Croatian Theatre Showcase
Zagreb, November 28 – December 1, 2013
Dear colleagues and guests,
This year’s showcase is an attempt to gather all the most interesting efforts of Croatian theatre in the past year, regardless of whether they’re luxurious productions of the large institutions or the well kept secrets of the independent scene. The chosen plays differ in their aesthetic aspirations, from classical dramatic theatre centering on a strong text, and post-dramatic variations to musical-poetic and dance performances. What is common to all chosen works is an uncompromising desire to formulate a strong ethical attitude which unambiguously speaks out about the time and place in which it was created. Witty, furious, playful and bitter,
the shows in this year’s Showcase represent all the qualities of Croatian theatre, but they also highlight the many shortcomings of the society in which they were created.
Currently the most interesting Croatian theatre company, the Zagreb Youth Theatre, contributes two shows to our Showcase, each of which, in its own way, juxtaposes an unbridled theatrical imagination with everyday existential absurdities. Yellow Line, directed by Ivica Buljan, functions at a macro-level, detecting the cracks of hypocrisy in the monolith of the new European union of nations, and Olja Lozica’s Yes, Really, Everything’s All Right Now functions in the gutters of the micro-level, writing bitter psychodramas of people who, without even noticing it, find themselves beneath the line of poverty. The play Fine Dead Girls of the Gavella Theatre tackles another sore social issue, the attitude towards the homosexual minority, succeeding in this task and drawing significant attention even outside theatrical circles, thanks to Mate Matišić’s striking text and Dalibor Matanić’s discreet direction.
The more alternative part of our repertoire also focuses on important social issues − Hermaphrodites of the Soul by choreographer Žak Valenta from Rijeka picks up where Fine Dead Girls left off, creating a powerful tribute to concrete, real victims of homophobia in the Balkans, while A Barren Woman by writer Magdalena Lupi from Rijeka tells a harrowing story about the phenomenon of female infertility. A Little is Enough, a performance by Aleksandar Stojković from the popular Serbian band Goribor and Nenad and Alen Siknauz from the Pula-based band East Rodeo, is a welcome exception in Zagreb’s theatrical offer, a fresh cocktail of Stojković’s dark lyrics and imaginative soundscapes which are an atypical but authentic expression of a generation that came into its own during the latest wars in this region.
These six shows are probably not (quite) enough to offer a wider insight into the ambitions and capabilities of Croatian theatre, but any festival selection, however thoroughly thought-out, necessarily suffers from a lack of hard evidence. A well-intentioned guest would have to agree with the title of the last show − in some cases, a little really is enough.