Fears and hopes of a new era, 2014

The International Small Scenes Festival in Rijeka has always endeavoured to unite aesthetic sharpness, social actuality and artistic excellence under one motto. Since the contemporary theatre doubtlessly feels the pulse of our times saturated with promises and new threats, we have chosen “Fears and hopes of a new era” to be the topic of this year’s Festival.

In the century that has proclaimed the cult of technology, health and happiness, threatening us with its cold flawlessness, our focus shifts towards those who have been cast away and pushed to the edge, since they might be the weak voices of a better reality. Our interest has also been oriented towards the past that no one cares about any more, as well as the future that seems empty and visionless.

With these issues in mind, we have invited „Till death do us apart” by Radionice Integracije from Belgrade, based on the text by Mira Furlan and directed by Miki Manojlović, „Krapp’s last tape” from Vilnius and .. On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God” performed by Societas Raffaello Sanzio and directed by Romeo Castellucci.
We have also explored some metaphysical questions (so rare nowadays) intertwined with everyday life issues in the multiply awarded ..Crime and Punishment” by Gavela, magically directed by Zlatko Sviben, as well as in ..The Women Who Have Suffered”, a play about destinies of seven women who could be any one of us by Beogradsko dramsko pozorište, and in „The Forest Ends Here” by Slovensko narodno gledališče from Maribor, which speaks about the darker side of contemporary urban and educated generation’s optimism.

Had Shakespeare known five hundred years ago that Hamlet would be our contemporary five hundred years later? Why does every generation need – as Ian Cott asks – a Hamlet of its own? What does Hamlet mean to us in Croatia today and how different is he from previous times? These questions will be answered in “Hamlet” by Zagrebačko kazalište mladih, provocatively staged by Oliver Frljić.

We have invited two regional performances „The Minister’s Wife” by Pozorište Boško Buha from Belgrade and „Othello” by Mestno gledališče ljubljansko, which both deal with our dilemma about political motives – rational reasons we do not understand or simply petty human evil, weakness and powerlessness in which we all participate a little.
Many values have been shaken in time of crisis, which itself has become a huge burden for human action – and consequently for the organisation of this Festival, as well. However, the times of hardships have also become an important motivation factor to help us face temptations and uncertainties of the times ahead of us eyes wide open.
Bojan Munjin