Reinterpreting old standards and offering new possibilities – 2000

The turn of the century seems to be the right moment for the theatre to cross-examine its foundations. If we believe that “in the beginning there was the word”, then in this year of round numbers it might be worthwhile examining the relationship of the word, the script, to the theatre of today.
Throughout the twentieth century new theatre aesthetics have been in conflict with the classical play and Aristotle. This year in May, the theatre festival in Rijeka is apt to show through it’s fourteen scheduled presentations how much of the written play has remained on stage.
There will be a possibility of perceiving what is happening with classical drama when interpreted in a new way, through the Russian view of Shakespeare’s Chronicles, the Slovenian concept of Hamlet, and the Croatian presentation of Krleza and Euripides. Today, the theatre can do without script (The Walker), or the script can be built during rehearsals (Town Within Town); it can be modelled upon media not in the least theatrical (Ferydurke), constructed on the biblical foundations of Western civilisation (Cain and Abel), or emerge as a combination of already known literary motifs (Waiting for Bread). Theatre at the turn of the century can also produce contemporary scripts which actually represent deconstructions of plays (Mainstream and East) or, it can first disintegrate a contemporary play in order to reconstruct it through the director’s approach (Alma Mahler). Finally, The Festival will show how under new conditions, a hybrid cabaret form reinterpreting old standards and offering new possibilities has managed to survive (CABAres, CABArei and Marlene).
This year again The Festival is likely to make waves, though not such resulting from show-biz scandals, but rather due to the fact that it shall enter new spaces, until recently foreign to the idea of the theatre, spaces dusty and long forgotten.
And, finally, I still believe that small scenes actually don’t exist, there are only small people set on dividing art into small art and great art.

Jasen Boko