Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, University of Ljubljana

Minute Drama

An international project


22.06.2021, Tuesday / 18:00 / Small stage /

Running time 60 minutes. No intermission.
Post-performance discussion with the awarded authors and the creators.

Project leader Žanina Mirčevska

Director Luka Marcen 
Dramaturge Urša Majcen
Set designer Sara Slivnik
Costume designer Ana Janc
Composer Martin Vogrin
Movement assistant Aja Zupanec

Gaja Filač, Lara Fortuna, Filip Mramor, Gal Oblak

The members of the jury (Eva Mahkovic, Zala Dobovšek, Tomaž Toporišič, Blaž Lukan, Benjamin Zajc and Jakob Ribič) have read all 25 texts. In doing so, we can happily note that the number of received texts has significantly increased since last year. Below we share our observations on this year's competition and the justifications for the prizes.

Helena Šukljan
The End
Akademija za gledališče, radio, film in televizijo Univerze v Ljubljani
Mentor red. prof. mag. Žanina Mirčevska

Filip Gažo
A suicide note
Janáčkova akademija uprizoritvenih umetnosti, Gledališka fakulteta v Brnu (CZ)

Tomáš Ráliš
Who's there?
Akademija uprizoritvenih umetnosti v Pragi, Gledališka akademija DAMU (CZ)
Mentor prof. dr. Jan Vedral

The tradition of short plays (ranging from the futuristic synthesis, Fluxus scores (instructions for performers) to Beckett's famous play Breath) aims for the short format to encourage authors to utilize more daring and innovative approaches to the dramatic form. We believe that the short form allows authors more experimentation with dramatic writing and its laws. Contrary to expectations, however, most of the texts were written and structured in a classical, predominantly dialogical form, and did not enter into a dialogue with the format itself. Despite this, some received texts did exceed the traditional framework of playwriting, but there were also quite a few of those that stood out within the otherwise traditional dramatic structure. We highlight and honour three texts as particularly successful;

The first prize is awarded to the text The End, in which the author (with painstaking decimal precision) unfolds the timeline of our planet’s history (from the big bang up to today) and in a dystopian fashion, terminates it at its destruction. The text, written in an inventive and multi-layered form of playwriting has a great staging and potential, since it lends itself to different and more ambitious staging procedures. In addition, the text also boasts a courageous and clearly expressed critical attitude; furthermore, the author's decision to inscribe the density of the entire earth's history into a short, one-minute dramatic form is highlighted as extremely imaginative and productive.

The second prize is awarded to the text A Suicide Note, in which the author writes the story of a father who is reading a farewell letter on his birthday. At the last moment he is caught by his family; it turns out that this is just an annual ritual for him: the text had been written in his youth, each birthday he reads it as a reminder for himself. The text’s surprising unfolding is written in a skilful and subtle manner that makes the reader unsure whether the father's explanation is true or not; thus, leaving room for different interpretations. We especially emphasize the well-chosen dramatic situation (birthday party), which succeeds in thickening the atmosphere of the text and dynamizing its course (death and the celebration of life are separated by only a few seconds).

The third prize is awarded to the text Who's there?, in which protagonists are feeling from a threat across a river. The author does not determine who exactly the protagonists are (they are referred to only as "He" and "She") which makes it possible to interpret the text in various ways, including those with implicit political connotations. The author is distinguished by a refined style a with poeticized type of expression which creates an effective contrast with the otherwise intense dramatic atmosphere. The stage directions mostly focus on describing sounds, which makes the masterful and rich sound design really stand out. This decision points to as many different ways of staging the text as possible.

Minute Drama <em>Photo: Artyom Kabajev, Unsplash</em>
Photo: Artyom Kabajev, Unsplash