Lithuanians in the news
26th June, 2005
Helmut Bakaitis directs NIDA Play
Helmut Bakaitis with his
father Vincas Bakaitis
The play "Too young for ghosts", written by Janis Balodis and directed by Helmut Bakaitis, was performed at NIDA's Parade Theatre, June 10 -18, 2005, by NIDA’s graduating students. It is a powerful play that deals with the experiences of the "Displaced Persons" of post World War II Europe, who migrated to Australia nearly 60 years ago. In the program notes Helmut Bakaitis said: "The author's parents came from Latvia, mine from Lithuania - two tiny countries in Northern Europe; so I have a strong emotional bond with the play".
It is rare in contemporary Australian Theatre to see the themes of the immediate post War migration being dealt with. This performance makes a valuable contribution towards rectifying this thematic imbalance with a memorable performance, dealing with the themes of "belonging" and the nature of "otherness". Helmut Bakaitis, who is Head of Directing at NIDA, showed his mastery of directing by staging the play in a generally bleak setting, with the contemporary ‘film noir’ atmosphere complementing memorable scenes of Queensland cane cutters. The play left the audience with an unforgettable experience. Among the people who collaborated with the production was Eve Wicks, who had just recently curated that magnificent exhibition of Lithuanian migrant post War experience in Queensland, "Refuge under a Southern Cross", at the South Bank Queensland Museum in Brisbane.