Brimming with challenge and the poetics of the senses, the oldest and the most prominent theatre festival in Slovenia has always been the scene of exciting arguments, new insights and unexpected reversals.
Since 1996, the year of its debut, its home institution has been the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor. Its kaleidoscopic history has seen much turmoil and change. Starting as the Week of Slovenian Drama then transforming into a gathering of Slovenian theatres, it eventually established itself as the national theatre competition. It owes its name - notwithstanding the polemics surrounding it - to Ignacij Borštnik (1858-1919), an actor, a stage director and the founder of modern Slovenian
The festival has recently evolved into an international event: international symposia, and foreign guests, producers and performances are obvious signs that it is ready to confront the European and global theater scene. International promotion is one of the main tasks of the new managing team. The festival consists of several thematic programs (the competition and accompanying program plus the sections entitled Bridges, Generations, and Showcase). Awards are given
for the best show, the best stage directing and acting, as well as for musical and other artistic achievements chosen by a jury of theatre professionals. The most prestigious prize is the Borštnik Ring, awarded by a special jury to a deserving actor for his/her life’s work.
Ignacij Borštnik (1858, Cerklje na Gorenjskem) is considered the founder of modern theatre in Slovenia. He was the first Slovenian stage director in the contemporary sense of the word and a superb actor, excelling in the most demanding roles, particularly in modern realistic theatre at the turn of the 20th century.
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