Moments: real and acted – KTU Theatre Studio is 70

Moments: real and acted – KTU Theatre Studio is 70

Successful beginning

This year, KTU Theatre Studio “44” celebrates the 70th anniversary of its creative activities. It is the oldest academic theatre studio in Lithuania.  Its origins go back to the academic drama club established by renowned theatre and television actor, director Petras Likša at Vytautas Magnus University – national university in Kaunas – in 1948.  The entrance examination to the drama club took place on 13 October and the premiere of the performance “Vedybos”  (“Marriage”) was presented at Kaunas Musical Theatre on 23 May 1949. In 1951, the university was reorganised into Kaunas Polytechnical Institute and the drama club continued its activities at the institute. In 1958, KPI drama club was granted the title of Theatre Studio. In 1967, KPI theatre studio was invited to the International Festival of Amateur Drama Clubs in France; however, Soviet authorities did not allow them to go and offered a trip to Georgia instead of Paris.

People’s theatre

In 1972, KPI theatre drama studio was granted the title of the people’s theatre. Back then, it was led by the director of Kaunas Drama Theatre Romualdas Tumpa and actor Algimantas Voščikas. KPI theatre was located in the basement of Chamber III  where a small hall for the audience was equipped with the help of Jonas Vengraitis and other members; the number of its seats for viewers was 44, now this number is included in the title of the studio. In 1979, actor  Leonardas Zelčius because the head of KPI theatre. KPI people’s theatre was awarded the “GRAND PRIX” for “Baltaragio malūnas” (“The Mill of Baltaragis”) directed by director Vytautas Grigolis at the 7th Amateur Theatre Festival of the Baltic and Belarus Republics in Viljandi (Estonia) on 13 July 1986.  Besides its leaders, directors-educators Birutė Raubaitė, Danutė Juronytė, Vytautas Grigolis, Vida Savičiūnaitė, Arvydas Lebeliūnas, Audrius Baniūnas also worked with KPI theatre.

After independence

On 31 October 1990, Kaunas Polytechnical Institute was renamed Kaunas University of Technology. At the beginning of the regained independence, the studio was having a difficult period with frequent changes of its leaders;  however, the situation got better later on. In 1998, the studio celebrated the 50th anniversary of its activities. Later, KTU theatre studio was led by actors Robertas Vaidotas and Ridas Žirgulis, now its head is director Aleksandr Špilevoj. KTU theatre studio “44” is a member of the International University Theatre Association.

On the occasion of the anniversary, KTU Museum organised a virtual exhibition “Real and Acted Moments: KTU Theatre Studio is 70” exhibiting photographs, leaflets and posters of the performances, documents from the archives of KTU Museum, members of the studio and Kaunas Regional State Archive. The photographs capture the fragments of the studio’s performances, moments of the tours, traditions and free time.


KTU muziejus dėkoja