The International Small Scenes Festival, manifestation that has left a deep mark on the culture of Rijeka, goes on, as announced at today’s press conference held at the Bonavia Hotel.
After the decease of the festival founder Nenad Šegvić, the long and successful period of the International Small Scenes Festival came to an end, following this, the future of the Festival was uncertain for a while. The representatives of the Art Organisation “The Croatian National Theatre, International Small Scenes Festival”, after a number inquiries received from many theatres from the country and abroad, theatre and cultural personnel, considered all possibilities and different options and with the support of the City of Rijeka decided to proceed with this recognised international theatre manifestation, which has been organised for 26 years.
The future plans for the International Small Scenes Festival were discussed by Marko Filipović, Rijeka mayor, Ivan Šarar, head of the Department of Culture of the City of Rijeka, Jasen Boko, dramaturg, selector and festival producer, Vlatka Stanić, director of the Bonavia Plava Laguna Hotel, long-term festival residence, and Višnja Višnjić Karković, festival coordinator who also read a communication written by Edita Karađole Šegvić, art director of the art organization CNT International Small Scenes Festival, who was not present at the conference due to illness.
The theatre manifestation International Small Scenes Festival was founded in Rijeka in 1994 as the Croatian Small Scenes Festival, led by its founder, actor Nenad Šegvić and the first selector, theatre critic Dalibor Foretić. In 1999, when the festival selector became the theatre critic and dramaturg Jasen Boko, the Croatian Small Scenes Festival became an international manifestation and has been ever since.
“If we continue to organise this festival, it seems to me that it is the best way to commemorate Nenad Šegvić,” said Jasen Boko, selector and festival producer, adding that from the next Festival, which will take place in May net year, one award will be named after him. “It has been decided that the award for the best play will be named after Nenad Šegvić, which I believe will go beyond the Croatian borders, as often foreign plays at the Festival are proclaimed the most successful ones,” said Boko, adding that he feels great responsibility and is honoured to be the selector of the Festival programme. “This year, the Festival’s budget is smaller than usually, but it will not be an alibi for programme quality. Currently, the selection process is still ongoing, but what I can say is that with this edition, the Festival will return to its roots, and these are chamber scenes,” said Boko.
The City of Rijeka has also recognised the importance of continuing the Festival, and according to the mayor, it is an event that has become an institution over the years. “During 26 years, more than 250 plays were performed that were watched by about 50,000 spectators, and this is a festival that attracts theatre lovers from all over Croatia and abroad,” said Filipovic, adding that he is pleased that the Festival will go on, in memory of its founder “Nenad Šegvić, who with his inexhaustible energy, made the Festival that we have today and this is the best way to keep the memory of him,” concluded Filipović, with whom the head Šarar agreed and emphasizing that this is a festival of unquestionable quality and significance. “This is an event with a long tradition and I am glad that it goes on and that we have the opportunity to do our best to flourish the energy that Nenad Šegvić weaved into this Festival and I hope that we will all be good heirs to his legacy,” concluded Šarar.
Furthermore, the conference participants were informed that the “Nenad Šegvić Foundation” is being set up. Its role will be to help educate one or more drama artists.