Dane Zajc

Rocky Peak

Drama of Slovene National Theatre Maribor


25.06.2021, Friday / 19:30 / Old Hall /

Opening night September 27th 2019, Old Hall SNT Maribor
Running time 2 hours 40 minutes. One intermission.

A co-production with the Maribor Conservatory of Music and Ballet

Director Nina Rajić Kranjac
Adaptation for stage Tibor Hrs, Nina Rajić Kranjac
Dramaturg Tibor Hrs Pandur
Set designer Urša Vidic
Costume designer Marina Sremac
Composer Branko Rožman
Language consultant Mojca Marič
Lighting designer Borut Bučinel
Stage manager Jernej Jerovšek
Prompter Polonca Rajšp

Andrazh Vladimir Vlaškalić
Yur, his son Benjamin Krnetić a. g.
Matiya Nejc Cijan Garlatti a. g.
Kolomch Žan Koprivnik
Sevshek Matevž Biber
Errand-woman Nataša Matjašec Rošker
Polona Minca Lorenci
Lady Death Liza Marijina
The Italian Gorazd Žilavec

Members of the Orchestra of Maribor Conservatory of Music and Ballet
Urban Erker, clarinet
Domen Baša, accordion
Matic Kavcl, trumpet
Nik Zendzianowski, euphonium

The play Rocky Peak, written in the early 1990s and premièred in 1994, encapsulates the tragic theatre world of Dane Zajc. Through radical self-criticism, he epitomises the destruction or rather the split-up of a family (or one’s lineage) and, therefore, the destruction of the entire community. Some scholars and interpreters have drawn distinct parallels between Rocky Peak and Shakespeare’s Hamlet, considering Zajc’s drama as a cross-generational tragedy of the decline of a certain prehistoric community, with the potency to re-enact the neuralgic points of Slovenian history, thus mapping its psycho-geography of the plethora of dysfunctions, such as auto-frustration, the pleasure of self-negation, continuous postponement and transferring of one’s guilt, self-pity, the demonisation of others, the futility of treason and revenge, losing oneself in transcendence, etc., as Taras Kermauner pointed out. As dramaturg Tibor Hrs Pandur writes, the play Rocky Peak, directed by Nina Rajić Kranjac, is an act of microscoping and an attempt to fly over the mountain of the all-encompassing Slovenian pan-nihilism that reigns over the people of Rocky Peak as a stone deity. It is an experiment of subversion, an undertaking to find light in the darkness of its "negative theology" through the counterpoint between brutal self-reflection and freedom of distance that outlines the features of the theatre, where the sphere of death is seemingly suspended, where there is no death at all: there is only a possibility of catharsis through the recognition of the pertinently presented delusions of the protagonists.

However, the main quality of the performance seems to be in the detection of complete disorientation of today and scattered focus, because with a multitude of impressions and stimuli, we can no longer concentrate on anything really meaningful and relevant.

Peter Rak, Delo, 2. 10. 2019


Nina Rajić Kranjac (b.1991), one of the most successful and aesthetically prominent directors of the youngest generation, won several awards when she was still a student at the UL AGRFT (the best production at the International Festival of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and the Šeligo Award for the best production at the Week of Slovenian Drama for 1981; UL AGRFT Student Prešeren Award for the directing of 1981 and her solo project NOW I'm Flying!; Student Prešeren Award of the University of Ljubljana and the award for Best Young Director at the 56th MESS Festival in Sarajevo for The Conference of Birds.) In 2017 she received her master's degree in directing; her mentor was Tomi Janežič, whose assistant director she was for many productions. In 2018 she won the Borštnik Award for the Best Directing for directing Tadeusz Słbodzianek's Our Class.


Slovene National Theatre Maribor, celebrating a centennial of its existence,is the largest cultural and artistic institution in Slovenia. It is organized into four coexisting and yet independent units: Drama, Opera, Ballet and Maribor Theatre Festival. It has an immense cultural and political role through its time. As the only professional theatre in Maribor it fulfils the requirements of the theatre audiences from various social and educational backgrounds. Drama department in particular preserves and develops Slovene national identity and acts as an important pillar of the Slovene language. Each season, there are six to seven productions of the classical and contemporary plays, written by Slovene or foreign playwrights.


Rocky Peak <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>
Photo: Damjan Švarc
Rocky Peak <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>
Photo: Damjan Švarc
Rocky Peak <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>
Photo: Damjan Švarc
Rocky Peak <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>
Photo: Damjan Švarc