k l a m m ' s w a r
according to Kai Hensel
Premiere 2016 December 27,28th, Arts Printing house
Duration 70 min | audience 16+
director and scenographer : Artūras Areima
costume designer : Monika Gurskytė
music : Dominykas Morkūnas
video artist : Kornelijus Jaroševičius
scenic meaning : Mister Klam and etc.
Photographer Laura Vansevičienė
Supported by Lithuania Council for Culture
Teacher Klamm is standing before the class that is boicoting him by staying silent. A friend of the class received a mark lower that the required treshold for the university. The teacher refused to give a higher mark for the student since the student did not deserve it. The student killed himself and his classmates are blaming the teacher who himself has suicidal thoughts because of this. Is there a rational way to resolve this situation? Who is to blame: the teacher or the student? And, most importantly, can we blame anyone?
Society and the students themselves start questioning the validity of the achievements gained in school. Why is that? Why sometimes we really hate school this much? Why the teacher and the student are often on different sides of the battle? Why particularly in schools there is so much abuse, bullying, low self-esteem and so little trusting of each other? Lately, our educational system is constantly under a magnifying glass: it seems that there is so much funding granted to solve the issues, yet the achievements and grades are declining. Pedagogs are conflicting between each other, they experience a lot of pressure from parents and the students themselves.Trust is non-existant. Teachers are no longer able to teach, and students are no longer able to study. Everything is so mixed up that, it seems, that there is only blaming, constant battleing and no common ground. Everyone’s appalled by the situation yet nobody’s solving it. Every teacher is a formal role model for the class but that doesn’t mean that the teacher will necessarily become an informal role model. One is not born a role model but rather becomes one. To become one you need to have a mature personality.
The performance Klamm’s War was created to show these issues through theater. Theater in this instance becomes somewhat a forum for the society and the art piece to meet. The viewer can recognise this somewhat familiar situation yet is at the end removed from what is happening on stage as a spectator. The Kai Hensel’s text itself is a sharply imagined text that explores the relationship between the teacher and the student and one of the most difficult cases of a teacher’s career.
Theater critic A. Verpečinskaitė explains: “There is an emotional release at the end of Klamm’s War as if the heart’s arhythmia is slowing down and becoming more regular. The tension becomes at ease and the viewers are washed over by a wave of a melancolic atmosphere that makes them wonder: what happened here and why? Klamm becomes androgynous, then transforms into someone sensitive, fragile and female. “Everything is meaningless” is followed by “Hope There’s Someone”. When the music dies and the lights go off there is moment of silence. I applaud Artūras Areima for this innocent manipulation, psychological game with the viewers’ emotions. That sudden fragility and softness at the end made me want to stop, calm down and think. Regardless, after the performace you don’t actually feel cathartic or frustrated or cleansed. You leave the space burning and burnt out. Burning with around 60 questions in your head and Klamm’s words in your ears: “A totally bizarre unknown existencial fear...” And then, you want it or not, you are at war with yourself.”