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Virtual read-through, brand new monologues to keep culture up amid epidemic

Maribor/Kranj, 8 May - As theatres remain closed due to lockdown, the Slovenian National Theatre (SNG) in Maribor has decided to give its audiences a chance to listen to selected works by the acclaimed author Drago Jančar as read by its actors and actresses. These virtual readings will be posted on the SNG's YouTube channel on Friday evening.

SNG Maribor, a national theatre bringing together drama, opera and ballet.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The Prešeren Theatre in Kranj.
Photo: Zlatko Midžić/STA
File photo

Writer Drago Jančar.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

Jančar has hand-picked ten short stories out of his oeuvre at the initiative of the SNG Maribor, including stories exploring love, erotica and history.

The theatre ensemble will deliver a new story every three days during the Covid-19 lockdown.

SNG Maribor artistic director Aleksandar Popovski believes the project is "a gift to Slovenians to help them go through these anxious times".

He announced that the theatre would stage a play based on Jančar's award-winning novel To Noč Sem Jo Videl (I Saw Her That Night) the next season.

The selected works, which will be given a new dimension through these readings, have been published in Jančar's 2018 book Mnoga Življenja (Numerous Lives).

Another initiative to enable theatre-goers not to entirely forget how it feels to be in a theatre comes from the Prešeren Theatre in Kranj.

The Kranj ensemble will lighten up lockdown by presenting new short monologues written by top Slovenian playwrights.

Entitled Monologues from the Couch, its project will mark the 50th Week of Slovenian Drama, the theatre's annual festival, which was postponed due to the epidemic.

The initiative aims to promote creative theatre endeavours and original Slovenian plays in these exceptional circumstances.

Eight new short monologues, written by eight Slovenian playwrights, will be interpreted and recorded by Prešeren Kranj Theatre actors lounging on their sofas at home.

The premieres, two monologues per week, will be released on the theatre's website and social media. The first work is to premiere on Monday.

The monologues will be later delivered live as well to create direct interaction between the performers and the audience.

The live performances will be held at the opening of an exhibition celebrating this year's Week of Slovenian Drama.

When the jubilee festival, which celebrates Slovenian theatre and should have taken place in Kranj in late March and early April, is held remains unclear and will depend on the course of the coronavirus epidemic.

© STA, 2020