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Fourth round of workshop series introduced young participants to production process

The Production Process Workshop, fourth so far, took aim at presenting to the participants the rehearsal process, thereby providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the entire production lifecycle.

Workshop in Zagreb (ZKM), led again by Grozdana Lajić, pedagogue, Ivana Vuković, dramaturge, and Selma Spahić, director of the omnibus, gathered twenty young participants who were given the opportunity to observe a rehearsal, followed by an insightful discussion led by the director. This exercise offered them a glimpse into the dynamic and often tentative stages of production, exposing to them creative process’s trials and errors. Being the “first audience” of the new play, their observations were particularly valuable to the director and dramaturg who found it to be of significant relevance to the ongoing development of the play.

Selma Spahić (director of the omnibus), Ivana Vuković (dramaturge),  Mateja Kokol (theatre director and educator) and Katja Gorečan (author of the dramatic text) conducted another successful workshop in SNG Maribor, with 20 participants form secondary schools in Maribor and Ljutomer who were introduced to set design (props) and also had the opportunity to watch the performance after which they engaged in discussion with the director, dramaturg, and author of the text, where they talked about the creation of the play (the process of adaptation, why and how certain decisions were made, etc.). The participants especially liked seeing the set design up close and getting information on how was it developed.

In Belgrade (BDP) Selma Spahić, director, Ivana Vuković, dramaturge and Ivan Baletić, pedagogue worked wit twenty young participants. They discussed what they saw at the rehearsal since they gathered close insights into the fragile part of the process, when everything is not yet finalized and set up to the end. After they approached the text from the inside once again, they got the assignment of  interpreting it as actors. Their feedback after was extremely valuable as they were the “first audience”. This workshop confirmed that every production is a two-way process in which participants need to listen and understand each other.

In March another round of successful workshops held in Zagreb, Maribor and Belgrade

During March third round of very successful workshops with young people was being held in ZKM, SNG and BDP. Third workshop dealt with artistic process and development of the play.

Group of young participants in Zagreb, this time during two-day workshop, was once again mentored by ZKM’s pedagogue Grozdana Lajić and dramaturge Ivana Vuković, and also this time with participation of Selma Spahić, director, and Kristina Kegljen, author of the awarded dramatic text. Participants engaged in close reading of the dramatic text and in conversation about read so they could establish the understanding. Afterwards they were invited to try themselves in improvisational acting based on what they read. The participants showed an incredible readiness for improvisation, as well as remarkable ability to connect with the text. The also had many relevant and interesting questions especially for the author, about the text as well as the writing process itself. In the end the third workshop in Zagreb turned out to be quite important for the creative team of the performance because it worked as brainstorming process for analysis of the text, while through improvisations it opened several questions important for staging of the dramatic text.

Workshop held in Maribor was also led by permanent team: Mateja Kokol (theatre director and educator), Ivana Vuković (dramaturge), Mojca Redjko (pedagogue), and this time in addition with Selma Spahić (director of the omnibus) and Katja Gorečan (author of the text The Activists). The pupils from secondary schools in Maribor and Ljutomer  participated in theatre games for creativity warm-up, vocal warm-up, body warm-up, after which they focused on reading and analysis of the text The Activists, followed by the tasks of associate writing and editing. During the second day they also tried themselves in improvisation which turned up to be activity they loved the most.

 

Group of young in Belgrade took part in very constructive discussion about the development of the omnibus based on awarded dramatic text “The world deserves to End” by Tijana Grumić. Author herself, together with the director Selma Spahić and project dramaturge Ivana Vuković mentored the group. Group’s participation was evolved around reading of the dramatic text and constructing of the performance so on the following day they staged parts of the text.

Once again, workshops turned up to be wonderful and unique experience, not only for young participants, but also their mentors.

The second workshop: Referral to the form, held during February in Maribor, Zagreb i Belgrade

The second round of workshops, based on understanding of the form, this time started  in Maribor (SNG).  Led by again by Mateja Kokol (theatre director and educator), Ivana Vuković (dramaturg), and also Mojca Redjko (theater pedagogue) it gathered same participants (20 altogether) from secondary schools in Maribor and Ljutomer. Mentors focused on the student’s previous work and developing of dramatic concept from the material created on the first workshop.

In similar manner workshop in Zagreb focused on introducing participants to the forms of dramatic and post-dramatic texts through material gathered during first workshop. They explored dramatic characters, voices, faces and took part in collaborative writing followed by analysis of the material and final editing. Workshop was held under guidance of ZKM’s pedagogue Grozdana Lajić.

Second workshop in Belgrade was also constructed as follow-up of the first meeting with participants (20 of them) given the task of writing one short scene based on their storyboard from the previous meeting and following basic rules of dramaturgy. Workshop was conducted by Ivan Baletić.

The First Theater Workshop: Refference to the Topic held in Zagreb, Maribor and Belgrade

The first workshop was held in Zagreb on November 22 in ZKM Theater. The workshop held by project mentor and dramaturge Ivana Vuković, alongside pedagogue Grozdana Lajić was attended by 20 young members of the ZKM Theatre College. The workshop consisted of two phases: presentation of the entire project and the Open Call for the dramatic text. The second phase was focused on the practical implementation of participants’ knowlage of preproduction process and  dramaturge’s task of writting the text for the play, so at the end of the workshop they went through experience of playwrigting and developing a team concept for what was to be a future play.

The theatre workshop in Maribor was led by Mateja Kokol (theatre director and educator) and Ivana Vuković. The participants were also young people, 18 of them, pupils from two secondery schools in Maribor and Ljutomer. In the first fase of the workshop the goal was to creat coherent group ready to freely articulate their thoughts on the topics related to the project. In the process of exchanging  oppinions they played the roles of a writer and dramaturge, thus developing their own concept of performance.

Workshop in Belgrade was attended by 20 participants, aged from 14 to 18 years. Besides Ivana Vuković, the workshop was held by Ivan Baletić, theatre director and drama pedagogue from Belgrade, author of the documentary theatre project for youth ‘Utopia’ produced by Little theatre Dusko Radović. Participants were divided in the groups, all with the same task of creating the storyboard based on the chosen photo material and the presented topic. In the end each group delivered a unique interesting theatre project- communicating with the topic of violence against women, isolation and pandemic and presenting their work through classical theatre, contemporary dance, film, and nonverbal theatre installation.

PROMOTION OF THE PLAYS ON TRAINS IN ZAGREB AND MARIBOR

As part of the project ”Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices”, which addresses the issue of violence against women during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, an action was held on women’s Day, March 8, 2024 on one of the intercity trains in Zagreb. The actresses of Zagreb Youth Theatre Anđela Ramljak and Katarina Bistrović Darvaš read parts of the dramatic text “Under the Skirt” by Kristina Kegljen.

Twelve days later, on March 19 promotion of the play ”Activists” and the project ”Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices” was held on the train traveling between local areas of Maribor. Actresses of SNG Maribor actively engaged with passengers by handing out flyers about the project and its topic and inviting them to come and see the performance in Maribor in June. They also acted out a short scene from the play – each acted/spoke a short part from their (documentary) part of the play.

„Under the skirt“ by Kristina Kegljen and „The Activists“ by Katja Gorečan are two out of three  winning dramatic texts that will be part of the omnibus “The End of the World in Three Acts” directed by Selma Spahić, whose Zagreb and Maribor premieres are expected on May 17 2024 and June 4 2024 (respectively).

Open call for three new plays closed

As planned, on 18 January 2023, partners and producers Zagreb Youth Theatre, Croatia, Maribor Theatre Festival, Slovenia, and Belgrade Drama Theatre, Serbia closed the Call for three new unpublished plays under the theatre project Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices. The call received a total of 69 scripts.

The three plays will be selected for award by an expert jury including: Vilma Štritof (Maribor Theatre Festival), Rok Andres (Maribor Theatre Festival), Biljana Srbljanović (Belgrade Drama Theatre), Tanja Šljivar (Belgrade Drama Theatre), Tomislav Zajec (Zagreb Youth Theatre), Selma Spahić (Zagreb Youth Theatre), and Ivana Vuković (project dramaturge).

Each will be awarded € 4,400 gross, translated into English, published online, and premiered in the form of an omnibus directed by Selma Spahić in Zagreb, Belgrade, and Maribor.

The Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices project broadly addresses neglect and violence against women during the Covid-19 pandemic and is being funded by the European Commission’s Creative Europe Programme (CREA).

Results Publications

PRESENTATION OF RESULTS

Upon consideration of coded (anonymised) scripts, the jury of the theatre project Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices / Skriveni glasovi iz sjene pandemije has awarded the following three new and unpublished plays:
Kristina Kegljen – POD SUKNJOM (UNDER THE SKIRT)
Katja Gorečan – AKTIVISTKE (THE ACTIVISTS)
Tijana Grumić – SVET ZASLUŽUJE KRAJ SVETA (THIS WORLD DESERVES TO END)

This expert jury consisted of the following members: Vilma Štritof (Maribor Theatre Festival), Rok Andres (Maribor Theatre Festival), Biljana Srbljanović (Belgrade Drama Theatre), Tanja Šljivar (Belgrade Drama Theatre), Tomislav Zajec (Zagreb Youth Theatre), Selma Spahić (Zagreb Youth Theatre), and Ivana Vuković (project dramaturge).

Award rationale:

The open call for three new plays received 69 scripts, one of which did not meet the requirements and was not considered. It is important to note that the open call was issued only to female authors. The number of applications this high shows that the topic of the call is quite important but also that open calls of this kind are rather scarce in the region.

Violence against women (regardless of the pandemic context in which it is set in our project) is a difficult subject to treat as it may easily invoke stereotypes and banal interpretations. It is quite a challenge to show the victim’s position as someone other than passive and subjugated and an equal challenge to show the position of the bully without banalising it. It is even more challenging to move the text beyond the limiting qualification of being “female”. With all this in mind, we wish to thank all the authors who took the challenge and, within our limited deadline, applied with their texts set in a variety of worlds, from hyperrealist or familiar depictions of everyday life to poetic or science fictions. Therefore, even though only three texts have been selected in this open call, we hope that other titles will find their way to the stage.

Kristina Kegljen – POD SUKNJOM (UNDER THE SKIRT)

In her story about a mother and a daughter living in a continental rural setting of Croatia, the author creates a poetic world that sees the two women seek their emancipation and, ironically, get isolated in the process, oppressed by a never-ending nightmarish atmosphere that can both facilitate their doom or deliverance. In a series of variations of the same scenes the author seeks to disorient the reader, which becomes obvious as she completes the full circle by the end, as if to say that something else is more important than how the story begins or ends. This play with form and twisted perspective on the subject are exactly what sets this work by Kristina Kegljen apart.

Katja Gorečan – AKTIVISTKE (THE ACTIVISTS)

From up close women activists observe the violent environment and identify without fail the conditions and tribulations in which young women find themselves, questioning along the way their position in the society. This text does not follow the classic dramatic structure, as Katja Gorečan intertwines three stories about a Young Writer, Young Dramatist, and a Young Girl. In an unspecified setup, each tells her own yet common story rooted in a society ruled by the laws of precariat, patriarchy, abuse, and dishonesty. Each protagonist paints an intimate landscape in which young artists live, bringing them close to us, but with some cynical and wryly humorous distance. Set at the time of and little past the lockdown, the author speaks about a seemingly changing society, yet one that has revealed its deeply rooted preferences hidden under the surface. Using a rich palette of words, Katja Gorečan makes this short drama the classic of her own generation, or to be more accurate, a shining exemplar of all young female authors.

Tijana Grumić – SVET ZASLUŽUJE KRAJ SVETA (THIS WORLD DESERVES TO END)

In her text Tijana Grumić sets up the stage for a diegetic world that reflects and converses with our pre-apocalyptic, late capitalist reality. A world that – just like ours – comes to an end. In the context of environmental disasters, pandemic, and hoarding more profit, a piglet is born, inseminated, and put to death by humans. Up on the stage it speaks to the audience in human tongue about the circumstances in which three women lived, procreated (or declined to), and died: the mother, her daughter living in a rented flat, and the landlady. The last one raises the rent and forces the daughter to move out. The play does not resort to a simple criticism of bourgeois ethics or to an obvious moral of the story. None of the protagonists speaks from a high, “correct” ground. The landlady is a corona-profiteer, but her father was a bully who ended up eaten by pigs (according to the bedtime story our pig narrator listened to every night). The daughter is a vegan, but her mother earns her living in a slaughterhouse whose owner was also eaten by pigs.
Stage directions play a particular role as they bring author’s comments and make the link with a reality outside the story. A reality which is not real. Writing itself is part and the topic of this story, as is the issue of (self)exploitation on the creative arts market that reflects the ongoing exploitation of resources and living beings on this planet. By the end, pigs serve their revenge cold, taking more time than the world to end, more time than it takes to write, by eating everything, including this play.

Congratulations to the winners!

We held the first round of auditions for the play The Activists

Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices

On Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23, we held an audition for the play The Activists, which is being created as part of the Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices project, on the Chamber Stage of SNG Maribor. We invited women workers from the field of culture who are interested in the experiences of others in this segment and who have no problem sharing their own experiences and impressions, regardless of what they are or do in the cultural sector (accountant, actress, dresser, director, business secretary, producer) )

In two days, 15 candidates took part in the audition with the director of the play Selma Spahić, the dramaturg of the project Ivana Vuković and the author of the selected Slovenian text Aktivistka Katja Gorečan, and a few more will meet with the creative team via virtual platforms in the coming days. The atmosphere at the auditions was relaxed and motivated, with the aim of finding different profiles of female workers that would fit the concept of the show.

The emerging performance is part of an omnibus, which will consist of three parts/performances and will be performed in Maribor, Zagreb, Belgrade and two other foreign countries.

We held the second round of auditions for the play The Activists

Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices

On Tuesday, November 7, on the chamber stage of SNG Maribor, we held an audition for the play The Activists, which is being created as part of the Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices project. We invited women workers from the field of culture who are interested in the experiences of others in this segment and who have no problem sharing their own experiences and impressions, regardless of what they are or do in the cultural sector (accountant, actress, dresser, director, business secretary, producer )

The auditions with the director of the play Selma Spahić and the dramaturg of the project Ivana Vuković were attended by candidates with several decades of experience in the field of culture. The atmosphere was pleasant, relaxed and motivated, with the goal to discover different profiles of female workers that would fit the concept of the show.

The emerging performance is part of an omnibus, which will consist of three parts/performances and will be performed in Maribor, Zagreb, Belgrade, and two other foreign countries.

NEW DEADLINE FOR CALL AWARDS

The deadline for the announcement of the winners of the Call for three new unpublished plays under the theatre project Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices has been moved to 15 March 2023.

The announcement has been postponed to allow the jury enough time to review a surprisingly high number of applications (69 scripts received) with due care and attention.