Vilnius Jewish Theater is a non-profit, non-governmental cultural organization founded in 2015 with the mission to renew and foster Jewish theater tradition in Lithuania. Using project-based approach we create theatrical plays and other scene performances which involve well-known authors, actors, directors, scriptwriters as well as other artists, both from Lithuania and abroad.
Vibrant, unique and innovative international theater which celebrates the culture of Lithuanians and Litvaks around the world.
How it all began?
The original idea of renewing the historically significant Jewish theater tradition in Vilnius was developed by writer Basia Broches who attended the Vilnius Jewish Public Library and proposed to build her comedy in the Yiddish language „Fly Me to the Moon“, with a lot of Jewish music in it.
Together with the head of the library Zilvinas Beliauskas she started to look for the ways to make this project happen – an active search for partners and funds began. It was realized quite quickly that this kind of work requires an institutional base as well as stable funding. For these reasons it was decided to establish a public institution called "Vilnius Jewish Theater". Little by little sincere desire to enrich cultural life in Vilnius with a particular play eventually turned into a much more ambitious goal. Taip nuoširdus noras praturtinti kultūrą konkrečiu sceniniu meno kūriniu, galiausiai virto kur kas ambicingesniu tikslu.
Unfortunately, the idea of B. Broches, to which the journalist, writer and publicist Arkadi Vinokur subsequently contributed, eventually stumbled in the initial phase of the experimentation, because it was extremely difficult to find professional Yiddish-speaking actors in Lithuania.
Nevertheless, the desire of the theater devisers to bring together people all of whom are passionately aspired to create the fine art of theater did not fade out. On the contrary, the willingness was strengthened and creativity used in other projects.
You can learn more about the original idea of Vilnius Jewish Theatre from B. Broches herself (in Yiddish):
To engage in the actualization and dissemination of Lithuanian Jewish cultural and historical heritage through various forms of stage art
To develop truly contemporary theater in order to reflect the realities of today's culture in Lithuania and the world;
To mobilize artists for collective creative activities through diverse ways of communication and cooperation
To seek out for a greater dissemination of Jewish theatrical art abroad
Vilnius Jewish Theater actively co-operates with the Vilnius County Adomas Mickevicius Public Library as well as the Vilnius Jewish Public Library which functions not only as a unique and specialized hub of books but also as a vibrant center of Jewish culture.
The Theater also has a partnership with International Yiddish Center in Vilnius which is part of the World Jewish Congress as well as other organizations and institutions engaged in various cultural activities.