an adataptation of ‘The seagull’ by Anton Chekhov
directed by Bobo Jelčić
costumes and set designer Bobo Jelčić
light designer Aleksandar Čavlek
sound designer Kruno Miljan
with Ksenija Marinković, Sreten Mokrović, Krešimir Mikić, Jadranka Đokić, Goran Bogdan, Nataša Dorčić, Katarina Bistrović Darvaš, Pjer Meničanin
stage manager Milica Kostanić

Zagreb Youth Theatre

Running time 1h 30’

National première

Played in Croatian with Italian subtitles

Considered the cradle of the Croatian Theatre – several generation of actors and artists have started here their journey – the Zagreb Youth Theatre has received in the recent years over fifty national and international awards; since May 2008 it’s a member of the European Theatre Convention. Galeb tries not to enter in dialogue with the text or with Cechov himself: the pièce rather seeks to redefine the boundaries of theatre and to represent the disorder of our time in a totally revolutionary and ‘contemporary’ language.

In a place of cultural gathering, in an era in which existence is measured by the number of failures (with the help of signposts and ideological meanderings) – today, as over the past one hundred years, Chekhov has proven to be our contemporary. Either we make a deconstructive analysis of his work or merely read it from the perspective of the century-long futile attempts to reconstruct anything relying on the accuracy of human memory, we lose ourselves with him, in the need to determine the depth of our misfortune or the human suffering,  familiar to generations of Chekhov’s followers. Relations remain constant, uncertainty is familiar, riddles stay on the same side, the sense of disorientation has not changed. Love desires remain unfulfilled, artistic pursuits are misunderstood, lust is codified, and the desire to escape remains an illusion. We find ourselves halfway between joy (presence) and anxiety (absence), as protagonists of the daily drama of loss; collectors gathering fragments of a past world in which no one, not even those who advocated it most fervently, seems able to remember. This Seagull is an attempt not to enter into dialogue with Chekhov or with our time, but to cross the boundaries of  the theatre. At least the boundaries of 20th century theatre, which explored, through emulating reality, the possibilities of various stage (re)interpretations. This is a open form in which life can be inscribed just as well as literature, and where there is no great difference between the position of the dramatic character, the spectator, or the actor. Its form is simultaneous and segmented, so it overcomes one-sided interpretations and calls for the bringing of one’s own experiences into the literary fates of Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko, or, for instance, Peter Nikolaevich Sorin. Thus, in this game of double meaning, none of us are more, or less, miserable than Arkadina, her son Treplev, or Nina Mikhailovna. Theatre advocated by Boris Alekseevich Trigorin is that theatre we are still in pursuit of, in the belief that we will reach it one day. The disordered age we are living in calls for the disappearance of old forms (those related to theatre, too) and for the rethinking of the performance, in order to satisfy our need for the new, or at least for what is different. And as we try to regain our place in the world we are also trying to redefine the place of theater. Although we seem to be just as helpless in both cases, with each attempt we are more open to the new, in this case that which will eradicate the boundary between stage and auditorium, or at least make it invisible. On the one hand there’s a comedy, three female roles, six male roles, four acts, a landscape (a view of a lake), much conversation about literature, little action, and five tons of love and on the other there are our daily losses translated into famous dialogues and sentences.

 Dubravka Vrgoč

The company

Zagreb Youth Theatre

Zagreb Youth Theatre, placed at Teslina 7, in the very center of the city of Zagreb, is a part of multimedia youth center, together with Radio 101, Youth television, and several popular places for the Zagreb youth gatherings. As one of the oldest theatres of this kind, it is considered to be the cradle of the Croatian theatre, since many generations of actors and people in culture began here in the Youth Studio, today known as ZYT College. When it comes to repertoire, ZYT is a very specific theatre since the ensemble has so far performed, with equal success, children’s plays and highly artistic performances of Croatian and world literature for the most demanding audiences. So it is clear that ZYT performs successfully not only it primary activity as a theatre, but also achieves a wider social task to educate children and youth. With all of it’s materially measurable advantages, one of the main characteristics of Zagreb Youth Theatre is the image it holds in the public eye. Famous plays directed by famous directors, carefully and in a contemporary manner arranged program and numerous initiatives wich have greatly enriched the cultural content that Zagreb can offer to the public eye, are just some of the reasons why the ZYT constantly draws and thrills audiences of all generations.

Over the last few years ZYT has received 50 awards at the national and international theatre festivals in Brussels, Berlin, Frieburg, Nitra, Moscow, Heildeberg, Wiesbaden, Plzen, Varna, Helsinki, Vienna, Beograd, Skopje, Ljubljana, Nova Gorica, New York, Costa Rica…

Sunday Matinees is a project of the theatre launched in January of 2006. This is a creative and educative program which enables children to participate, not only in the regular theatre plays, but in a string of creative dance, puppet and drama classes and workshops, guided by ZYT pedagogues. Because of the great interest of the children and their parents we are continuing with the program even more intensive in the upcoming season. ZYT began with the European Theatre Project in January 2006 and continues regularily in the upcoming season as we wish to enable the Zagreb audience to follow all the important foreign theatre achievements outside the programs of festivals (which is always limited by the program concept). This project has been recognized as a long awaited theatre project and it has gained the status of an event not to be missed. As a part of the project we have by now introduced the following theatres: Theatre Metastatio from Prato, Space Productions Sarajevo, Theatre Seindendan from Tokyo, Slovenian National Theatre from Nova Gorica, Yugoslavian Drama Theatre from Belgrade, Ballet Preljocaj from Paris, Slovenian theatre from Trieste, theatre group Farm in the Cave from Prague, En Knap Group from Ljubljana, Slovenian Youth Theatre from Ljubljana, dance group Inbal Pinto from Tel Aviv, Royal Flemish Theatre from Bruxelles, Theatre from Heildeberg and Theatre an der Parkaue from Berlin, Slovenian Theatre in Trieste, Slovenian Youth Theatre in Ljubljana.

In 2007 Zagreb Youth Theatre co-operated with theatre of Jan Fabre in the perfor-manceRequiem for a Metamorphoses, which was presented at the Salzburg Festival and in 2008 with the same theatre co-produced the performance of Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day, which had the opening night at Avignon festival. The ZYT produced together with La Commedie de Saint Étienne performanceL’Énvolée and it was presented at the end of 2008 in Zagreb and in 2009 in Saint Étienne.

In May 2008. Zagreb Youth Theatre became a member of the European Theatre Convention and thereby joined the Orient Express Theatre Project, which brings together six theatres from Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Germany. In Zagreb the project was held at the Main Railway Station in the period of June 12th to June 17th 2009 and included the performances: As If of the Serbian National Theatre, Seven Days in Zagreb of Zagreb Youth Theatre and Ex-press of the Turkish State Theatre.