24 May 2021

THE MOST AMBITIOUS ARTISTIC PROJECT IN THE REGION

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A press conference was held today at the Slovene National Theatre (SNT) in Maribor on the occasion of launching a co-production between the Yugoslav Drama Theatre, the Burgtheater from Vienna, the SNG from Maribor and the Cankar Centre from Ljubljana. This joint venture is a production of I Saw Her That Night by Drago Jančar, directed by Janez Pipan, where the cast also includes two actors from the YDT ensemble – Milan Marić and Nebojša Ljubišić.

Danilo Rošker – Managing Director of the SNG Maribor, Martin Kušej – Artistic Director of Burgtheater Vienna, Tamara Vučković Manojlović – Managing Director of YDT, Uršula Cetinski – Managing Director of the Cankar Centre, Alenksandar Popovski – Artistic Director of Drama at SNG Maribor, Janez Pipan – director and author Drago Jančar spoke at the press conference. It has been announced that the first première is scheduled for 24th September in Maribor, followed by Burgtheater Vienna, while the Belgrade première is scheduled for November.

The managing directors of all three theatre agreed that international cooperation is extremely important for each individual theatre. Tamara Vučković Manojlović pointed out that even though theatre art is a complex process, cooperation between large state-run institution is of paramount importance: “Co-productions are in themselves very demanding, especially at this particular juncture when we are slowly leaving the pandemic behind us, and it is my opinion that one needs that additional ounce of courage to embark on projects such as this one”.

Author Drago Jančar and director Janez Pipan spoke of the contemporary nature of the novel and its multiculturalism existing not as a result of state policies but rather that of a personal attitude of each individual, hence why German, Serbian and Slovene will all be heard on stage.

This short, impressive and unforgettable novel by Jančar will be brought to life on stage by actors from several countries, of different nationalities who will all be speaking their own language.

The Slovene National Theatre Maribor has described this project as one of the most ambitious ones since Slovenia became an independent country.

Drago Jančar is a prominent figure in Slovene, European and world literature. He is a master storyteller who uses the medium of novel, novella, short story and drama to speak of the deep wounds that still exist in Slovenia and our wider cultural space, the so-called Mitteleuropa (Central Europe). His work speaks both of recent and distant past, of the cruelty of modern capitalism, the nameless spaces of absent freedom.

Janez Pipan is a renowned theatre director with decades of experience. Pipan has also directed a very successful production of a novel by Jančar – Katarina, Peacock and Jesuit at the Slovene National theatre Drama in Ljubljana where for many years he has worked as a very accomplished managing director.

The Yugoslav Drama Theatre has joined this co-production as part of its regular programme financed from the City of Belgrade budget and with the help of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.