STAGES Forum 2023
STAGES Forum 2023
STAGES Forum 2023 at Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb between 20-21 November

Between 20-21 November 2023, the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb will host the STAGES Forum.

Download the programme booklet


Monday 20 November 2023

  • Arbajt: Meantime, Between Failures (Sound Studio)

Collective Arbajt was invited to implement the so-called “local production” as part of the STAGES project. Their practice works with the idea of the (un)sustainability of the collective as a format of artistic activity, with the sustainability of collective non-institutional activity, thought and work.

They are also focused on the issue of invisible artistic work, giving the audience a glimpse of the creation of the show from the moment when there is not a single component of the performance (performer, technique, sound...) on stage until the moment when all components are jointly built into a multi-layered performance in which sound, body, light are built in parallel and intertwined into a complex system of performance - all in front of the viewer's eyes.

  • Maja Marković: Evacuation Signaling (Mezzanine)

Maja Marković is an award-winning artist from Zagreb who, through her artistic practice, explores space and interprets it through drawing, which she expands into multi-part and complex installations.

She was invited as a visual artist to specially design a multi-part spatial installation for this project - evacuation signage - as a series of environments made of bent photographs of the transformation of the state of the Croatian National Theatre throughout history, with a special emphasis on the period of reconstruction of the theatre led by architect Božidar Rašica.

  • Group For New Folk Practices: Mouthing of The People (Foyer)

Wailing, as a practice of oral culture, was widespread in traditional communities of various parts of the world - especially in the Mediterranean and Balkan regions, but it was known to almost all Europeans.

As a ritual practice related to post-mortem-funeral customs, wailing had magical, social and psychological functions. Until the introduction of the taboo of death, suppression and the prohibition of public expression of grief, the soul of the deceased was properly sent to the other world by mourning, and the bereaved and the wider community were helped to express their common loss.

  • Nataša Antulov: A Natural Monologue (Foyer)

Human is built from non-human components and is in direct kinship with non-humans. The lungs are an evolved swim bladder. There are more bacteria than "human components" in us. And yet when an actress says that she acts "naturally" it has little to do with her bacteria.

This performance material questions the concept of "natural" in the performing arts, starting with Diderot's discussion of naturalness acting, over naturalism and realism and all conceptions of the natural in contemporary theatre.

  • Mihael Giba: Sunny With The Possibility of Robbery (Hallways + Mezzanine)

Through the project “Sunny with the possibility of robbery” Mihael Giba started collecting data in 2010 as a reaction to weather forecasts that, in addition to the classic forecast, also contain a biometeorological segment, i.e. they predict the health and emotional state of citizens during the coming days.

As part of the project, Giba created an application that collects data from the Zagreb Police Department on crime in Zagreb. For each event, the police publish the time, location and type of crime, and Giba's application, based on this data, also collects data from the Meteorological and Hydrological Institute of Croatia on the weather conditions at the time of the crime at the location of the crime. Based on the weather forecast and police statistics, the application forecasts the probability of crime in certain Zagreb neighbourhoods.

Statistical air temperature values become the field of a new imaginary.

  • Nikolina Rafaj: Terrain in a Fictional Space (Buffet)

The score "Terrain in a fictional space" offers a series of instructions for research to the audience during the evacuation route, instructions that become a new work as impromptu documentation. We live in a time of systematic performances of contradictions. When they reach their peak, conflict emerges and society takes action to change what feeds the contradiction. Contradictions that function almost like images can be cut out of their original contexts and placed together to produce a new image. How can contradictions, instead of becoming something that suspends/stops – paralyzes action due to the impossibility of taking a position, become a creative "force" that generates something new?

This work in progress is completely out of our control, and the results depend on the individual way of understanding the research steps.

  • Sanja Gergorić, Miodrag Gladović: Leave no one behind (Buffet: exit)

Gergorić and Giba are presenting a light installation in which the audience activates the light to pass through the corridor through a microphone and their own voice. The authors of the installation will react to the space of HNK Zagreb and the dramaturgical conception of Forum Stages. For the scene of the working title "Leave No One Behind", the presented installation will create tension when "pulling" the audience out of the darkness.


Tuesday 21 November 2023

  • Senka Božić Vrbančić: The Anthropological Game

The anthropological game is a model by which the audience analyses the habitat of the Forum — evacuation routes, navigated through associative maps, with the aim of creating new imaginaries of the future. The goal of this game is to look critically at the issue of "creation and production" in the context of the social atmosphere of everyday life marked by major global crises (climate change, economic crisis, migrant crisis...).

  • Anna Javoran: Jérôme Bel

The play Jérôme Bel is part of the European project STAGES (Sustainable Theater Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift) and is based on the performance score of the French dancer and choreographer Jérôme Bel as a result of rethinking the concept of sustainability both at the content and production levels. The show travels so that in the partner countries of the project it will be staged again with a local team, as well as in the local language, and in the Croatian version it will be performed by Anna Javoran, a dance artist, choreographer and dramaturg.

  • The Institute for Political Ecology: Doghnut

The Institute for Political Ecology will present its doughnut research on the sustainability of the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb, which they are working on as part of the STAGES (Sustainable Theater Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift) project.