Taxi Drivers Become Actors: Preview of the Experimental Show ‘TAXIS. Attempts at covering distances’ Took Place in Kaunas

Taxi Drivers Become Actors: Preview of the Experimental Show ‘TAXIS. Attempts at covering distances’ Took Place in Kaunas

Do you remember the last time you called for a ‘centriukas’ (central place)? The performance ‘TAXIS. Attempts to Overcome Distances’ aims to capture the current moment when the traditional taxi business is nearly extinct, replaced by algorithm-controlled transportation platforms. However, it still lingers in the minds of some drivers and their work culture. From May 27 to 29, a preview of the experimental show took place.

“Today’s taxi drivers are increasingly invisible but keen observers. In their rearview mirrors, they witness dramas and comedies happening behind their backs, feel the pulse of the city, know its secrets, and take passengers to the strangest places they have never visited,” says the idea’s author and director, Kristina Werner.

Different from traditional theater actors, taxi drivers invited the audience not only to listen to excerpts from their lives but also to engage in unexpected conversations in taxi cars. Viewers embarked on journeys lasting up to 20 minutes through the streets of Kaunas, experiencing narratives from different actor-drivers about their experiences and taxi life. Later, passengers were also involved in the conversation.

The official premiere of the ‘Taxis’ show will take place on June 12, and two shows per day will be offered to the audience every day until June 19. During the show, 9 taxi cars with drivers sharing their stories will appear on the streets of Kaunas.

Real Stories

“The creative process took two years. During artistic research, we visited taxi companies, rode with drivers, searching for the most interesting stories, and also looked for locations in Kaunas. Finally, after assembling the group of actor-drivers, work was done with them, including various activities from recording sounds in the studio to theatrical workshops and rehearsals,” says Aistė Ulubey, the head of the arts agency ‘Artscape’ and the show’s producer.

In unconventional places – taxi cars – the performances will create an unexpected and intimate atmosphere for the passenger and the only actor-taxi driver of the show, revealing not only the life, culture, and reality of taxi drivers but also the closely related image of the city of Kaunas.

The creators of the ‘Taxis’ show invited a group of taxi drivers and passengers for collaborative work. Some still remember the times of the legendary Kaunas taxi park, while others, who started relatively recently, always used electronic platforms.

The show’s producer also emphasizes the importance of ethics in such a genre of performance. “Director K. Werner, known for documentary theater principles, is known in the Baltic countries for applied theater principles – ethical work with communities, a theater that gives a voice to people we usually do not hear. Responsible and ethical work principles are an important part of the creative process here,” says A. Ulubey.

‘Taxis’ is a small-scale experimental performance for a limited audience, taking place in moving cars.

Tickets can be purchased at


Concept authors: Rimantas Ribačiauskas, Kristina Werner, Žilvinas Landzbergas, Erika Urbelevič
Director Kristina Werner
Playwright and text author Rimantas Ribačiauskas (texts were created in collaboration with the creative team)
Scenography Žilvinas Landzbergas
Executive producer Erika Urbelevič
Producer Aistė Ulubey
Composers: Dominykas Digimas, Romuald Chaloin Galiauskas, Elena Jūra Šedytė, Andrius Šiurys, Lukas Tarvainis, Edvinas Kopcevas
Visual artist Kristijonas Dirsė
Costume designer Irina Seidner
Vocal consultants: Gamka Daškevičius, Jūra Elena Šedytė
Drivers: Lina Butkutė, Rasimas Dzafarovas, Žilvinas Karaliūnas, Jolanta Kuprevičienė, Rimvydas Lukoševičius, Laurynas Mažuolis, Egidijus Ratkevičius, Marco Ruta, Deivis Vasiljevas
“Centriukas” operator Zita Lucija Neverbickienė.
3D visualization „Faktura Studio“
The concept of the play was developed at the Blast Theory residency. We thank our mentor Matt Adams.

The play, produced by Arts Agency Artscape, is a part of “Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022” program.

Photos by Vytautas Paplauskas

May 30, 2022