News

Three of our productions to be presented at the 54 Maribor Theatre Festival

At this year’s 54th Maribor Theatre Festival which will be held from 14th to 27th October at several festival venues in Maribor, three of our productions from the 2018/19 season will be presented. The competition programme will include In the Name of the Mother, directed by Ivica Buljan, and Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul, directed by Sebastijan Horvat. Lungs, directed by Žiga Divjak, will be presented in the accompanying programme. The festival competition section will include twelve productions, while the accompanying programme will showcase a wide selection of productions by Slovenian and foreign producers. In line with its mission, this year’s festival edition will emphasize the complexity and versatility of theatre creativity and offer a wide range of aesthetics and different approaches, thereby promoting the diversity and connections of Slovenian theatre domain and expression. The selector of the 54th Maribor Theatre Festival was Matjaž Zupančič.

A wonderful closing of the 6th Drama Festival attended by a total of more than 2,500 viewers

The 6th Drama Festival was closed on Friday, 31May by a guest performance of Six Characters in Search of an Author, produced by Kerempuh Satirical Theatre from Zagreb, Croatia, directed by Oliver Frljić, and by a preview of an original theatre project called Female Outcasts after the writings by Rudi Šeligo, directed by Mirjana Medojević, staged on the Small Stage. Female Outcasts will be the opening premiere on the Small Stage in the upcoming season, entitled Love 2019/20.

The latest edition of the Drama International Festival brought to Ljubljana for the first time international guest performances only, showcasing Croatian theatre. The main programme was accompanied by several other events and was attended by more than 2,500 visitors. For the first time, the audience members had the opportunity to cast their votes for the best festival performance and to single out the audience award, named after Jernej Šugman. The first Jernej Šugman Audience Award was won by The Power of Darkness, a National Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, production, directed by Igor Vuk Torbica. The average score of votes cast for the production amounted to 4.7. As in previous years, the main festival programme was accompanied by other events, held at the Drama Café, including post-show talks featuring the creators of performances, and a final presentation of the original project by Nik Škrlec, named Banana Peel Studies, as well as by a panel discussion on Slovenian and Croatian theatre, and by the Directors in Dialogue event, featuring Lorenci, Horvat, Marcen, and Pelko. The opening and closing parties were hosted by DJ Iztok Drabik Jug and DJ Lili Put Put respectively.

The 6th Drama Festival (25 – 31 May)

We are pleased to announce the imminent opening of the 6th Drama Festival. The current festival edition is a celebration of outstanding poetics by some of the best European and Slovenian directors working in the European arena, thereby helping to spread the context of what is local or national in a specific theatre culture. Seven carefully selected productions from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Czech Republic, presented on the Main Stage, will compete for the best Festival production audience award, named after Jernej Šugman, a late principal member of our resident ensemble and a true legend of Slovenian theatre and film. Another special feature of this year’s Festival edition is a showcase of Croatian theatre and its finest productions of the current. The programme of the final Festival night includes a preview of Female Outcasts, an original theatre project after Rudi Šeligo’s writings. Directed by Mirjana Medojević, this brand-new production of the upcoming season 2019/20 will open at the end of September on the Small Stage. 

As in previous years, the main Festival programme is accompanied by post-show talks with the creators of the performances at the Drama forecourt, and panel discussions on festival-relevant topics and dialogues at the Drama Café Festival garden, as well as live music acts. The Festival presents also the closing event of Banana Peel Studies, an original theatre project by Nik Škrlec which ran in real and digital spaces as part of Drama Laboratory during the entire 2018/19 season.

The underlying theme of the SNT Drama Ljubljana 2019/20 season is love

The upcoming season Love 2019/20 brings six productions presented on the Main Stage, including a major international co-production featuring actors from Slovenia, Montenegro, Italy and Albania, as well as a co-production, presented in the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev dom. The Small Stage programme includes six new productions. Subscribing for the SNT Drama Ljubljana season 2019/20 starts on Monday, 27 May for the current subscribers, and on Monday, 3 June for new subscribers. The core repertoire will be accompanied by other programme segments: Social and Sociable, Young Drama featuring a writing competing for a short-length play on the subject of love, Drama Laboratory, Drama Acoustics Sunday concerts, Poetry in the Café, Literary Journeys with Beletrina, and a charity project Switching on the Lights of Happiness. To close the season, the 7th Drama Festival 2020 will bring to Ljubljana many distinguished international guests.

As Igor Samobor, the SNT Drama Ljubljana managing and artistic director, put it to present the upcoming repertoire: »Why Love? To claim that fear is a primary human emotion is nothing new. Fear is the main survival engine of the species. Having said that, fear is also the most productive setting for manipulation of any kind. It has been so since the time immemorial. At a time when globalization, above all the financial one, has reached and exceeding every forecast, and when a new era of migration begins to join the ,precariat’, a new and barely born social class of the ‘the redundant’ or ‘the unnecessary’ caused by technological advancement and robotization, fear can easily turn into hatred, defiance, xenophobia, racism, and many other negative emotions. People continue building walls and erecting barbed wire fences. The feeling is that the world has never been so widely torn apart. It seems as if love, the only force that could possibly outweigh hatred, was losing the battle. [...] It is hardly our desire to moralize, let alone to presume that we can fix the world in its mad and unstoppable globalization rush. We have no chance of achieving such a momentous goal. Nonetheless, we may try, for a moment at least; a moment that lasts while a theatre production takes place, and in so doing, add a tiny piece into a mosaic of a slightly different, perhaps utopian world. The plays we have chosen, help us to turn our attention to the primaeval essence of our existence: empathy and love that we  currently feel as the major shortcoming. «

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.  

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