Festival of Slovenian drama opens with awards ceremony

Kranj – The 51st Week of Slovenian Drama, the main festival featuring productions of Slovenian plays, will open tonight with an awards ceremony. The festival, which was rescheduled from spring due to epidemiological restrictions, will bring to Kranj around a dozen productions, many accompanying events and three new awards.

The Prešeren Theatre in Kranj decided to cancel the 50th Week of Slovenian Drama last year due to the coronavirus, but decided to go ahead with the 51st edition this year despite a difficult epidemiological situation.

The festival will open with a ceremony presenting two awards for best Slovenian plays that have not yet been staged, which were given out as part of last year’s festival.

Tjaša Mislej will receive the 2020 Slavko Grum Prize for Naše Skladišče (Our Warehouse) and Varja Hrvatin the award for up-and-coming playwright for Vse Se Je Začelo z Golažem iz Zajčkov (Everything Started with a Rabbit Goulash).

This year’s jury has meanwhile already picked the winners of this year’s Slavko Grum Prize and the prize for up-and-coming playwright.

The first will go to Tega Okusa Še Niste Poskusili (You Haven’t Tested This Flavour Yet) by Maja Šorli and the second to Jutri je v Sanjah Izgledal Drugače (Tomorrow Seemed Different in Dreams) by Nina Kuclar Stiković. The biennial Grün-Filipič award for achievements in dramaturgy will go to Milan Ramšak Marković.

Dramaturge Rok Andres had watched 38 productions based on Slovenian plays to select six for competition, including two from Slovenia’s leading national theatres; SNG Drama Ljubljana will perform Nova Rasa (New Race) and SNG Maribor will play Pošta (Post).

The accompanying programme will feature five productions, including Vladimir, a play by Matjaž Zupančič, staged by two Bulgarian theatres.

Two round-table debates will explore sexual and emotional abuse in theatre and education, and female theatre authors during the Covid epidemic.

A conference will try to rethink “the magical theatre” of playwright Rudi Šeligo (1935-2004), while three theatre productions will also be shown online.

The festival will present the auction of theatre production Ich Kann Nicht Anders and new translations of Slovenian plays.

As it concludes on 13 November, awards will be once again given out, not only the three above-mentioned but also for best production and the audience’s favourite show, as well as the three new ones – for best actor and best actress and a special jury award.