July 15, 2020 - The Festival of the Mediterranean Theatre Purgatorije in Tivat should start on August 1 with a reduced program and conditions that are not limited to specific dates or the realization of the entire program. Whether and to what extent the language of culture must be redefined - whether muses are permitted to remain silent while plagues are raging - whether long-term abstinence from art can atrophy the need for it as a haven for the mind and soul... All of this, as well as the virtual dimension of culture and this year's Purgatorije program were the topics of the interview by Radio Tivat with Neven Staničić, Director of the Cultural Center of Tivat.
"On an individual level, it is impossible to stifle creativity in any condition. It even inspires and heats up, but collective projects in the cultural industry are a problem," Staničić believes.
"It is impossible in these conditions to coordinate guest appearances from several countries in the region in important international cultural festivals. It is difficult to imagine a theatrical event taking place with the obligatory application of all protection measures.
For the audience, it could be managed somehow, but how will a love scene take place on the stage without respecting physical distance, for example? Culture cannot do without an audience and direct contact. Although we received great reviews from all over the world for the online version of our Guitar Fest, I am not a fan of such an experience, which cannot be compared to listening and watching a guitar master from a few meters away.
We will try to realize the program as we know and can, in coexistence with the coronavirus. Sometimes it seems easier to deal with it than with cultural alternatives, and we want to stay at the level we have maintained for many years. Today we have surrogates at all levels. We have streets instead of assemblies, fights instead of matches. So, instead of the culture we are used to, we may get an adequate solution," says Stanicic, who is probably the main "culprit" behind Tivat having one of the most important theater festivals in the region.
The Purgatory Mediterranean Theater Festival 2020 starts with the theater's premiere play "The Other Side of the Wind" on August 1 on a small stage in the summer house Buća. It is a marine theme with an engaging text by Miroslav Antić, directed by Branko Ilić, in which students of the Cetinje Faculty of Dramatic Arts play, for whom it will be an exam, and graduation play. The rehearsals are going according to plan in the main hall of the local Cultural Center.
"Tivat Cultural Center has always been a place where young actors start their professional lives, and so far, we have done three such projects. "Tre Sorelle" is an excellent example, it is a show with excellent ratings, a large number of performances and awards, so we hope that such a fate will befall the "Other Side of the Wind".
The second premiere, "Application Volant" out of four planned for this year's Purgatorije, is scheduled for August 5. The rehearsals are taking place in Sabac, after which final rehearsals should continue here in Tivat. The play comes on the back of the celebrated "Jami District", with the same production team and author team. The text is signed by Minja Bogavac, and directed by Kokan Mladenović.
"It's about the impact of mobile phones on our daily lives, with a projection on the future. In the play itself, the audience will have to use their phones on which they will install the play's required application to start," explains Staničić.
This summer, local plays will be performed: "Filomena Marturano", "Bokeški D-mol", "Little pirate", "Tre Sorelle", "Jami District" with the celebration of its 100th performance. The repertoire also includes several guest performances - "Don Quixote" by the City Theater from Podgorica and the Bar Chronicle, "Twilight of the Gods" by the Belgrade Drama Theater and "Colonel of Birds" by the City Theater from Podgorica.
This year's Pugratorije will have its own literary and musical segment.
"On August 3, we planned to honor the audience on the Summer Stage, especially the women, with the musical-poetic evening of actor Ivan Bosiljčić, which would be a kind of replacement for the musicals that have marked the beginning of each edition of Purgatorije."
The music segment of Purgatory, the festival "Mediterranean Notes", will most likely be held from August 18 to 22 with three to five concerts, and with guests, world-renowned violinists - Nigel Kennedy and Stefan Milenković. The contracts have been signed, and the relevant Ministry is interested in helping to keep the festival going.
The program of this year's Purgatorije is much reduced, as well as the budget and financial outcome.
"The problem is not that we are now postponing, moving and reducing some things, but that we, even if the coronavirus disappears very quickly, will not be able to return to the level of 2019, but we must go back and start some things from scratch. We should be more than optimistic and expect the same budget for culture as it was at the beginning of 2020 if we know that we have reduced it by 80% at this time.
Perhaps it is now a consolation to be proud of what we have done so far, to have fond memories, and to know that we will have new beginnings. We're not going to move any more now from where we left off. I'm afraid it will be a few steps below. But we have enough experience, and we hope that it will help us quickly reach the level we once had," concluded the Tivat Cultural Center's Director, Neven Stanicic, in an interview with Radio Tivat.
Source: Sonja Štilet, Radio Tivat