PHOTO: “Players breathe freely.” Aija Kaukule evaluates “Players’ Night”

Players breathe freely

Aija Kaukule, “Latvijas Avīze”, JSC “Latvijas Mediji”

On Tuesday, November 23, Eduards Smiļģis’ 135th birthday, the most outstanding achievements of the past theater season were awarded at the Daile Theater.

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After a longer silence of the “Players’ Night” salute in the direction of the Daile Theater, it triumphed this year, receiving six of the 13 “Nails of the Stage”, including the “Grand Prix” or the prize for the best performance given to Viesturs Kairiss and Māra Zālīte’s production “Smile”.

The heirs of Smilga celebrate

“Now you know who’s the best theater!” A genuine cry for joy broke out in the auditorium to the artistic director of Daile Theater, director Viesturs Kairiš, a moment after the ceremony.


“Smiļģis’ birthday is celebrated internally, quite personally, in the Daile Theater,” said poet and playwright Māra Zālīte, adding: “Smiļgis is, of course, a mega-project. It is a great holiday for any author, if a very good director comes to your work. ”

“I feel like I have gone through a rather full journey and got to the light,” said Ieva Segliņa, an actress at the Daile Theater, who was awarded Rainis’ role in the show “Smile”, a moment after receiving the theater award, smiling happily.

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“On the one hand, we had to get rid of the fear of Rain, on the other hand, I felt that I had to keep it. Glad it worked and the jury noticed, ”said the actress.

It is a double joy that the award was unexpectedly presented to Ieva by her partner, the National Theater actor Artūrs Krūzkops.

“I was tormented for two weeks and didn’t tell my husband about the prize, and then – to my surprise – I get my first” Players’ Night “prize from my husband!” The actress does not hide her enthusiasm, but Artūrs, who is right next door, adds: “I am very proud. It was such a beautiful moment that will be remembered as a big day. ”

“There are not many such moments in the actor’s life,” says Vita Vārpiņa, the outstanding actress of Daile Theater, quietly after the ceremony.

“It is a great pleasure to be able to do something valuable in your acting profession during this empty period. You always have to do something a little special to get this prize. The actress is often not given roles like in the show “Doctor” – maybe only once in her life. “

The jury raised the brave in the sun

When the winners are announced, Edīte Tišheizere, a theater critic and scientist, is also ready to tell about the kitchen of the jury’s work. It turns out the spear is most broken for the fact that there are only 12 awards, but wanted to highlight something that has not been the case so far.

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“I, for example, fought for six prizes for one prize! It seemed that this unified work was so unusual for Daile Theater, which is not an ensemble, but a star theater. ”

E. Tišheizere also reveals that with the greatest unanimity the jury awarded the prizes to the Daile Theater performance “Smiļģis” and the Rezekne Theater “Joriks” performance “My Neighbor is a Jew”, as well as to the Daile Theater actresses Vita Vārpiņa and Ieva Segliņa.

“We managed to show the things where the artist has stepped out of his usual area. Satisfaction that we have expanded the boundaries of the theater, for example, to include the chamber opera “Present” by Rein and Krista Dzudzilo, Elīna Gediņa and Krista Auznieks [balva kontrtenoram Jānim Šipkēvicam]. The second thing is that we defined each award, and it was a good challenge for ourselves. ”

“We have already discussed with Ojārs Rubens that maybe we should not just follow the fact that there are still nominations, but we need to do something different, because theater is not a sport. Maybe you don’t have to make the ceremony look like an Oscar at all costs, and maybe this year’s format will suggest another way in the future. In any format of the jury’s work, decisions will ultimately be subjective, so this is “Players’ Night, not running for medals,” theater historian Jānis Siliņš judges the process of awarding theater prizes.

Ratings about the “Players’ Night” ceremony at the Daile Theater, created by director Laura Groza and screenwriter and Valmiera Theater actor Mārtiņš Meiers, are always different, but there is more to be welcomed.

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Although the faces of those present – theater people, cultural workers, politicians, as well as President Egils Levits and his wife Andras Levite, Riga City Councilor Oleg Burov, Saeima deputy Kārlis Šadruskas and others – were covered with black masks and glass barriers, the feeling of the holiday was not stifled.


However, it must be admitted that the silent applause for the address of the Minister of Culture Naur Puntulis in the hall once again reminded of the two-year-long “open-closed” stage in the life of theaters.

“Black masks symbolically represent this time. It is also acknowledged that Ojārs Rubens has said that there will be no balls, because you should not drink champagne during the mayor, ”said Rūta Muktupāvels, Rector of the Latvian Academy of Culture, in the evening after the event.


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