In the season 2016/2017 it was intense and exciting, silenced and loud, intimate and revolutionary, local and international. We filled different local and foreign auditoriums, played in different languages, received different reactions, sometimes you loved us, sometimes not, but we hope that not in one moment did we make you feel indifferent, trying all over again to affirm that theatre is a living organism drawing up from the continual dialogue with the context in which it emerges, realising itself in the relation action – reaction and obtaining its full meaning.
In the season to come, the Croatian Drama is bringing new directors to the Rijeka theatre again. Anica Tomić and Matija Ferlin will direct for the first time in the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc, while Bojana Lazić for the first time in Croatia. The directing work of Renata Carol Gatica is already known to the Rijeka audience by the Croatian – Italian Drama hit Big Bird, Blubber, Falco/Spillo, Ciccio, Falco/, while in the new season Renata will join forces with one of the most interesting Croatian playwrights Vedrana Klepica in the project with the working title of Night School, in which the Croatian Drama actors will be joined by 3rd year students of the Acting and Media Study Programme of the Rijeka University Academy of Applied Arts.
Side by side, the repertoire of the Croatian Drama thus features Büchner, Nazor, Klepica and Schwab, forerunners and inheritors, drama and devised theatre, but always the theatre that is aware of its history and actuality, also of its own pledges for the future. In the new season journey our ensemble will be joined by two guests, the Belgrade actress Hana Selimović will make part of the Büchner’s Woyzeck team and Katarina Bistrović Darvaš, who will work with us again in Schwab’s The Presidents, after the successful co-operation in Moliere’s The Misanthrope when she delighted both the audience and critics. The new season’s novelty is the inauguration of the Zajc Lab that will be investigating new performing spaces and looking for new theatre languages. We have here two co-productions, the first, realised in co-operation with the Ljubljana Glej Theatre (Gledališče Glej), will present Slovene authors and performers, Katarina Stegnar, Urška Brodar and Jure Novak; while in the second, realised in co-operation with the OOUR Co-authors initiative art organisation, Rijeka dancer and choreographer Mila Čuljak will present herself as an author of a specific sensitivity. In a way, these two co-productions will round off the whole season, not only because on the time line they will present the first and the last season premiere, but also because on the meaning level they will mark the direction of the 2017/2018 season progress from the margin to the centre, from the individual to the system. We will be investigating in what way it is that the individual changes the system, and not how it becomes its victim; in what way it is that we are constructing the context that surrounds us, and that it is not the context that is irreversibly confining us. In all of this we are definitively going to be loud, concrete, direct and relentless, as it befits the margin fighting its way to the centre.
We have already taken a run and can hardly wait for the jump. Looking forward to seeing you in the theatre!
Jelena Kovačić, Croatian Drama Director
ZAJC LAB is a programme conceived as an incubator of new ideas and a place where authors of different aesthetic and poetic procédé encounter, their projects participating equally in creating of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc Croatian Drama repertoire. Some of fundamental objectives of this part of the programme comprise investigating new artistic practices, integrating other media into the theatre art, also opening of new places of co-operation for artists of different profiles and poetics as a prerequisite for finding new forms.