearsals, costume and decoration warehouse and theatre premise become Theatre House.
Theater visitors, actors, guests of Jelgava, all can enjoy MELPOMENE`s guest room. In cooperation with Regional Tourism Agency TOWER is designed a spot for tourists “Bus stop – TAURIŅKARAĻVALSTĪBA” (butterfly kingdom)
Ex-students establish a social organization “MINIATRA” for supporting Jelgava Student theatre. Several regional and international cooperation projects are established through EU programs – “Youth in Action”; UBUS; NEATA et al.
JST starts Latvian University theatre festival “Two evenings in May” in 2015, continues with First International Universitie`s theatre festival “Two evenings in May” in 2017.