Nina Ivanišin wins the Prešeren Fund Award

Nina Ivanišin is a recipient of the national Prešeren Fund Award for her roles created over the last three years.

According to Primož Jesenko, a jury panel member, »Nina Ivanišin has for the past three years left an indelible impression with her numerous outstanding roles on her resident stage of the SNT Drama Ljubljana, appearing as Antigone, Francka, Nežka and Agata Schwarzkobler, as well as a protagonist in several original independent theatre projects. Her interpretations can be synonymous with infuriated rage, but also with subdued endurance. Minimalistic and using sparse means of expression, her acting always speaks volumes of the inner torment of her character: her sceptical, congenially passive body, and alert, bright eyes are able to see what is happening from within, and her stamina emerges from an idiosyncratic inner calm. In Lungs, a contemporary play, she confers her lines with a sophisticated sense of pace, rendering them eruptively, while her presence constantly and boldly intertwines different levels of reality.

Resembling a deeply absorbed caryatide, Ivanišin invariably manages to involve the viewers subtly in her interpretation. In the same breath, she manages with remarkable sensitivity and intuition to impart her personal co-author-like gesture into the performance. The expressive quality of her acting backs up an unspoken subtext that goes beyond what is seen and said. This distinctive touch makes her unique and at the same time incomprehensible, as well as »untamed«.

The first Slovenian production of Maria, a new and highly topical play by the acclaimed British playwright Simon Stephens, to open on the Main Stage directed by Janusz Kica

On Saturday, 11 January at 20.00 Maria, a contemporary play by one of Britain’s most prolific playwrights Simon Stephens, will premiere on the Main Stage. In his play, Stephens deftly identifies many issues, problems and existential distress of contemporary precarious world and, through the eyes of the main character Ria, also delivers his optimistic and upbeat comment on them.

The director of the first Slovenian production of Maria is Janusz Kica who also selected the music in the production. The play was translated into Slovenian by Tina Mahkota, dramaturg was Darja Dominkuš. The international creative team consists of set designer Karin Fritz, costume designer and recipient of the Prešeren Award Bjanka Adžić Ursulov, video designer Sandi Skok, lighting designer Aleš Vrhovec, language consultant Tatjana Stanič, assistant to the director (student) Aljoša Živadinov, assistant to the dramaturg Zala Norčič, and assistant to the language consultant Jože Volk. The cast includes fifteen actors, some of them appearing in multiple roles: Eva Jesenovec, Saša Tabaković, Vanja Plut, Sabina Kogovšek, Silva Čušin, Valter Dragan, Barbara Žefran, Rok Vihar, Matic Valič, Gorazd Logar, Boris Mihalj, Eva Stražar, Branko Jordan, Klemen Janežič and Matija Rozman. Previewing on 10 January at 19.30, the first repeat performances of Maria will be presented on 23, 24, 28 and 29 January at 19.30.

In his second to last play Maria which premiered in January 2019 at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Stephens insightfully and wittily explores the hopelessness and soullessness of the neoliberal system, while also shedding light on the rare remnants of humanity in it. In Maria, many features of Stephens’s writing and worldview are reflected. These include his sympathy for the young generation, as well as his propensity to depict a world that is desperate, alienated and sad. Stephens calls himself an »aggressive optimist«, but he resists to simplify topical issues with his optimism. On the contrary, he presents them in their complexity, and in order to portray them, he uses humour as well as a touch of irony.

Nina Ivanišin wins the Stane Sever Fund Award

Nina Ivanišin is the recipient of the Stane Sever Fund Award for four roles she has created at the SNT Drama Ljubljana and one at the APT Novo Mesto.

In Cankar’s The Serfs, Ivanišin created a refreshing and evocatively consequential role of Lojzka, an intelligent and sensitive »female companion«.

In The Visoko Chronicle, a stage adaptation of Ivan Tavčar’s eponymous novel, Ivanišin is, initially, a part of a collective storytelling body, while also thoroughly animated in her personal and distinctly contemporary sensibility which she brings to perfection in her portrayal of the character Agatha Schwarzkobler in the second part of the play.

In a stage adaptation of Hesse’s novel Demian, a two-hander play produced by the APT Novo mesto, Ivanišin excelled in an interplay with her acting partner, spontaneously, without any exaggeration or affectation in a challenging task of changing roles, characters and sex.

Similarly, she created a genuinely contemporary character of Nežka in The Merry Day or Matiček's Wedding, a new staging of Linhart’s classic 18th century comedy. In the current revival of the play, unfettered by tradition, Ivanišin’s candid poignancy, bereft of any clichés and exterior aids, allowed her to create a character of a young bride who brazenly upholds her decision. Ivanišin’s refreshing and enlightened character was possibly the most authentic harbinger of this modern interpretation of Linhart’s classic play.

What stands out remarkably, however, is the latest in a series of superb roles that Ivanišin has created in recent years, the role of W in Lungs, a contemporary play by Duncan Macmillan. In the staging, marked by extraordinary acting concentration and meticulously orchestrated dialogue of a young couple, Ivanišin excels in delivering a flawless and sensible mode of reacting to her partner’s cues, allowing her to create an evocative expression of her inner world. It is an intrinsically rich, meticulously executed and nuanced, as well shocking and vigorously suggestive creation by the actress in top form.

Nina Ivanišin is an actress of extraordinary sensibility and outstanding poignancy. Over the past two years, she has created a series of roles that have surpassed her usual outstanding qualities and represent a testimony of her strong and mature creative potential.

Danijela Grgić and Aljoša Bagola win awards for best theatre posters

The jury of the 6th Biennale of Theatre Posters in Varaždin, Croatia, has awarded Danijela Grgić for her poster for the production of Ivanov (SNT Drama Ljubljana) and Aljoša Bagola for the poster of Scandal in St. Florian's Valley (co-produced by the SNT Drama, The City Theatre Ljubljana and Cankarjev dom). Scores of authors from Slovenia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia have presented fifty theatre posters at the recent Varaždin Biennale. Since its first edition in 2009, the Varaždin Biennale has been a networking and cross-section opportunity for the graphic designers working in the field of theatre in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

The best posters of the current Biennale will be on display in the Grand Concert Hall of the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin until 10 December. A selection of the best biennale posters will be put on display next year at the Zlati Ajngel gallery in Varaždin.

Drama on the road with three productions touring internationally

In the next few days we will tour internationally with three productions. On Tuesday, 26 November at 19.30 we will present the recently opened Salome at the National Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia. On Friday, 6 December at 20.00 we will present Conversations About Love in Zagreb, Croatia, at the Zagreb Youth Theatre. On Sunday, 8 December at 20.00 we will present the award-winning hit of this year’s Maribor Theatre Festival Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul at the same venue in Zagreb. With these three tours, we continue our successful networking and cooperation with the most prominent theatre companies in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

The opening of the harrowing The Lady from the Sea is to turn the Drama into a world of Scandinavian fjords

We are pleased to announce the opening of The Lady from the Sea by Henrik Ibsen, one of the greatest modern playwrights. Directed by Tin Grabnar, the play will premiere on Saturday, 23 November at 20.00 on the Main Stage.  Along the lines of the current season’s main topic, Love, the staging highlights the very issue of longing for a fulfilling personal relationship and a multitude of difficult choices between a personal passion and collective responsibility. In addition to a wonderful cast, the staging features a unique 3D sound setting that will immerse the Main Stage venue into a mystic world of Norwegian fjords and an intimate soul whirlwind. Previewing on 22 November, the staging will be presented in 2019 on 25, 26 and 27 November at 19.30, as well as on 11 and 23 December at 19.30.

The star-studded cast includes Bojan Emeršič, Pia Zemljič, Tina Vrbnjak, Doroteja Nadrah, Rok Vihar, Luka Bokšan and Klemen Janežič. The play, directed by Tin Grabnar has been stage adapted by Tin Grabnar, Brina Klapmfer and Urša Majcen. Other creative team members include Darko Čuden (translator), Brina Klampfer (dramaturg), Mateja Starič (composer and sound designer), Dorian Šilec Petek and Sara Slivnik (set designers), Sara Smrajc Žnidarčič (costume designer), Kristjan Vidner (lighting designer), Klasja Kovačič (language consultant), Klemen Janežič (movement consultant), Urša Majcen (assistant dramaturg). The music is performed by Matjaž Krivec and Marko Brdnik.

The Lady from the Sea tells the story of Ellida, a woman not short of socially desirable attributes: a loving husband, great financial assets, an agreeable family environment and a predictable daily routine. But deep down inside she is torn between her predictable life and an insatiable desire to escape from a daily routine personified by an unrealized love story from her past. When Stranger enters the symbolic quiet of her town, her craving grows. What will she opt for and what lies in store for her in the future?  

Alice in Bed to open on the Small Stage

On Friday, 8 November at 20.00, the first Slovenian staging of Alice in Bed by the famous American philosopher, a literary icon of the 1960s and versatile author Susan Sontag will open on the Small Stage. Sontag’s first and only published play in its entirety and in which the author addresses in an in-depth way the issue of women, their anguish and self-awareness, is directed and set designed by Dorian Šilec Petek. The play in eight scenes was translated into Slovenian by Darja Dominkuš and features the actors Maša Derganc, Sabina Kogovšek, Vojko Zidar, Saša Tabaković, Iva Babić, Eva Jesenovec, Veronika Drolc and Timon Šturbej. Other members of the creative include Staša Prah (dramaturg), Dorian Šilec Petek (set designer), Tina Bonča (costume designer), Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar (composer), Tatjana Stanič (language consultant) and Andrej Hajdinjak (lighting designer). The dates of the first repeat performances in November are 9, 11, 15, 16, 18, 26, 27 and 30.

Susan Sontag wrote Alice in Bed in two weeks in January 1990. Ten years earlier, in Rome, during the final rehearsals for Luigi Pirandello’s As You Desire Me, she had reportedly seen Alice in her dreams from the start to the ending. »I suppose I have beep preparing for Alice in Bed all my life; to write a play about female sadness and anger, and, after all, a play about imagination. About the reality of a mental prison. About the triumph of imagination. But the triumphs of imagination are not sufficient,« wrote Sontag in her Note on the Play, translated and published in the theatre programme in a piece entitled The Brilliant Sister.  

The play, divided into eight scenes and called fiction by Sontag, is based on a real-life person. Alice James (played by Maša Derganc) was the only daughter and youngest of five children in an extremely highly regarded American family of the 19th century. His father, the heir to a large business, made a name for himself as a writer on religious and moral issues. A strong-willed eccentric who had lost his leg at the age of thirteen, he was the principal teacher of his children and had taken them to Europe several times in early childhood. When Alice James was thirty, she supposedly confronted her father with her desire to commit suicide. At first, he scolded her vehemently, and then gave her his assent. In 1884, Alice moved to London, where her brother Henry (Harry, played by Saša Tabaković) had settled down, and she spent the next seven and a half years bedridden, until her death from breast cancer.

Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul is named Best Performance of the previous theatre season by the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia

Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul has won the Best Performance of the 2018/19 season award presented by the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia.

According to the jury panel, »Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul, based on Fassbinder's film, and staged in an derelict industrial hall, presents a slice of concrete social, racial and class contradictions, while developing its underlying current relevance with precise sensitivity. Sebastijan Horvat’s direction is meticulous and multi-layered in presenting a site-specific performance, using minimalist but first-rate acting gestures, framing of views and freeze frames with unobtrusive commentary. These elements are evocatively enhanced by a change of set arrangements, allowing a point of condensed tension to be established effectively by positioning a multitude of bodies in close proximity.«

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