The Slovenia Times

Koležnik makes top ten of German-language theatre


Slovenian director Mateja Koležnik's take on Maxim Gorky's play Children of the Sun, staged at the German theatre Schauspielhaus Bochum, has made a list of ten remarkable productions from the last season in German-speaking theatre. A panel of critics applauded her work as highly topical.

"At first glance, Mateja Koležnik's production of Maxim Gorky's Kinder der Sonne appears to be from a different time ... And yet, there is nothing museum-like about Koležnik's approach. In fact, her work is highly topical," reads the judgement posted to the Berliner Festspiele website.

The characters behave in such a way to convey expressions of toxic privilege or egocentrism in the play whose centrepiece is the decline of a self-absorbed bourgeoisie. "In this way, Koležnik moves Gorky's characters closer to us and our crisis-ridden reality," the seven-member jury wrote.

The top 10 productions were selected from a total of 461 performances by 58 theatre companies from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and co-productions between German theatres and theatres and companies from other countries. They will be staged at the annual Berlin theatre festival Theatertreffen in May.

Another production directed by Koležnik, a fusion of Sophocles's Antigone and Slavoj Žižek's The Three Lives of Antigone, was sold out for the opening night at the Munich Residence Theatre on 28 January. The theatre described the production as a political thriller and a family epic packed in one.

"I know that in theatre you have to distinguish between right and wrong, decide which character to side with. In Antigone, the personal right which concerns one's own family, one's own religion, is set against the state and its decisions. When I read the work today, it seems to me that both sides are wrong and not even willing to listen to each other, and so I want to tell the story from both sides," Koležnik said.

Koležnik, 60, is best known for directing contemporary European and US plays where she has been exploring the various ways in which the stage space can be used, including with the use of movable sets. She has won a great number of awards, both in Slovenia and abroad.


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