The extremely rich and interesting history of the Rijeka Theatre has always intrigued our audience. It is inscribed in Rijeka’s identity, and is both important to the people of Rijeka and appealing to tourists. We have decided to tell this story of the theatre in an interesting and interactive way – through displaying costumes, props, photos of important plays, documents and plans for the construction of the theatre, sharing stories of the deserving people who created it, but also including spectators…
The Zajc Theatre Gallery will be an exhibition space in which theatre heritage will be exhibited, and the project will be realized in phases. The results of the first phase, the first exhibition, will be viewable during the summer months, and will display important documents, photographs and objects from theatre workshops such as costumes, wigs, and props, and will offer an interesting and educational insight into the rich heritage and hectic everyday operations of the Rijeka Theatre.
The modernization of the gallery and digital equipping of the exhibition are planned in later phases, and were submitted to the Creative Europe competition. The Zajc Theatre Gallery will then be an exhibition space in which theatre heritage will be exhibited in an interactive way, using new technologies and audiovisual materials. Theatre audiences will play a key role in creating this exhibition, as their personal experiences and memories, told through digital stories, will introduce a new dimension to the interaction between the city and its theatre.
In addition to the story of how the theatre was created and who is responsible for the work of the theatre over the past decades, the exhibition will also show various “behind-the-scenes stories” or insights into the creative processes that precede or accompany performances: theatre workshops, technics, costume making, scenography, lighting design, movement, etc.
The theatre gallery, a kind of small theatre museum, will be located in a particularly interesting place. We will revive and rearrange theatre spaces that are currently not available to the audience or through which the audience rarely moves, including a parallel staircase to the galley which was closed to the public, but also spaces at the top of the theatre building – in front of the entrance to the gallery as well as the gallery itself (theatre balcony), which we will rearrange into a sort of “lookout point,” so that it will be much easier to view the exceptional works of art that set us apart on the world art map: the original paintings of Gustav Klimt, his brother Ernst, and Franz Matsch.
However, this will require waiting until next year and for the return of the paintings to their original place around the large chandelier in the central part of the auditorium ceiling following their restoration and display at the exhibit “Unknown Klimt,” (“Nepoznati Klimt”) in the City Museum of Rijeka.