Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation and of the National Prize of Lithuania. Holder of the Order of Friendship and the Order of Honour.
Rimas Tuminas was born on the 20th of January 1952 in Kelme, Lithuania.
In 1970-1974 he studied at the Conservatory of Lithuania.In 1978 he graduated from GITIS Academy (Joseph Tumanov’s directing course).
The first performance, directed by Rimas Tuminas, was Yordan Radichkov’s ‘January’ (1978) staged at the Drama Theatre of Lithuania. The first performance launched in Moscow was Oswald Zagradnik’s ‘Peacock Melody’ at the Stanislavsky Theatre. Combining hard to combine (including a concert performance of ensemble productions), stage director gave a reason for critiques to write about the “harmony of discomfort” in his early performances.
From 1979 to 1990 Rimas Tuminas worked as a director at the State Academic Theatre of Lithuania, since 1994 – as a chief director (in 1998 gained the status of the National Theatre). In 1999 Rimas Tuminas left the theatre (his last performances were ‘Oedipus the King’ by Sophocles and Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ (1999).
Rimas Tuminas directed about 25 plays in different theatres of Lithuania and in other countries. He worked also in Finland (‘Uncle Vanya’ and ‘The Seagull’ after Anton Chekhov), in Iceland (‘Don Juan’ after Moliere). The latest foreign productions by Rimas Tuminas are ‘Faust’ after Goethe in China and ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ in Italy (both in 2019).
In 1990, Rimas Tuminas founded the Little Theatre of Vilnius. One of the performances – ‘There Will Be No Death’ – was written in collaboration with poet Valdemaras Kukulas (1990). At the Little Theatre of Vilnius Rimas Tuminas directed ‘The Cherry Orchard’ after Anton Chekhov (1990), ‘Life of Galileo’ after Bertolt Brecht, ‘Give us a smile, oh Lord’ after Grigory Kanovicius (1994), ‘Masquerade’ after Mikhail Lermontov (1997). The theatre toured abroad extensively (Finland, Sweden, Poland, Iceland and other countries). After a successful show of play ‘Masquerade’, which became the winner of the Russian National Theatre Award ‘Golden Mask’ in the category ‘Best foreign play of 1998’, in Moscow in the framework of the III Festival named after Chekhov, Tuminas was invited to stage theatre ‘Contemporary’ (‘Sovremennik’), which in 2000 released a performance of ‘Play Schiller …!’ after Fr. Schiller’s ‘Mary Stuart’.
“Lithuanians love all sorts of hoaxes,” – says Tuminas and creates a spectacle where he played with every thing: with props, actors’ abilities, audience expectations, and – above all – with the usual notion of what should be a tragedy in our time. Rimas Tuminas staged the play Nikolay Gogol ‘Government Inspector’ in 2002 at the Vakhtangov Theatre, which critics have called “the most scandalous and controversial performance of the season at the same time.”
Tuminas build relationships of classical Gogol’s characters without haste, without fuss, elegantly. And the effect was stunning, when suddenly, instead of social masks and exaggerated caricatures appeared lively and individual human faces, with their joys and sorrows, dreams and losses … This desire to “inspecting” Gogol Tuminas, perhaps – unknowingly, made a graceful curtsy Russian theatrical school: Meyerhold, attempted Efros “oshinelit” Gogol’s “Marriage” – brought together in this performance.
Every year the visual side of the show is becoming increasingly important for Tuminas. If at first stage director has worked with various directors. Kapyazhinskas, I.Popov, V. Idzelite, R. Daunoravichene), in recent years, he prefers to work with director-collaborator Adomas Yatsovskisu. He lefted loyal to Composeru Faustas Latenas.
From 1979 he taught at Lithuanian Conservatoire (now Lithuanian Academy of Music).
In 2007, Rimas Tuminas headed Theatre Eugene Vakhtangov as the Artistic Director.
Fulfilling a promise given to G.B. Volchek earlier, Rimas Tuminas put the play “Woe from Wit” in the Theatre “Contemporary”, which premiered on December 9, 2007With Rimas Tuminas the Vakhtangov Theater occupied a leading position among the theaters, not only in Moscow but also in Russia. In 2011, the theater is recognized as the most visited theater in Moscow.
The theater is the constant participant of many theater festivals in Russia and abroad, among them: “The International Baltic Theatre Spring”, “Baltic House” (St. Petersburg), “Baltic Seasons” (Kaliningrad), «Life», «Contact», «International Theatre Festival named after Chekhov”, festival “Theatre “Gesher” presents … ” (Israel),” Autumn Festival in the spring “(Madrid), the International Theatre Festival «Sabanc» (Turkey), the International Festival “The Theatre” (Prague), Marathon Shakespearean productions in London theater “Globe”, etc.