BIRUTE MARCINKEVICIUTE – MAR
Lithuanian actress, theatre director and writer. One of the most well-known actresses of solo theatre performers in Europe and worldwide.
Born in 1969, Kaunas. In 1987, she graduated from J. Naujalis Secondary School of Art, majoring in piano. During 1988-1993 she has studied at the St. Petersburg’s Institute of Theatre, Music and Film (Russia), and obtained higher education diplomas in theatre and film acting and directing.
During 1997-1998 she has studied Japanese Noh Theatre singing and dancing at Kita Noh School and traditional Nihon Buyo dance in Tokyo, Japan.
Since 1994 Birute has been an actress of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre troupe, she has also acted in cinema, created independent theatre and dance projects. Birute Mar’s mono-performances, which have received numerous awards at international theatre festivals, have been presented at theatre forums in over thirty countries worldwide. She also directs performances, operas and musical projects.
In 2018, she founded the SOLO TEATRAS (SOLO THEATRE) in Vilnius, Lithuania, and began her work as an Artistic Director.
The most significant recognitions of theatrical works: 2010 – the book “Birute Mar. Bez maski. Be kaukes. Unmasked” (in Polish, English and Lithuanian) by L. Armonaite published in Wroclaw, Poland, presenting the work of a Lithuanian actress; 2014 – receiving an award “for Contribution to the Development of Solo Performance” from International Theatre Institute (ITI) and Fujairah (United Arab Emirates) International Theatre Festival.
Among other creative fields, literature has also played an essential role: Birute Mar has published 10 books (poetry, essays, prose for children). She creates dramaturgy for brand new performances, writes plays, librettos for operas, publications in the Lithuanian cultural press on the topics of theatre, dance, cinema, and travel essays. Her poems have been translated and published in Russian, Polish, German, English, Latvian, Icelandic, Estonian, Swedish, Persian languages. Birute participated in international poetry events and festivals in Latvia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Iceland, USA, Ireland, Estonia, Sweden.
Member of the Lithuanian Writers Union (since 2000), member of the Lithuanian Contemporary Dance Association, member of the Lithuanian Theatre Directors Association and Lithuanian Actors Guild. She is recognised as a professional artist by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture.
In 2020, Birute Mar received the Lithuanian Government’s Prize for Culture and Art.
“Intelectual theatre of Birute Mar is a separate world deprived of temporariness, lingering in mind for much longer than a day; it is a world in which there are no cheap tricks or consideration for the mood of the audience. It is a world in which the actress wears no mask, the world in which the actor touches on the most important subjects of the world. Today Birute Mar is known as a remarkable Lithuanian artist who consistently contributes to the one-actor theatre.”
Liucija Armonaite, the author of the book “Birute Mar. Be kaukės/Bez maski/No mask”, published in Wroclaw, Poland, 2010
RESIDENCIES, PROFESSIONAL COURSES
1991 – a residency at the summer film directing course with the director Jonas Mekas (Antology Film Archives, New York, USA);
1993 – studies of contemporary dance and movement at the Laban Centre for movement and dance (London, England);
1993 – participation in masterclasses of London Royal Theatre (LIFE International Theatre Festival, educational program for Lithuanian actors; Vilnius, Lithuania)
1994 – a residency at the summer course “Creating a Modern Musical” at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden);
1995 – a residency at the summer course “Swedish Drama and Theatre” at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden);
1995 – masterclasses “Specifics of Performing Ancient Drama, Actor’s Voice in Ancient Theatre” (dir. Nice Parikos, Theatrical Exodos Theatre, Icarus, Greece);
1996 and 1998 – participation in the Symposium of Ancient Drama (Paphos, Cyprus): presentations on the “Choir at the Ancient Theatre”, “Interpretations of Ancient Drama at the Lithuanian Theatre”;
1997-1998 – BUNKACHO Fellowship of the Japanese Cultural Foundation: studies of traditional Japanese Nihon Buyo dance and contemporary Butoh dance, Noh theatre technical studies at Kita Noh School (Tokyo, Japan);
1999 – a residency for actors in the creative laboratory with the director Eugenio Barba (Holstebro, Denmark);
2000 – summer masterclasses for actors “Rhythm of Motion and Voice on Stage” (London Performing Arts Center, England)
2001 – Summer Academy of Theatre (SAPA 2001) course on “Feldenkrais Method/Technique for Actors” (“Feldenkrais for Performers”, Sofia, Bulgaria);
2004 – masterclasses for actors “Voice Capabilities” (leader J. J. Lemetre, Theater de Soleil; Dublin Abbey Theatre, Ireland);
2009 and 2011 – a creative work at the international writers’ residency “Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators” (Visby, Sweden);
2016 – a creative work at the International Residence of Writers and Translators in Rhodes, Greece.