Slovensko narodno gledališče Nova Gorica

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Past and Present

THE SLOVENE NATIONAL THEATRE NOVA GORICA


The Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica is the successor of the Primorsko dramsko gledališče, which was founded in 1969. Between 1972 and 1991, the theatre organised the Gorica Meeting of Small Stages festival (later the Alpe Adria Theatre Meeting), which importantly influenced the development of the theatre and its affirmation in Slovenia and internationally.

In 1994, a new theatre building with a modern stage and technical equipment and a hall seating 371 was constructed. (A small stage hall with 107 seats was added in 2011.)

In 2004, the theatre was declared an institution of national importance, fully financed by the state, and changed its name to Slovensko narodno gledališče Nova Gorica (Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica).

The position of Nova Gorica, a town on the juncture of the Slavic and the Romance cultures, has significantly influenced the repertoire and artistic orientation of the theatre. The repertoire consists of contemporary and classic plays; it is marked by the local, Mediterranean colour, and by openness to new research and experimentation.

The high artistic level of production has been proven by a number of awards and participation at Slovenian and international festivals and tours abroad. In 2001, the theatre became a member of the European Theatre Convention (ETC).


HISTORY


1955 Gorica (City) Theatre

Theatre creativity in Nova Gorica started in 1955, when the semi-professional Gorica (City) Theatre was established. In October 1955, a group of mostly amateur actors staged Bratko Kreft’s The Counts of Celje in the hall of the Okrajni ljudski odbor, the local administrative council. This was the first theatre première of the semi-professional Gorica City Theatre that was established “with a clear goal to grow into a fully professional itinerant theatre for the entire Goriška region”. In November 1957, the Gorica Theatre baptised its first “home” by performing A. T. Linhart’s This Happy Day or Matiček is Getting Married – the hall in the renovated premises on Soška cesta in Solkan, which it continued to use until 1994.


1969 Primorsko dramsko gledališče (Primorska Drama Theatre)

The year 1969 is considered one of the most important watershed moments in the theatre history of Nova Gorica, because it was the year when the theatre became fully professional and was renamed Primorsko dramsko gledališče (PDG). Between 1972 and 1991, the theatre organised the Gorica Meeting of Small Stages festival (later the Alpe Adria Theatre Meeting), which importantly influenced the development of the theatre and its affirmation in Slovenia and internationally.

As a repertoire theatre with a permanent ensemble, the PDG, despite a modest hall and very limited stage possibilities, achieved a high artistic level. In May 1994, it finally moved to its new premises, a theatre house conceived by the architect Vojteh Ravnikar. In the new theatre with modern stage technology and a 371-seat hall, the first performance was Dominik Smole’s The Baptism at the Savica.

In the thirty-five years of professional work, the Primorsko dramsko gledališče staged, in addition to numerous baptismal performances of Slovenian texts, many first Slovenian performances of foreign authors. The following performances had more than fifty reprises: This Happy Day or Matiček is Getting Married (1969) by A. T. Linhart; Bailiff Yerney and His Rights (1974) by Ivan Cankar; adapted for stage by Jože Babič; The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1980) by William Shakespeare; Don Juan (1981) by J. B. P. Molière; Hunting for Rats (1983) by Peter Turrini; Noises Off (1985) by Michael Frayn; What the Butler Saw (1988) by Joe Orton; The Mandrake (1989) by Niccolò Machiavelli and The Squabbles (2001) by Carlo Goldoni. The performances The Bald Soprano (1995) by Eugène Ionesco and That Lovely Day (2000) by Ciril Kosmač and Srečko Fišer were the first that surpassed one hundred reprises. Other performances that were particularly acclaimed were Martin Kačur (1976) by Ivan Cankar and Janez Povše; The Ballad of a Trumpet and a Cloud (1977) by Ciril Kosmač and Janez Povše; Right You Are – If You Think You Are (1979) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (1985) by Luigi Pirandello; An Event in the Town of Goga (1980, 2001) by Slavko Grum; Don Quixote (1984) by Mikhail Bulgakov; Red Noses (1986) by Peter Barnes; Cannibals (1987) by Gregor Strniša; The Triumph of Love (1991) by Pierre de Marivaux; Gloria (1992) by Ranko Marinković; The Love of a Good Man (1995) by Howard Barker; King Richard III (1997); Hamlet (2000) and A Midsummer Nights Dream (2002) by William Shakespeare; The Illusion (2000) by Pierre Corneille; Endgame (1999) and Waiting for Godot (2003) by Samuel Beckett; Exit the King (2001) by Eugène Ionesco; Arabian Night (2003) by Roland Schimmelpfennig .


2004 Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica

In 2004, the theatre was declared an institution of national importance and is now fully subsidised by the state. At this time, it changed its name to Slovensko narodno gledališče Nova Gorica (Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica).

Every season the theatre has prepared six or more premières. In 2011, the theatre acquired a new small hall with excellent technical equipment which allows for smaller and chamber performances. The number of new  premières has since increased to eight or more.

Among the acclaimed performances from the period of the Nova Gorica theatre as a national institution, it is worth mentioning the baptismal performances of new Slovenian plays (Meanwhile, The Coming, the Going and Colloquies, Soliloquies by Srečko Fišer; A Healer by Force!, Everyman and Passion Play by Iztok Mlakar; The Infinite Counted Days and Hurrah, Nosferatu! by Andrej E. Skubic; Eda – the Rusjan Brothers Story, He who fares alone through the world till evening and Nora Gregor by Neda R. Bric); the stagings of the classical Slovenian texts (A Scandal in St Florian’s Valley, The King of Betajnova, The Serfs and The Beautiful Vida by Ivan Cankar); Slovenian first stagings of plays by foreign authors (Locusts or My Father Plays the Lottery by Biljana Srbljanović; Those the River Keeps by David Rabe; This Bed Is Too Short or Just Fragments by Nina Mitrović; The Titanic Orchestra by Hristo Boychev; Private Fears in Public Places by Alan Ayckbourn; sKurt (The Great White Conspiracy) by Dimitrije Vojnov; The Killer by Eugène Ionesco; The Story of the Panda Bears and Old Clown Wanted by Matei Vişniec; Stupidity by Rafael Spregelburd; Dear Yelena Sergeyevna by Lyudmila Razumovskaya; Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig); new readings of world classics (The Green Bird by Carlo Gozzi; The Glembays and Leda by Miroslav Krleža; Summer Folk by Maxim Gorky; Uncle Vanya and The Seagull by A. P. Chekhov; An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen; The Forest by A. N. Ostrovsky; Timon of Athens by W. Shakespeare and T. Middleton; Madness in Valencia by Lope de Vega; The Dragon by Evgeny Shvarts; Tartuffe and Don Juan by J. B. P. Molière; Madame Bovary by Nebojša Pop-Tasić after Gustave Flaubert, Ondine by Jean Giraudoux; The Beggar’s Opera, The Squabbles after Carlo Goldoni; The Trojan Women by Euripides); research within musical theatre (Alica by R. de Ceccatty and J. Kica with music by A. Annecchino; Euripides’s The Bacchae with music by Saša Lošić; a fashion-theatre-music show Krojači sveta – Funeral Fashion Show with music by Drago Ivanuša; The Brigands by Miha Nemec and Nejc Valenti with music by the punk band Niet; Become a Street Lamp with music by Branko Rožman; a bizarre operetta Shockheaded Peter); hit performances for children and young adults (Horrid Henry; Antonton; The Wizard of Oz); and dance co-productions (Urban Stories – A Room with a View; Tie; Conspiracy of Silence and S/he).

 

ORIENTATION

The position of Nova Gorica, a town on the juncture of the Slavic and the Romance cultures, has significantly influenced the importance and the orientation of the theatre. The repertoire consists of performances of contemporary and classic plays, and is marked by local, Mediterranean colour from one side, and from the other side, by an openness to new research and experimentation. The Mediterranean note, typical for this part of Slovenia, can be felt in the choice of the repertoire, especially comedies, as well as in the stagings themselves, characterised by Mediterranean dynamics, temper, dialectal hues in the language, and often also open-air and site-specifics versions of individual productions. The flexibility of the ensemble (the permanent ensemble has 22 actors who are often accompanied by guest actors) and the selection of directors allow for contemporary approaches and research.

Participation at various festivals, numerous tours in Slovenia and abroad, and a string of awards to the actors and other creators of the performances – among these are four Borštnik Grand Prix Awards for the best performance at the Maribor Theatre Festival (Red Noses (1987); Cannibals (1988); Endgame (1999); and Meanwhile (2005)) – prove the high level of the production of the theatre in Nova Gorica.

The Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica (SNG Nova Gorica) joined the European Theatre Convention (ETC) in 2001, and this international theatre association organises a biennial theatre festival. In 2004 this festival, entitled Theatres of Europe: Mirror of Displaced Populations was organised by SNG Nova Gorica and the international theatre festival MEJ NI FEST (Theatre Without Borders). SNG Nova Gorica was also a founding member of the New European Theatre Action (NETA), an international network of theatres and festivals, which ceased to function in 2016.

 

DIRECTORS AND ARTISTIC DIRECTORS


Jože Babič (1968–1974)

Sergij Pelhan (1975–1986)          

Janez Povše (1975–1979)

                               Dušan Mlakar, Janez Povše, Emil Aberšek, Branko Kraljević (1979–1980)

                               Marjan Bevk (1980–1982)

                               Dušan Mlakar, Srečko Fišer, Bine Matoh (1982–1983)

                               Mario Uršič (1983–1985)

                               Alja Predan (1985–1986)

Tomica Dumančić (1986–1994)

                               Goran Schmidt (1986)

                               Janez Starina, acting director (1986)

                               Zvone Šedlbauer (1987–1988)

                               Janez Starina, acting director (1989)

                               Janez Starina, Srečko Fišer (1989–1990)

                               Marko Sosič (1990–1994)

Janez Starina (1994–1996)

                               Katja Pegan (1994–1998)

Sergij Pelhan (1996–2007)

Primož Bebler (1998–2009)

Mojmir Konič (2007–2009)                         

Jožko Čuk (2009–2014)

                               Srečko Fišer, acting director (2009)

                               Ira Ratej (2009–2012)

                               Martina Mrhar (2012–2016)

Neda R. Bric, acting director (2014–2016)

Maja Jerman Bratec (2016–

                               Marko Bratuš (2016–