24th Herceg Novi April Theatre: Discussions about Comparisons at the Round Table

By , 30 Apr 2019, 12:45 PM Lifestyle
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Discussions on the theme of making comparisons as the concept of this year's HAPS, held by the organizers of the 24th Herceg Novi April Theatre festivities, Herceg Novi Theater and JUK Herceg fest, were realized in the presence of HAPS participants, actors, directors and journalists, while the audience who had the challenge of comparing two comparable versions of text, direction, interpretation of characters, projections of space and various genres.

Selector Milina Kovacevic, who was also the mediator, spoke about the audience response as well as the reaction to the concept of comparisons.

"What we have heard is that the concept is interesting, and it would be interesting to see and compare it. I'm sure we should work on the development of the audience in this way, as well. I think this challenge is thrown in front of the public and we have positive reactions," said Kovacevic.

She added that there was no data on tickets sales but that the guests of the festival were mostly satisfied with the visit and that the directors who were not able to attend the HAPS and the round table announced in writing, with full support to HAPS as a cultural event that is extremely significant for the city, and transmitted the words by Miro Gavran, Milos Lovic and Lidija Dedovic from the PR Service of Zetski dom.

The playwright and director Miro Gavran, the author of the text "Ice Cream" and the director of the same play in the performance of Zagreb Theater “Gavran”, wrote in the letter of support to the Festival, among other things, that he was happy that the two performances at the Herceg Novi festival.

"Chamber performances are always very" playful performances and I am happy to be hiding behind my actors, and to put them in the foreground. As a spectator in the theater, I mostly go to enjoy the good acting and concise presentation of our lives and interpersonal relationships - and then I'm interested in the skills of dramatic storytelling and the skill of the director's interpretation of the world presented. But all of the long-lasting, most successful performances that played five, ten or more years were playful performances, so I am glad that this festival provides a comparative assessment of the actors’ play," he said.


Photo: Radio Jadran

The piece "Ice Cream", which was played, after the performances by Mladen Gavran and Ana Vilenica from “Gavran” Theater from Zagreb, by Ivan Nedovic and Nadja Nedovic Tekiner from the National Theater Nis, which in real life are mother and daughter, and was rated as beautiful and very complicated because the relationship between mother and daughter is always more complex in relation to the relationships of mother-son or father-daughter.

The difference between the performances of "Ice Cream" by actors from Zagreb and Nis Theater is the third character on the scene, that is, the presence of a male pastry chef, as well as the end of the play that is added and effective.

"The show starts with “Mom where are you” and ends with “Mom where are you”, which is not in the text, and the way of the theater is different, and everything is minimized. There is a different atmosphere, people are closer to each other, and mentality differences have to be taken into consideration," said Nadja Nedovic Tekinder, adding that the audience reactions were excellent.

"The reactions were great, louder than in Nis, and most importantly, the audience was in the mood," she said.


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Ivana Nedovic expressed her regret that she could not watch the second performance and did not meet the audience who watched both performances.

"I would like to see how other actors think and how their solutions and actions look. I'm glad we saw the reactions from the public and heard the comments and that we met people today who watched the show and congratulated us. We used the fact that we are mother and daughter in the play because we could recall emotional memories, especially from puberty and I think we used it well, but I also think that we could also work well with some other actresses," Nedovic said.

A letter came from Zetski dom saying that their focus was on social engagement through this time, topics that are indispensable for the progress of the individual and society. The words and concepts that are being studied through everything that is being done are: "capitalism, society, family, with each of the selected titles we invite the public and all of us to re-examination, individualism, perseverance, and to wonder ourselves how to remain preserved and healthy while the slowest ending of the world is currently ongoing. The theater is not there to make us sleep, the theater is there to awake us,"


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 Actor Stevan Vukovic said that in the theater the most important is the impression that the play leaves on the viewer and that applause does not have to be a measure of quality, while Pavle Prelevic referred to the system of director's work, saying Urban does not construct a piece in a traditional way that for him it is important to leave the comfort zone, which is evident in the play "Capital". Fighting against oneself, struggling with oneself, research, a major research process is what Urban brings. He added that Andras Urban is a machine that you have to follow and that when you get into something, you go with him to the end.

Actresses Jelena Laban and Jelena Sestovic shared the experiences of playing "Capital" in other, culturally diverse environments, stating that there were no subtitles in the Bulgarian city of Varna but that the audience understood the essence and succeeded in recognizing the problems and issues stated in the play which are affecting all people not only in the Balkans but also in the wider region.

Director Petar Pejakovic, whose two performances were at the repertoire of this year's HAPS, "Capital-kids" and "King's new suit", said that "Capital" with children between 11 and 15 years, started working with the question “What is the capital and capitalism”, but they did not know the answer, and then opened the theme of the differences between the poor and the rich, and then they themselves invented the scenes, transmitted what they saw in the family and the environment and that most of the scenes are a documentary.


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"I asked them how they see themselves in 20 years from now. Among twenty of them, only one girl from Podgorica, one kid from Cetinje and one from Kotor, said they see themselves here, while all others said they would go abroad, which was devastating and shaky. The actors themselves created the scenes and the principle was "Super Hik", a figure from Alan Ford who takes away from the poor to give to the rich," Pejakovic said, referring next to the play "King's New Suit ", which is related to Andersen's fairy tale, but which came from a series of actor improvisations created during the rehearsals.

"I'm not a fan of dramatic text, I had a classical education, but I like to do improvisations. Andersen's fairy tale can be told in several sentences and actors have fulfilled it. The goal was a political theater for children, to produce certain attitudes related to the political being, the right to a choice, and democracy," Pejakovic said with the explanation that in the story of children, it is important that the stories are clear, receptive and meaningful to them.

"I think there are not only children's topics, but it's important how you tell it. We try to make duplicate scenes for both adults and children, so the performance works on both planes," he added.


Photo: Radio Jadran

Milos Latinovic, director of Bitef Theater, whose dance performance "King’s new suit" performed at HAPS, wrote that HAPS is one of the major festivals in the region, saying that Herceg Novi, in its essence, is an absolute theatre city and spoke further about this year's festival concept.

"HAPS in its concept should be supported and strengthened by these easy-to-understand opportunities. This year's concept, one of many, is possible and it has obviously attracted interest, because the theater is the water that constantly runs, and never (no show) is the same. It is that moment of surprise and inspiration that magnetically attracts us. That's why it's really important sometimes to play "the same" to see, how different it can be, "Latinovic said.

Goran Bulajic, director of the play "Black Box", made a parallel with the movie "Perfect Strangers", and a performance that came out from the same scenario.


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"And this discussion is evidence of all the theater challenges. I rely on the dramatic text and on the actor, this way of making emotions and I'm much closer to this work, in some stable drama literature," Bulajic said, adding that his last two shows were related to two famous films, "Perfect Strangers "Death and a Girl", a play that recently had the Montenegrin premiere.

"The films did not affect my choice and work on these plays, but primarily the scenes, the stories that are powerful on the stage. And after these realizations, they had good communication with the audience and I was challenged. "Death and a girl" was a challenge for me, and I've been carrying it in my head for 20 years because I think it has great scenes and is very eloquent. Both of these processes I have experienced as research in consensus with the actor, I always care about this way of making progress from one rehearsal to another. I've been working on television and film for a long time, and after all my experiences, I think that these are two different worlds, two different languages, and that actors are the ones who connect these two components, but there are also different ways of acting. So, both of these processes I have experienced as research but always in consensus with the actor, in a stable story and I always care about this acting engagement, that progression from one rehearsal to another," Bulajic said.

He reminded that there used to be discussions, thematic discussions about the relationship between literature and the film, and whether the scenario in the narrow sense is literature, a dramatic text and whether it has enough drama elements, and he concluded that the last decades have shown and again confirm that the film scenario is a good literary background.


Photo: Radio Jadran

"Is it because of the film’s influence, the long-term influence on emotions, on the great audience in the way of perception, or there is really something literally that moved, I do not know. I do not have any clear theoretical attitudes and relationships. It's all good what works and what's coming to the audience. It is possible to argue about ways and paths but if it creates tension, it if it draws attention, if the people say they cry and applaud, it's a code, and this evening's theater discussion is evidence of all the theater challenges," concluded Bulajic.

"HAPS is alive for a long time and nobody can change it, and this is a festival that does obey to the rules," said actor Dejan Djonovic, recalling that he was the godfather of the festival’s name, by adding the letter H.

"Whenever someone attacks you, you assume that you have some strength and that's good. The worst thing is when no one touches you because you are not interesting. It's the same with the theater play, because the worst thing is if the audience does not care what you're doing," he said and reminded that it is good if the theater is provoking and that in difficult times the best theater is perhaps sarcasm, even the rebellion theatre.

He does not think that the theater can change the world, but it can provoke it, theater can disrupt something, and today there are only a few things that can agitate something.


Photo: Radio Jadran

Djonovic emphasized that he likes the concept of this year's HAPS and that it is good to see how many sides one topic can be formed, to solve and experience it conceptually and in which genre directions can it go, reminding that actors have to love everything and be ready for everything. "I like both dramatic and antidramatic texts. We are some kind of contemporary guerrillas who come up with different ideas and concepts and this needs to be a challenge. The essence is the acting, and the better you experience it in yourself, present it, the audience will get a better experience of the piece through you," said the actor of the play "King's New Suit", which closed the 24th Herceg Novi April Theater festival and which will also close Kotor festival of children's theater.

Text by Danijela Djonovic, on April 27th, 2019, read more at CdM

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