The Slovenia Times

Country's prime theatre festival opening in Maribor


Maribor - The Maribor Theatre Festival, the country's biggest, is getting under way in Slovenia's second largest city on Monday with a section devoted to development of new theatre audiences. The two-week festival will see 16 productions in the running for awards, plus eight Slovenian and five foreign productions in the accompanying programme.

The official opening of the 57th iteration of the festival on Friday will feature Outwitting the Devil, a production by the UK dance troupe Akram Khan Company, but the competition programme will get under way as early as Thursday, preceded by Young Theatre and Student Theatre sections.

"We are sticking to the 14-day format with the main venue at SNG Maribor theatre and several venues across the city in a bid to come closer to the audiences and enrich cultural life and co-shape our local community," festival Festival director Aleš Novak told reporters last week.

Young Theatre section has been introduced to train teachers and theatre professionals to work with young people and thus develop new audiences. Meanwhile, Student Theatre features production by the students of the Ljubljana Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television.

The productions featured in the competition programme have been selected by Nika Leskovšek among the 210 she saw between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2021. She finds there was a trend towards performances with a slower rhythm, notable pauses or even complete silence.

One of the 16 productions will be shown online and the rest will be in physical form in Maribor with an average two productions in the running for awards put on each day.

Apart from the opening performance, the accompanying programme will include the French-Greek multimedia production The Little Girl in the Dark Forest and MarlenEdith, a music show by the Slovenian theatre in Trieste. Solo, a Nina Rajić-directed production of Maska Ljubljana and SMG theatre, will be put on at the former Maribor textile factory MTT.

The festival will also feature an international conference on the role of theatre in social inclusion and activation, to be attended by experts from the ten Central European Initiative countries. Other events include concerts, book launches, exhibitions and panel debates.

The awards will be presented at the closing ceremony on 12 June. The Borštnik Ring for lifetime achievement in theatre acting will go to Ivo Barišič, a former member of the SNG Nova Gorica ensemble.


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