International Tours of the SNT Drama Ljubljana

During the past theatre seasons, the most notable international tours by the SNT Drama Ljubljana in terms of geographic distance were those to festivals in South Korea, Colombia, Mexico, as well as China, Finland, France, Spain, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Montenegro. A dozen of stagings, produced or co-produced by the SNT Drama Ljubljana, diverse in terms of genre and performative styles, have been enjoyed and appreciated by tens of thousands of viewers at a dozen theatre venues also in Austria, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than a dozen of our productions and co-productions have toured no less than three continents and made a strong impact and an indelible impression in terms of connecting Slovenian and world theatre.

Faust, co-produced by the Drama and the Ljubljana Festival, and the late director Tomaž Pandur’s final staging, has toured often across three continents in the past seasons and become one of internationally most successful and important Slovenian theatre productions. In the upcoming season, it will tour Mexico again. Notably, in November 2017 the production, celebrating its 60th repeat performance, inaugurated a new theatre venue of the Performing Arts Centre at the University of Guadalajara (El Conjunto de Artes Escénicas de la Universidad de Guadalajara). In the upcoming season, Faust will tour this venue again, as well as two other Mexican cities, the capital Mexico City and Monterrey, the third major Mexican city. In the season 2018/19 Faust famously represented Slovenian art in Sankt Petersburg at the International Cultural Forum, considered to be the most important cultural event in Russia. A sold-out show in one of the most iconic theatre venues of both imperial and modern Russia was attended also by senior political representatives of the Russian Federation and of the Republic of Slovenia. It won standing ovation and many curtain calls by the enthusiastic audience. As Vlasta Jeseničnik, the RTV Slovenia foreign correspondent reported, »the famous Alexandrinsky Theatre, founded in 1756, was packed. The Drama Ljubljana has toured with Faust, directed by Tomaž Pandur in many European cities, as well as in China and in South America. However, it presented itself for the first time to the demanding Sankt Peterburg audience. The production left hardly anyone in the audience unsympathetic.«

In 2018, the internationally awarded co-production of the Drama, the Ljubljana City Theatre and Cankarjev dom, The Iliad, directed by Jernej Lorenci, was met with enthusiastic response at the MITEM 2018 International Theatre Meeting, organized by the main Hungarian national Theatre Nemzeti Szinhaz from Budapest. In Macedonia, the magnificent performance of The Iliad in the open-air ancient amphitheatre, closed the 58th Ohrid Summer Festival. Soon afterwards it was presented in the Czech Republic as the opening performance of the 26th Plzen International Theatre Festival, considered one of the most prestigious festivals in Central Europe. In the upcoming season, The Iliad will tour Poland again and will be presented at the international theatre festival in Kielce, organized by the Teatr Stefan Żeromski.

The staging of Dušan Jovanović’s play The Wall, the Lake, directed by Miloš Lolić was presented on the main stage of the National Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, as well as on the main stage of the Zagreb Youth Theatre, Croatia, and as a closing performance of the 63rd Sterijino pozorje Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The Little Wire Girl, a modern drama-opera by Marjan Nečak and Maja Hrgović, directed by Marjan Nečak toured in the 2018/19 season the 45th International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre “Infant “in Novi Sad where it won the Award for the Most Original Exploration of One Segment of Theatrical Language. It also toured the 58th Ohrid Summer Festival in Macedonia, the 29th Croatian Theatre Festival Marulić Days in Split where it won the Marul Award for Artistic Achievement,  the 2nd International theatre festival Viminacium Fest in the Serbian town of Požarevac, held at the ancient Roman archaeological park site, and at the 33rd International »Grad teatar« festival in Budva, Montenegro. In the upcoming season the production will tour Skopje at the MOT International Theatre festival.

In the upcoming seasons, the Drama, as one of the founding members of the National Theatres Association of the Wider Balkan Region envisages many guest performances as part of cultural exchange with national theatres from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey and Greece. Notably, the SNT Drama Ljubljana Festival is another platform for international exchange. Its 6th edition held in May 2019 was entirely international. Also, it inaugurated a novelty, the audience award for the best festival production, named after the late actor Jernej Šugman. In terms of international tours, the co-production of the SNT Drama Ljubljana and the Royal Theatre Zetski dom from Cetinje, Montenegro, will be of the utmost importance. Conversations About Love, directed by Jernej Lorenci connects actors from Slovenia, Montenegro, Italy and Albania. International premieres and repeat performances in Ljubljana and Cetinje will open many possibilities for new and interesting international tours.

Our international listings are a proof that many of our productions continue to spark great interest of festival and theatre selectors. It needs to be pointed out, however, that it would not have been possible to carry out these tours by public funding only, in spite of a warm international welcome and appreciation, had we not enjoyed a great understanding and financial support by the friends of theatre from the world of business, festival producers and sponsors. If we relied on public funding in Slovenia only, we would not have been able to travel to Colombia, South Korea, China, Finland, Belarus ... Many of our success stories that have resonated in Slovenian and international media in the past few years would have not been possible to happen without their support. Therefore we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks especially to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the company Riko and its managing director Janez Škrabec, and to all our sponsors who have supported us and continue to back the international tours of the Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana.

Jernej Pristov

 

 

 

 

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