The opening of a comedy The Broken Jug rounds off the 2018/19 season

The 2018/19 season, characterized by the exploration of intimacy from a wide range of personal and social angles, will be rounded off on the Main Stage by the production of Heinrich von Kleist’s multifaceted comedy The Broken Jug, directed by Vito Taufer. One of the most famous plays by Kleist, and a canonical work of German romanticism is a shrewd analysis and critique not only of the state of mind and society in Kleist’s time, but in general. It was translated and language adapted by Andrej Rozman Roza. The author of the dramaturgical adaptation, dramaturg and composer was Mate Matešić, Igor Paušek was set designer, Barbara Stupica was costume designer, Pascal Mérat was lighting designer, Arko was language consultant, and assistant to director was Mitja Lovše. The cast includes Branko Šturbej, Jurij Zrnec, Marko Mandić, Polona Juh, Maruša Majer, Bojan Emeršič, Timon Šturbej, Vanja Plut, Matija Rozman and Zvezdana Mlakar. Previewing on Friday, 12 April at 19.30, the play opens on Saturday, 13 April at 20.00. Other dates in April are 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 at 19.30, and 20 April at 18.00.

In terms of genre, Kleist labelled The Broken Jug a comedy. However, his play transcends the framework of a simple comedy. Enriched by funny puns, comic characters, events and denouement, the play sets the mirror to society and exposes double moral standards and abuse of power. Vito Taufer, the director of the production, has emphasized that in The Broken Jug, »Kleist develops a story and presents a study of complicated and complex human nature, doomed to constant wavering between good and evil, a story of the abuse of power and authority, of greed, lust, and inescapable living in the clutches of banality and banal usurpers of power and authority.« Andrej Rozman Roza’s translation has not preserved the verse form of the original, but does follow the original diction of The Broken Jug, with no changes in plot or storyline. To allow for smoother iambic metre versification, the name of Frau Marta has been changed into Mrs. Marjeta. The lines are rendered in contemporary spoken language of the central Slovenian region to highlight the topicality of relationships among characters. Only Walter, a justice counsellor speaks in elevated language to emphasise his rank and function.

Lungs, a play about an agonizingly honest contemporary loving relationship, to be staged on the Small Stage

The award-winning Lungs is the first play by the British playwright Duncan Macmillan to be staged in Slovenia. It provides a thought-provoking insight into a brutally honest relationship of two thirty-year-olds who live in constant uncertainty. The young couple, examining persistently their values ​​and the realization of their personal ambitions, is played by Nina Ivanišin and Vito Weis. Directed by Žiga Divjak, the play was translated by Tina Mahkota. Other members of the creative team include Eva Kraševec (dramaturg), Igor Vasiljev (set designer), Tina Pavlović (costume designer), Tatjana Stanič (language consultant), Blaž Gracar (composer) and Žiga Divjak, Vlado Glavan and Igor Vasiljev (lighting designers). Following the opening on Friday, 29 March at 20.00, the play will be presented on 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 15 April at 20.00. The performance on 15 April will be followed by a post-show talk on the Small Stage.

Duncan Macmillan is considered one of the most exciting representatives of contemporary British drama.  He is also a director and a theatre, film and television performer. His plays, based on a hands-on research approach, explore contemporary socio-political-economic topics of education, starting a family, personality disorders, environmental problems, etc. In Lungs, Macmillan highlights the intimate issue of starting a family, while questioning many key social and environmental issues. According to the dramaturg Eva Kraševec in her contribution for the theatre programme, »the protagonists of the play seek to find balance between one’s expectations of partnership and social responsibility, between never-ending planning that is imposed on individuals by modern living, and spontaneity, and above all, between freedom and entrapment.«

Tatjana Stanič, winner of the ZDUS Prize »Marko Slodnjak«

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Tatjana Stanič, a theatre language consultant who has won the Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists (ZDUS) Prize »Marko Slodnjak for a two-year period. According to jury panel members, Marko Simčič, Nina Ivanišin and Livija Pandur (president),

»Tatjana Stanič, in her capacity as a language consultant, is an indispensable creator of spoken word design in Slovenian theatre houses, most notably at the SNT Drama Ljubljana, where she is an in-house language consultant. Using her artistic as well as personal sensitivity, alongside her in-depth, broad and detailed linguistic skills, Stanič explores literary texts and contexts, as well as the development of contemporary spoken language and the artistic interpretation of stage speech which is invariably determined by the social or functional text type. Her intensive and continuous work with actors, which helps them to keep up with their spoken proficiency, investigates the subtleties of spoken language text features, stylistic features, the multi-layering of playscripts and the interweaving of various linguistic levels. Her engaging with playscript makes them alive as literary works of art and as living matter, flexible and contemporary, resulting in the up-to-date spoken language, and setting the highest professional standards in Slovenia. Working with the most stimulating Slovenian and European directors, Stanič constantly reinforces our awareness of almost infinite possibilities of creativity in language and stage speech. By way of her expert method, her approach to language is conducive to raising the actors’ spirit, which is a necessary ingredient for every single theatre performance.«

The ZDUS prizes will be presented at the opening ceremony of the 49th Week of Slovenian Drama on 27 March at the Prešeren Theatre Kranj, by the President of The Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists, Saša Pavček.  

World premiere of Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul continues the season entitled Intimacy at a new venue Fassbinderplatz

World premiere of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, directed by Sebastijan Horvat is a stage adaptation of a full-length feature film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder entitled Angst essen Seele auf, made in 1974. Following a cancellation of February dates, the play will open in Fassbinderplatz on Friday, 15 March and on Saturday, 16 March at 20.00. Set in Germany in 1970s, the play explores a complex and soul-stirring love affair on the periphery of society. Members of the creative team include Milan Marković Matthis (author of the adaptation and dramaturg), Igor Vasiljev (set designer), Belinda Radulović (costume designer) Drago Ivanuša (composer), Aleksandar Čavlek (lighting designer) and Arko (language consultant), The cast includes Nataša Barbara Gračner and Iztok Drabik Jug in the leading roles of Emmi and Salem/Ali, and Barbara Žefran, Boris Mihalj, Eva Jesenovec, Borut Doljšak, Damjana Černe, Tamara Avguštin, Saša Mihelčič, Vojko Zidar, and Nik Škrlec and Gregor Podričnik (alternate) in other roles. Previewing on 14 March at 20.30, the first repeat performances will take place from 18 to 22 March, and on 27 and 29 March at 19.30.

Other co-workers of the staging include Mitja Lovše (assistant to the director), Urška Brodar (translator from German), Jernej Potočan (translator from Serbian and assistant to the dramaturg), Maruša Mali (assistant to the set designer), Bernarda Popelar Lesjak (assistant to the costume designer) and Maša Pelko (student assistant to the director).

The opening of Wake on the Small Stage

»One does not necessarily live in family, but a family necessarily lives in one,« says the acclaimed playwright and versatile theatre and film maker Nebojša Pop-Tasić in his latest play Wake, commissioned by the SNT Drama Ljubljana. The cast of the play, centred on a paradigmatic moment of birth, includes Saša Tabaković, Sabina Kogovšek, Gorazd Logar, Pia Zemljič, Ivo Ban and Urban Kuntarič. The world premiere of the play is directed by Mare Bulc. Other members of the creative team include Nebojša Pop-Tasić (dramaturg), Damir Leventić (set designer), Sanja Grcić (costume designer), Barbara Rogelj (language consultant), Damir Avdić (composer), Sebastjan Starić (stage movement director) and Andrej Hajdinjak (lighting designer). The opening on Friday, 22 February at 20.00, will be followed by repeat performances on 23 February and on 1, 7 and 8 March at 20.00. The performance on Saturday, 23 February will be followed by a post-show talk on the Small Stage.

Bjanka Adžić Ursulov, recipient of the Prešeren Award 2019 for lifetime achievement, and Maruša Majer, winner of the Prešeren Fund Award 2019

We congratulate warmly Bjanka Adžić Ursulov, a costume and set designer, recipient of the highest national award in the field of arts, the Prešeren Award 2019 for lifetime achievement. It gives us great pride to note that Ursulov has collaborated as a costume designer in many outstanding SNT Drama Ljubljana productions: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Emilia Galotti (director Igor Vuk Torbica, 2018/19), Anton Tomaž Linhart, The Merry Day or Matiček’s Wedding (director Janusz Kica, 2017/18), Mile Korun, A Holy Many (director Matjaž Zupančič, 2017/18), Joseph Brodsky, Democracy! (director Matjaž Zupančič, 2015/16), Franz Kafka, The Castle (director Janusz Kica, 2014/15), Seneca, Medea (director Meta Hočevar, 2013/14), Ernst Lubitsch When I Was Dead (director Diego de Brea, 2009/10), and many others.  According to Alja Predan, a jury panel member, »Bjanka Adžić Ursulov possess an incredible sense of detail and the total; it is from tiny add-ons that one can detect not only the scope of her mind, but also her subtle humour, so that the total is always refined, colour-coordinated and aesthetically pleasant to perfection«.

Maruša Majer, a member of the SNT Drama Ljubljana resident ensemble, has won the Prešeren Fund Award 2019 for her roles in the last three years. According to Janez Burger, a jury panel member, »there is hardly a person in Slovenia who has not felt the impact of Maruša Majer’s explosive creative potential in the last two years. Therefore, may I draw the jury panel’s attention to some of her recent acting achievements that have resonated and continue to do so, nationally and internationally. Majer has won two of the most distinguished national awards, i.e. Vesna for best actress in a leading role in the film Ivan, and the Maribor Theatre Festival for her role in The Bedbug, as well as the Berlin film festival shooting star and the Golden Arena Award for her role in Ivan, alongside with a number of prizes, praise and enthusiastic reviews from all over the world. Majer, who used to be the queen of Slovenian independent theatre scene, has swept over mainstream theatre tsunami-like, and has created a truly fascinating range of diverse roles over the last two years«.
Our heartfelt congratulations to Maruša Majer.

Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul to open in February in Fassbinderplatz: Railway Museum, Parmova 35, Ljubljana Bežigrad, 46°03'45"N 14°30'04"E

The SNT Drama Ljubljana continues its current season entitled Intimacy by presenting a world premiere of a stage adaptation of Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul, a full-length feature film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder entitled Angst essen Seele auf, made in 1974. The staging is directed by Sebastijan Horvat. Other members of the creative team include Milan Marković Matthis (author of the adaptation and dramaturg), Urška Brodar (translator from German), Jernej Potočan (translator from Serbian) Igor Vasiljev (set designer), Belinda Radulović (costume designer), Drago Ivanuša (composer), Aleksandar Čavlek (lighting designer), Arko (language consultant), as well as Mitja Lovše (assistant director), Jernej Potočan (assistant dramaturg),  Maruša Mali (assistant set designer), Bernarda Popelar Lesjak (assistant costume designer) and Maša Pelko (student assistant director). The cast includes Nataša Barbara Gračner and Iztok Drabik Jug in the leading roles, as well as Barbara Žefran, Boris Mihalj, Eva Jesenovec, Klemen Janežič, Maja Končar, Maja Sever, Nik Škrlec, Petra Govc, Saša Mihelčič and Vojko Zidar.

Fassbinder takes us to Germany in 1970s. A 40-year-old Moroccan, El Hedi Ben Salem MʼBarek Mohammed Mustafa, called Ali, is one of the many migrant workers from his country, trying to pursue happiness in the golden years of economic migrations. Emmi Kurowski, a 60-year-old widow, earns a living as a cleaning lady. A genuine feeling of warmth and attraction springs up momentarily between her and Ali. However, their relationship stumbles upon strong prejudice and lack of understanding from their environment: Emmi’s female neighbours, co-workers, her grown-up children and even her local shop-keeper. They all grow increasingly cold and even hostile. Ali’s origin and his social position of a »Gastarbeiter«, challenge their narrowly defined notions of humanity, while they are being equally upset by his relationship with Emmi, 20 years his senior. The author tells a multi-layered and gripping love story set on the margins of society. Using his signature modernist aesthetics, Fassbinder allows the viewer to confront social stereotypes that even today – especially in view of a recent new wave of migrations, xenophobia and conservatism – remain neuralgic points of society and every single individual.

The staging will be presented in Fassbinderplatz: Railway Museum, Parmova 35, Ljubljana Bežigrad, 46°03'45"N 14°30'04"E. Previewing on Friday, 15 February at 19.30, the opening nights will take place on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, 17 February at 20.00. Other dates in February are 18, 20, 22, 27 and 28 at 18.00 and 20.30.

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