The most productive theatre director of his generation, Agnius Jankevičius born (1979) studied directing at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, where he completed his BA and MA. His debut play The Beyond (Užribis, 2001), based on Victor Pelevin’s ‘Blue Lantern’ collection, was recognised as the best play at the Setkání/Encounter festival for theatre schools in Brno. Not only was the play staged in the Czech Republic, but also in the Netherlands and Russia. Jankevičius has been teaching at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre since 2010.
Working as an independent director, Jankevičius has already staged over 30 plays in various theatres in Lithuania. He participates actively in various theatre forums, actions and festivals, and also directs play readings. His productions have been put on in Finland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Israel.
Jankevičius is interested in people who find themselves beyond the bounds of normal society, and the reasons for it. Deformed characters, heightened physical and vocal expression, and a critical tone, are all characteristics of his productions, which are based on both classic and contemporary literary works, as well as original scripts. His productions have won awards at theatre festivals in Lithuania, and in 2008 the creative team of Izadora, the mono-opera he directed, won the Golden Cross of the Stage award.
In 2012, the director founded the wide range arts syndicate Bad Rabbits, together with some of his former students. This alternative theatre group seeks to put up partisan opposition to traditional theatrical expression, and openly declares a critical stance towards the political situation, something that is not common among theatre practitioners in Lithuania. Bad Rabbits is a member of EFETSA (the European Federation for Education and Training in Street Arts).
Jankevičius’ play Night (Naktis, 2017) at the Klaipėda Drama Theatre is based on a play by the Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk. It is a farce, in which existential angst is interwoven with humour, and a sensitive perspective on human existence. A young thief from Eastern Europe dies when he is shot by the owner of a jewellery shop, and his heart is illegally transplanted to the jeweller. A criminal adventure story turns into a story of human existence, while the usual prejudices between neighbouring nations become almost an ancient myth.