The thirteenth edition of the International Theater Festival SKUPIFESTIVAL, like most of the editions so far, goes without dedicating itself to a particular concept, but with open opportunities for participants to choose their plays. In this way it is a kind of opening up of different possibilities for the audience to choose what they want to watch. This year, the festival was declared open by the Minister of Culture in the Government of the RSM, Husni Ismaili, highlighting that this event is another pebble in the mosaic of cultural events in the country, an opportunity to get acquainted with what is happening in the field of the theater and in other countries and environments as well.
This year guests of the festival were drama artists from Kosovo, Bulgaria, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia. On the first festival night, the National Theater of Kosovo from Prishtina performed the play of Spiro Chomora’s “Carnivals of Korca”, directed by Altin Basha. The guests from Prishtina filled the stage with a lot of serenity, with the play intertwining and complementing the domestic drama and renaissance comedy (“Comedy del Art”) with beautiful and striking acting creations, with a functional scenic frame and particularly colorful and sumptuous costumes. The above-mentioned elements successfully capture the carnival atmosphere, this time tied to Korca, but with features that have far more universal meaning and messages.
The Theater “Vazrajdane” from Sofia presented a chamber version of Chekhov’s anthological work, Uncle Vanyo, proving that there are no boundaries when it comes to drama classics. It is interesting to see how the complex and delicate relationships of the characters in this play compress themselves in a very small space, without “suffering” from excessive proximity and restriction of movement. On the contrary, it could be argued that such an arrangement reduced the ability to disperse the energy flowing from the stage and its concentration. Clear and concise. Despite the healing cast creations, here remains the dilemma surrounding the casting, but it remains in the realm of the directorial concept… The Theater “U Mosta” from Perm, Russia – another frequent guest and participant of the festival, this time performed the play “The Lonesome West” by renowned Irish world-renowned author Martin McDonagh. The director Sergey Fedotov shows a rather original reading of McDonagh’s play that correlates and connects / links between the past and the present. In fact, their performance seems to show that the processes taking place in the modern global world erase the differences between the West and the East, and we all become captives of the same (fatal) dehumanization and deconstruction.
The world of McDonagh and the Theater “U Mosta” are on the same line to present these global processes precisely through the destinies of the small, lost, frightened, often desperate individuals whom they are ultimately unaware of and unaware of what happens to them. Hence the comic scenes and the black humor dominate the play. The overwhelming impression that this performance suggests is that, as the world rushes to its collapse, to breakthrough, misery and the end of civilization … The ontological loneliness of the individual is only a small warning sign that the future for the world and for us will not be good!
The Pocket Theater Studio from Ljubljana, Slovenia performed the monodrama “Ibsen’s Women”, directed by Nick Upper, and performed by Mirel Knez. It was a nice and cute rendezvous for an instant encounter with Ibsen’s work. This encounter alludes to the fact that it is through the female characters in his plays that he raises an avalanche of reactions in his time and initiates a wave of changes in dramatic literature and pushing boundaries. It is about bringing down the various dominant taboo topics that have dominated society and the process of feminism is starting to take off. The guest drama artists from Slovenia in a very rational way and with minimal means achieve maximum effect. Mirel Knez is extremely subtle and extremely suggestive through her creation. Her strength is in the simplicity and strict dosage of everything she does on the stage. She captivates, both with her appearance and with her diction, with her lyrical intonation … Simply, she dances on stage as she transfers between longing, fantasies, despair…
“Kiri and Klodel” by the Puls Theater from Belgrade, conceived as a stylistic exercise with dramatic consequences in its entirety, brings a concept of a kind of self-referential theater and performance to the directions that besides the title roles are also played by the Didacticists (because the truth is always in the brackets), and the place and time of the action are also as original, as experimental, and most metaphorical and symbolic: the wall-facing void is the place, and Time is the wall-raising ?! However, the good intentions and fulfillment of this intriguing theater act remain halfway. The performance is modest, indistinct, “lukewarm” to shine and leave significant traces in the clash between Faith and Revolution. Unfortunately, only the theses in remain, and no more relevant theatrical act.
With its fluidly directed handwriting and condensed acting, the psychological drama “Night, Mother” by the Metropol Theater from Tirana, becomes a strong, powerful and striking theatrical play that raises questions about the place and role of the woman in contemporary society. It is a realistic presentation without “embellishing” things that have a significant impact on the other segments, music, scenery and costumes. In a nutshell, it is a representation of the fatal moment when “the light goes out!” Darkness and the end. Distressed and fierce in its simplicity and suggestiveness. The jury, that was contained by Ujka Mujo from Albania, and Emin Azemi and Borche Nachev from Macedonia, brought the decision, the best play on the 13th edition of SKUPIFESTIVAL to be named the play “Carnivals of Korca” by Spiro Chomora, directed by Altin Basha, and produced by the National Theater of Kosovo from Pristina; In addition, the Jury gave two special recognitions to Theater “Vazrajdane” from Sofia for the performance of “Uncle Vanyo” by Chekhov and also to the actor Vasiliy Skidanov for the role in the play “The Lonesome West” by Martin McDonagh, directed by Sergey Fedotov and produced by the Theater “U Mosta” from Perm, Russia.
The festival ended with the performance of the play “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” by the Theater Comedy from Skopje, in honor of the winners.