The Slovenia Times

Borštnik Theatre Festival Ends, Ring Goes to Olga Kacjan



The festival began on 18 October and brought a competition programme with four shows produced by SNG Drama Ljubljana, two by Drama SNG Maribor, one each by the MGL theatre from Ljubljana, the Slovenian theatre in Trieste, the Prešeren Theatre in Kranj as well as an independent piece by Zavod Delak.

Seven more shows made up the accompanying programme, while an international section featured five productions from the Netherlands, which was in the focus this year, Lithuania, Hungary, and Croatia.

"The response of the people is good, practically all shows are sold out...although maybe people are still getting used to the international shows," said art director Alja Predan, who took over in 2009 and transformed the previously all-Slovenian festival into an international event.

Two international members were also put on the overhauled five-member awards jury, which picked the winners of awards for the best shows and other achievements, who will be revealed at this evening's award ceremony.

It has meanwhile already been disclosed that Olga Kacjan is this year's winner of the prestigious Borštnik Ring for lifetime achievements, which is picked by a separate jury.

The jury described the member of the MGL ensemble as someone who "participated in the ground-breaking moments of Slovenian as well as Yugoslav theatre...and created in unconventional working conditions with risky or unpredicted challenges".

Born in 1952 in Zemun, Serbia, Kacjan graduated from the Ljubljana Theatre, Radio, Film and Television Academy at the start of the 1980s.

After a decade of working "independently" she got a short contract with the SNG Marbior theatre to later become employed at the SMG Drama theatre in Ljubljana.

She has also appeared in several TV films and serials, while making her way in professional film at the end of the 1970s and start of the 1980s with notable appearances in films such as "The Story of Good People" (1974), "The Medusa Raft" (1980) and "Heritage" (1980).

Kacjan has made a number of guest appearances in theatres abroad as well, while she can presently be seen as Madame in Jean Genet's "The Maids", put on the stage of the SMG theatre by director Vinko Möderndorfer.

The Borštnik festival has been hosted since its start in 1966 by the SNG Maribor national theatre. It was named after actor and director Ignacij Borštnik (1858-1919), who is considered the founder of Slovenian theatre. He was the first Slovenian professional actor.


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