Highlighting the first-ever playwrighting exchange between Croatia, and the United States, this evening will showcase the work of young Croatian dramatists Ivana Sajko and Tena Stivicic, featuring a brief presentation of contemporary theatre from Croatia, and excerpts from both author’s plays in both Croatian and English, followed by a discussion with the participants in this exchange.
The event is hosted by the organizers of this international initiative, Ivan Talijancic from WaxFactory (USA) and Jasen Boko (Croatia).
WaxFactory’s USA/Croatia playwriting exchange is supported by FACE Croatia foundation (New York); the New York State Council on the Arts; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia; Department of Education, Culture and Sport – City of Zagreb (Croatia); ZKM / Zagreb Youth Theatre (Croatia); Doors Art Foundation (New York); and the Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia in New York.
Ivana Sajko was born in 1975 in Zagreb, Croatia. She graduated dramaturgy from the Academy of Drama Arts and took a master’s degree in literature from the Faculty of Philosophy, Zagreb. Apart from being an obsessive writer, also a dramaturge, director, performer, theatre theoretician and author of radio broadcasts and multi-media projects she won several prizes for drama literature. Her plays are translated into English, German, French, Spanish and Italian and staged in theatres and radio broadcasted throughout the world. She performs her plays through musical form of ”auto referential reading” in which she explores the problems of drama writing and performing. Sajko’s interdisciplinary approaches brings her close to the contemporary performing arts and that has strong influence on her playwriting. Those experiences are visible on structural levels of her plays, where she can easily transform a long introspective monologue into rap chorus, or almost sentimental dialogue into filmic parade of unknown lost characters. Her last plays were commissioned by Steirischer Herbst Graz, Austria (Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose, 2008) and Stadttheater Bern, Switzeland (Scenes with Apple, 2009). She recently directed and performed her playRose is a rose is a rose is a rose with the improv rock band. Her books include collection of plays Executed Faces (2001), trilogy of monologues Woman-bomb(2004), novel Rio bar (2005) for which she won national award, theory book Towards the Madness (and Revolution) (2006) and the novel History of my family since 1941 until 1941, and after (2009). Her other co-operations in publishing projects include the artists from different fields: American composer David Simons (CD Mass for election day silence, 2004), opera singer Dunja Vejzovic (Documenta, 2003), visual artists such as G. Petercol (Working monograph, 2002; Unplugged 2007, Landscapes 2009) and G. Trbuljak (the Venetian Biennale 2005). She is member of the editorial board of the theatre journal Frakcijaand the literary journal Tema. Edited and presented the first broadcast about contemporary theatre V-efekt on the Croatian Television (HTV). Co-founded the theatre group BAD co. Visiting lecturer at the Academy of Drama Arts, Zagreb.
Tena Stivicic was born in Zagreb in 1977. She holds a BA in Dramaturgy from the Academy of Drama Art in Zagreb and an MA in Writing for Performance from Goldmsiths College, University in London. Her plays Can’t Escape Sundays (2000), At Deathbed (1998), The Two of Us(2002), Fragile! (2004), Fireflies (2007), Felix (2008) and plays for childrenPerceval – the Quest for the Grail (2001) and Psssst! (2004) have been produced and published in a number of European countries and translated and published in several languages. They have also won numerous awards including Marin Drzic Award for best play of the year 2000. for Can’t Escape Sundays, Best Play for the production of Fragile! at Borstnikova Srecanja in Slovenia 2007., European Authors Award and Innovation Award at Heidelberg Stueckemarkt 2008. for Fragile!, Best Play at Marulicevi dani festival in Croatia 2008. for Fireflies, a play devised at the National Theatre Studio in London.
In 2007. she wrote a one act play as part of omnibus of plays entitled Goldoni Terminus, premiered at the Venice Biennale. She co-created two plays for the Ulysses Theatre in Croatia, Drunken Night 1918. and Romeo and Juliet 1968. As part of The 50 – a Royal Court Theate and BBC initiative to mark the 50th anniversary of Royal Court Theatre, she was nominated as one of the 50 most promising young writers in Great Britain. Her columns from the magazine Zaposlena in Croatia were published as a book in 2007. and made the top of the non-fiction charts. Her play Seven Days in Zagreb was the Croatian partner in the Orient Express international project in summer 2009. Tena is currently on attachment at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and developing a new play with the Transport Theatre in London. She lives in London and writes in English and Croatian.
Jasen Boko was born in Split, Croatia and graduated in Dramaturgy, Playwriting and Comparative Literature from the University of Belgrade. He is currently preparing his PhD at Zagreb University on subject of Drama and Theatre in Croatia during Transition Years. He worked at the Croatian National Theatre in Split as Dramaturge and at the Croatian daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija, as editor of the Arts and Culture section and theatre critic. He is currently freelance dramaturge, publicist and theatre critic, an Artistic Advisor of the several Croatian Theatres and Artistic Director/Selector of the International Theatre Festival in Rijeka, Croatia. He was for several years artistic advisor for international theatre festivals in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (MESS) and Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ex Ponto).
In 1993/1994 he was Fulbright scholar in Playwriting and Screenwriting at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. During the last 15 years his plays for children and young audience, had over 30 stage and radio productions in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and were awarded several times at different international festivals. Since 2000. he has been working as a part time professor at the University of Split. In 1993/1994 he was Fulbright scholar in Playwriting and Screenwriting at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. During the last 15 years his plays for children and young audience, had over 30 stage and radio productions in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and were awarded several times at different international festivals. Since 2000. he has been working as a part time professor at the University of Split, teaching Drama and Theatre in Education. He has published six books, The Theatre Class and Other Plays (1994), New Croatian Plays, Tin – Thirty Years of Travel, biography of famous Croatian poet Tin Ujevic (2005), Fifth Side of the World, travel essays (2006), book of theatrical essaysWritings from the Theatre Darkness (2007) and Following the Silk Road – in the Traces of Marco Polo(2009). From 2005. Jasen Boko is a President of the International Playwrights Forum (part of International Theatre Institute, UNESCO), member of The Croatian Guild of Drama Artists and The International Federation of Journalists. He lives in Split, Croatia.
This event will happen on May 13 , 2010 at Martin E. Segal Theatre.
For more information about Croatian drama go to www.croatiandrama.wordpress.com