Breaking the Sterotype

We reunited Lithuanian writer, Gintare Parulyte and Croatian-American performer Kristin Winters to talk online about the one-woman show, Lovefool, they have created and are now bringing to the Edinburgh Fringe. We just left them to it, so this is a sort of eavesdrop on what they had to say about the work and their partnership.

What a little trauma and a lot of love(fool) will do to you

Kristin Winters: What was the genesis of Lovefool?

Gintare: The play is the most honest, vulnerable, and instinctive answer to the question: “What do I miss seeing on stage?”. Although it’s not autobiographical, it does talk about certain subjects that I have experienced myself, and in hindsight, this play feels like a mosaic of many stories and feelings that both me and my female friends (and my friends in general) have been through.

Kristin: Which is exactly what drew me to the piece in the first place. When I got this random Facebook message from a friend of a friend (you) asking to audition, I had no idea what I was in for. And as I started reading the play, I definitely judged Grace (our protagonist) as overly naive and far from myself. But as I read further - and as I have explored and played her - I have realised that there is a little (or a lot) of Grace in all of us. I think she - and honestly I - have softened, a lot. It’s forced me to question when I’m coming from a place of judgement versus a place of curiosity.

And it’s been interesting to see the variety of people that Lovefool speaks to. I had no idea what a Luxembourgish audience might be like, but with several sold-out runs and (proud brag coming) a nomination for Best Play at the Luxembourg Theatre Awards…. I’d say they liked it.

Gintare: Yes! And the fact that we have been travelling so much with the play and are able to experience the reactions of audiences in different countries has been so rewarding. I am really experiencing this whole adventure with such an awareness of how blessed and privileged we are. It has always been a huge dream of mine to be able to show my work in London and Edinburgh Fringe, so the fact that we performed a sold-out and successful (critically acclaimed? Well received?) run at The Coronet Theatre in London, and that we’re going to Summerhall during this year’s Fringe means so much to me. My journey as a Lithuanian immigrant has not been easy, and many doors were closed to me, so being welcomed feels like a welcome that is beyond just artistic.

Kristin: Like when we performed for a group of Sixth Form students in Luxembourg, they were as engaged and moved as any grown-up audience we’ve performed for. And speaking of travelling, we’re also doing Lovefool in Lithuania in a few weeks, where you’re currently filming, right?

Gintare: Yes! And I can’t wait to share this show with the audience of my home country! And I will start to film my next film here in two days. It’s called First Day and speaks about a young man’s first day as a volunteer at a suicide helpline. My current work, just like Lovefool, tackles mental health from various perspectives, and I feel like it’s an important topic for all genders. I am also developing an anthology TV series based on the concept of different characters embarking on their first day in a new workplace, and I am writing my first feature film as well. How about you?

Kristin: I’m so excited to visit Lithuania.I’ve never been! I’ve got a few things in the works - revisiting a piece I created about Hildegard von Bingen that I shared as a WiP at VAULT Festival ’23, going into R+D for an Asta Nielsen/Hamlet one-ish woman piece that my wonderful friend and longtime collaborator CC Kellogg is devising and directing, and taking a stab at writing a feature film too - looking at what it is to reconnect to the country and culture of a Croatian, in this case, immigrant parent. And uh…. Hopefully something else with you!

Gintare: I love that both of us perform, write and direct! I feel like it makes us tackle projects in a very special way. I don’t know about you, but whenever I work as an actor, I always love working with directors who act as well. There is a very specific kind of trust there, and they tend to work very differently as well. There is a respect and understanding that is so unique and special. And I love the fact that we do such varied work and that we always try to reconnect with our roots. Meeting you and creating magic with you has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.

Kristin: I couldn’t have said it better myself. I consider myself very lucky to be working with you, and to have formed such a wonderful friendship too - I couldn’t have said it better myself. I consider myself very lucky to be working with you, and to have formed such a wonderful friendship too - that’s what a little trauma and a lot of love(fool) will do to you. Kidding.. kind of.

Gintare: You are absolutely right! May this adventure only be a beginning of lots of magic to come between us! It was lovely doing this with you and I can’t wait to hug you soon!

Related Listings



A brutally honest, hilarious and heartbreaking one-woman show navigating the impossibly confusing gender dynamics of modern love. 

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now