Nathan the Wise, an 18th-century morality play by the German writer and scholar Gotthold Ephraim Lessing will be shown in Kaunas with English translation this Sunday, 20 May. Presented by Kaunas National Drama Theatre, the production directed by Gintaras Varnas is starring most talented Lithuanian theatre actors of different generations.
Once upon a time in the Eastern lands there lived a man who had a magical ring. Whoever wore the ring was followed by God’s grace and glory. The ring was always passed from one generation to another to the most beloved son in the family. Once, however, it ended up in the hands of a man who had three sons whom he loved equally. The man could not make up his mind to whom he should give the ring. Before his death, he went to see the jeweller and asked him to make two more such rings. Then he secretly gave a ring to each of his sons and passed away. When the sons saw that all of them had rings, they began quarrelling and arguing. Which ring is the real one? Which two are worthless copies? Who is destined to become the chosen one? Three religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – even nowadays try to prove that only one of them is true and fair.
The play, which action takes place in Jerusalem in the 12th century during a respite in fighting between Muslims and Christian Crusaders, is as relevant to our times as ever, speaking about the conflicts that roil the world today. “Nathan the Wise”, a utopian tale of the Age of Enlightenment (18th century), exalts the human mind and its power to make the world prefect and tries to convince us that the three sons – three religions – can live in peace and harmony.
Nathan the Wise with English subtitles will be shown at 3pm on Sunday, 20 May. More about the production here.
Tickets are available here.