With the falling curtain of 2023, the director and dramatist Edgars Niklasons emerges as the confirmed Artistic Director of Liepāja Puppet Theatre, following a selection process of ten applicants. In this role, Niklasons undertakes the responsibility of shaping the theatre's artistic vision, crafting the repertoire commencing with the 2024/2025 season. His mandate also includes fostering collaborations with local and international partners, a strategic effort aimed at elevating the theatre's artistic content, linking with diverse audiences, and advancing the professional development of the troupe.
Edgars Niklasons, a graduate theatre director and dramatist, initiated his professional career in the 2011/2012 season at the Latvian National Theatre and Dirty Deal Teatro. Notable for directing plays geared towards children and young audiences at venues such as the Latvian Puppet Theatre, Mikhail Chekhov Rīga Russian Theatre, and "Joriks" Theatre in Rēzekne, Niklasons has also been instrumental in various independent performing arts projects. His collaboration with the "Initium" foundation has yielded theatre performances within different communities, blending documentary elements with visual and performing theatre. Noteworthy among these works is the utopian opera "(up)Live Monday," a collaborative endeavour with composer Goran Gora, addressing the contemporary issue of youth bullying in schools.
Niklasons' portfolio also includes his largest production of a concert performance titled "String, bro! String, sis!" (Stīgo, brālīt! Stīgo, māsiņ!) at the Daile Theatre as part of the XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Festival. Known for tackling themes of social exclusion, he employs diverse visual means of expression, experimenting with text and dramaturgy to create a resonant emotional space for viewers.
Expressing his cooperative vision for Liepāja Puppet Theatre, Niklasons says: "The potential is enormous. I'd like to emphasize theatre's existing status as a significant contributor to regional cultural offerings, with a distinct focus on European puppet theatre trends. This is a fertile ground to propel the theatre to prominence within Latvia and beyond. Recognizing the universal appeal of puppet theatre, I see it as a medium that encourages innovative thinking, bravery, and boundary-pushing – a journey I eagerly anticipate undertaking hand in hand with the team. I bet for future marked by freedom to experiment and discover new artistic horizons".
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