An original staging project
Mladinsko Theatre & Maska Ljubljana
Opening night June 10th 2020, Mladinsko Theatre Lower Hall
Running time 1 hour 40 minutes. No intermission.
Director Žiga Divjak
Research assistant Maja Ava Žiberna
Assistant directors Ana Lorger, Nika Prusnik Kardum
Dramaturgical collaborator Katarina Morano
Set designer Igor Vasiljev
Costume designer Tina Pavlović
Composer Blaž Gracar
Language consultant Mateja Dermelj
Lighting designer Igor Remeta
Sound and video designer Blaž Gracar
Translator of the audio recording Barbara Skubic
Producer and Stage manager Tina Dobnik
Technical manager and property master Igor Remeta
The text of the performance is based on testimonies from the Border Violence Monitoring Network database.
Sara Dirnbek a. g.
Matej Puc a. g.
In the recording
Hamza Aziz, Zaher Amini, Khalid Ali, Behnaz Aliesfahanipour
People who have walked across half of the world to escape wars, persecution, violence and crushing poverty call the last stretch of their route – the stretch that takes them from Bosnia and Herzegovina to a safe destination in the European Union – the game. The game has no rules, the law does not apply, the power of the police is limitless, the violence increasingly brutal, the dangers increasingly perilous, and the possibilities of entering the free Europe are getting smaller by the minute. A new paradox of inhumane Sisyphism is at work in this particular situation: the closer the migrants get to the border, the further their respective destinations in Europe seem … Many have tried several times, even twenty or thirty times, to cross the border; it is a numbers game. For many, the game is fatal. Available records show that around twenty people have thus far lost their lives on our borders. The devised theatre project The Game studies the role and responsibility of Slovenia and its border policy for the lives and fates of the people who are running from the very things they experience on our doorsteps.
[The production] achieves extraordinary effects with minimal, mostly narrative, theatre means. It is a top-notch example of documentary theatre, be it by the choice and structure of the narrative material […] or by the soulfully suggestive performances by almost all the actors. They committedly and convincingly reveal the impotence of the democratic institutions of the state. […] The repetitive narrative procedure only reinforces the hopelessness, the Sisyphean horror of the migrants’ fates. The stories are so powerful that everything else is secondary.
Melita Forstnerič Hajnšek, Večer, 17. 06. 2020
Žiga Divjak (b. 1992) entered the Slovenian theatre scene (still as a student) with the series of events and performances titled Right Before the Revolution (2013–2015) that toured in Germany and Croatia and for which the Prešeren Award was bestowed upon him by the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) in Ljubljana. Even after his studies, his socially engaging position remained the central impetus of his creative work, which has so far led him to direct at the Mladinsko Theatre, Maska Institute, Prešeren Theatre Kranj, Cankarjev dom and AGRFT, Drama Ljubljana and Ljubljana City Theatre. His susceptible and attentive way of approaching social questions brought him a Borštnik Award for direction for The Man Who Watched the World (Mladinsko Theatre) in 2017, while the original staging project 6 (in coproduction with Maska and Mladinsko Theatre in the scope of The New Post Office programme), which he directed, won the Borštnik grand prix for the best theatre production.
The Mladinsko Theatre was established in 1955 as the first professional theatre for children and youth in Slovenia. In our projects today, we are dealing with the symptoms of the society, showing them through the appropriate performative procedures. For this reason, public space, to us, becomes an equal performance space.
Maska Ljubljana is a non-profit organization dealing with contemporary arts and theory, research, experimental performing practices, interdisciplinary art and critical theory. With its events and content, it often sharply cuts into the cultural and political space.