Director: Liena Šmukste
Performers: Maija Arvena, Ieva Džindža, Emīls Krūmiņš, Jana Ļisova, Andis Strods
Dramaturg: Anna Belkovska
Artist: Evita Bēta
Sound consultant: Jēkabs Nīmanis
Recommended audience age: 15+. The audience is blindfolded during the performance.
Created with the support of the National Library of Latvia, Riga City Council and the Latvian Academy of Culture.
“Book Mark” is a production based on a documentary story and is aimed at people with visual impairments as well as anyone interested in experiencing the world through senses other than sight. Through touch, smell and hearing the audience follows the story of a family in the 1970’s.
Not long after August 9, 1940 when Latvia “joined” the friendly Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the People's Commissariat of the Latvian SSR passed the law on the LSSR Central Literature Board. With this law the printing of all periodical literature was stopped, work began on making the list of forbidden books and on destroying library collections. The forbidden books were burned, chopped up like firewood, ground up into wastepaper. But people hid the forbidden books. They hid them in places where nobody would think to look – in freezers, in attics, in blocks of butter, in the covers of other books, in pantry rooms, in piles of clothing, buried under ground. There are countless stories and memories of people hiding books.
Sensory theatre is a relatively new experience for Latvian audiences. We are used to watching theatre in the traditional way, but sensory theatre allows us to experience the world through our five important senses – hearing, touch, taste, smell and sights. If we remove one of them we initially get confused, but after a while we realise that the other senses get stronger and we are given the chance to delve into the world of the senses and, perhaps, get to know ourselves in a new way.
The production is Liena Šmukste’s master’s thesis in Directing at the Latvian Academy of Culture.
Latvian Ministry of Welfare supports the European Social Fund project “Support for Social Entrepreneurship” No. 18.104.22.168/15/I/001.