These performances are part of the ETC International Theatre Conference & Young Europe IV Festival in Nova Gorica, from 17-21 April 2024.

You need to reserve your ticket for each performance in the registration form.

Young Europe IV Festival - Classroom Plays:

Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica Performances:

'Room Rumours' Classroom Performance © Arno Kohlem


by Young Europe IV playwright Matin Soofipour Omam

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Germany)

Wednesday 17 April 2024, 08:50 - 10:25 [Students Only]

Wednesday 17 April 2024, 14:00 - 15:30

Performance in German with English surtitling


In the beginning was the word. Which word? Who decides and who then speaks that word? In a classroom, the answer is usually simple: the teacher takes the floor, the class listens, speaks when being asked, and the curriculum determines the topics. In the process, many of the students' thoughts and questions remain unspoken.
With this interactive classroom play, Matin Soofipour Omam has invented a theatre game which sends two actors* and a class of students on a journey of discovery. They encounter stories that would otherwise have no place in a classroom, find common as well as their own languages, and thus create this play together.
Theatre-maker Matin Soofipour Omam has written an equally playful and poetic piece. She asks questions about power and responsibility, traces the effect of words and tells stories from her classroom. A play that was written especially for school classes and cannot be performed without them.

Written by Matin Soofipour Omam
Directed by Lydia Ziemke / suite42

Dramaturgy: Mona vom Dahl
Mentor: Dounia Mahammed
Costumes: Cennet Aydoğan
Theatre Pedagogy: Pascal Grupe
With Pascal Grupe/Hadeer Hando, Laman Leane Israfilova

Recommended for ages 12+

'(Surviving) The Substitute Lesson' Classroom Performance © Meilina Rudolf


by Young Europe IV playwright Emel Aydoğdu

Junges! Staatstheater Braunschweig (Germany)

Wednesday 17 April 2024, 08:50 - 10:25 [Students Only]

Wednesday 17 April 2024, 16:30 - 18:00

Performance in German with English surtitling


The substitute teacher introduces herself. Her own identity becomes the content of the lesson, due to a mysterious guest. What makes us who we are? How did we get that way? Young author Emel Aydoğdu writes for a teen audience. She writes about life from her perspective and explores the question of what language does to people, how people are shaped by society, and that sometimes the unsaid weighs heavier than the said.
Based on a personal story, something larger than one's own experience unfolds; written for a classroom, it takes place there as well. Here, different native languages meet, and in the foreground is a person who teaches, reports, portrays, and in the process discovers something for himself.

Written by Emel Aydoğdu
Directed by Nazlı Saremi
Dramaturgy: Josef Bäcker
Mentor: Patty Kim Hamilton
Stage & Costume Design: Shayenne Di Martino
With Mariam Avaliani, Luca Füchtenkordt

Recommended for ages 12+

'GUTZ' Classroom Performance © Elisa Von Brockdroff


by Young Europe IV playwrights Kurt Gabriel Meli & Alex Weenink

Teatru Malta (Malta)

Thursday 18 April 2024, 08:50 - 10:25 [Students Only]

Thursday 18 April 2024. 13:00 - 14:30

Performance in Maltese with English surtitling


Jack has been sneaking into his old high school all year. Why? Because the canteen’s sausage rolls are the best, obviously. That’s not the only reason. In those classrooms, Jack fell in love with James...before a big argument split them apart.
In those classrooms, Ms Stefania was building him up...all while Ms Ciangura was tearing him down. Jack has been sneaking into his old high school all year. Why? Because he’s wondering why he never had the guts to say what he needed to say in those fucking classrooms.
GUTZ is a coming-of-age classroom play for post-secondary schools (16+) that explores young people’s relationships with power, shame and the act of standing up and speaking out against the louder voices in our lives.

Written by Kurt Gabriel Meli & Alex Weenink
Directed by Chantelle Micallef Grimaud
Dramaturgy: Ruth Borg
Mentor: Dounia Mahammad
Education: Karl Cassar

Recommended for ages 16+

'What's Up!' Classroom Performance © Bara Podola


by Young Europe IV playwright Tereza Trusinová

Slovak National Theatre - Drama Ensemble (Slovakia)

Thursday 18 April 2024, 08:50 - 10:25 [Students Only]

Friday 19 April 2024, 17:30 - 19:00

Performance in Slovakian with English surtitling


"What are you coming up with today?"
One classroom, a bus to school, a therapeutic clinic, and two teenagers. Šimon and Zoja. Classmates. Besties. Their lives. Interwoven and separate. They have known each other for a long time. But do they know each other well? Themselves and each other? It's hard to say. They are beginning to think that perhaps not. What happens next, and what to do about it? Every person experiences a certain identity crisis in their youth. Adolescence is a struggle, a feeling of helplessness and uncertainty about the future.
Such moments can be quick and harmless, but they can also result in deeper mental health problems. It's important not to be afraid to ask for help when needed. After all, no one is alone.
The author based her play on interviews with several professional capacities but also on a field survey among people aged 14-17.

Written by Tereza Trusinová
Directed by Robert Roth
Dramaturgy: Mário Drgoňa
Mentor: Dino Pešut
Set & Costume: Jana Němečková
Cast: Alexandra Lukáčová, Kristóf Melecsky

Recommended for ages 14+


by Young Europe IV playwright Olya Voronkova

Belarus Free Theatre & Young Vic (Belarus/UK)

Thursday 18 April 2024, 11:05 -12:55 [Students Only]

Thursday 18 April 2024, 15:30 - 17:00

Performance in Belarusian with English surtitling


Dasha and Mikita meet at a refugee centre in Poland. They share a complex and fear-filled experience of fleeing from the horrors of war in Ukraine. Dasha can’t find her grandma, who went looking for their cat that ran away from the centre. Mikita steps in to help, marking the beginning of a relationship that unfolds in London where they both try to settle. Can one truly start a new life after losing everything?
The play examines the emotional and psychological challenges faced by young refugees, underscoring the importance of support systems in the healing process and highlighting the pervasive loneliness that often accompanies it. Their together is not just about finding a new life in London, but also about grappling with deep- seated trauma. Together, they navigate this challenging process, highlighting the ups and downs of coping and the fragile hope for recovery.

Written by Olya Voronkova
Directed by Shauchuk Yuliya
Dramaturgy: Nikolai Khalezin (BFT) & Teunkie van der Sluijs (Young Vic)
Assistant Director: Raman Shytsko
Cast: Taisa Piatrova, Raman Shlykau
Music composer: Volha Padhaiskaya
Mentor: Patty Kim Hamilton

Recommended for ages 16-18

'Little Stars' Classroom Performance © Peter Uhan


by Young Europe IV playwright Jaka Smerkolj Simoneti

Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica (Slovenia)

Thursday 18 April 2024, 11:05 -12:55 [Students Only]

Thursday 18 April 2024, 15:30 - 17:00

Performance in Slovenian with English surtitling


During the main break, after an uninspired lecture from the school psychologist Mrs. Kavka, an incident occurs between two high school students. At first glance, the circumstances seem unclear. Oto, a brilliant athlete, is left with a fractured orbital rim. Miki, a model student is the obvious culprit. Through their conversations and the conversations with the school psychologist, the background of the dispute is slowly revealed, and it goes beyond the mere eruption of teenage violence.
The play doesn’t thematise the violence itself, but searches for its causes: the feeling of powerlessness, peer bullying, body image issues, sexual identity, societal pressure, and similar.
Somewhere beyond the classrooms, hallways and school walls, an intimate relationship develops between Miki and Oto, one they perhaps never expected.
Caught between the expectations of others and their own desires they try to hold onto this island of freedom, convinced it would not survive the collision with the world. In doing so, they encounter those who were supposed to help them navigate, but who cannot come up with a thing more helpful than the mantra “little stars, little stars, help me.”

Written by Jaka Smerkolj Simoneti
Directed by Živa Bizovičar
Translation: Barbara Skubic
Dramaturgy: Nik Žnideršič
Mentor: Dino Pešut
Music: Gašper Lovrec
Stage Design & Video: Dorian Šiško
Cast: Marjuta Slamič, Gašper Lovrec, Jakob Šfiligoj

Recommended for ages 15+

'FAT' Classroom Performance © Theodora Iaokoboi


by Young Europe IV playwright Zoe Apostolidou

Cyprus Theatre Organisation (Cyprus)

Friday 19 April 2024, 08:50 - 10:25 [Students Only]

Friday 19 April 2024, 15:00 - 17:00

Performance in Greek with English surtitling


Frixos has been dealing with pressure in school and at home because of his weight, often hides behind screens to make friends, has to deal with his mom’s incessant comments and attempts to make him thin, and sometimes avoids going to places or doing things. He feels fine with himself, and his health is good, but this doesn’t seem to matter to others, who only see a fat person in him, with all the prejudices this entails (him being lazy, of bad health, disorganised etc.). What will this lead to?

Written by Zoe Apostolidou
Directed by Elena Sokratous
Dramaturgy: Marina Maleni & Kiki Argyrou
Mentors: Mohammad Al Attar

Recommended for ages 12-18

'Hassan & Moses' Classroom Performance © Jan Hoek


by Young Europe IV playwright Tomer Pawlicki

De Toneelmakerij (The Netherlands)

Friday 19 April 2024, 08:50 - 10:25 [Students Only]

Friday 19 April 2024, 17:30 - 19:00

Performance in Dutch with English surtitling


Hassan and Moses are best friends. At school, they have a ritual together. Every break, they go out for fries together at the cafeteria near school. Their gimmick is that Moses always
brings his own jar of mayonnaise, because it’s cheaper, and Hassan gladly joins in. One day, they make a TikTok showing how much this saves them in the long run and how many extra fries they can buy for it. Their video is a hit, and they go viral. They keep making TikToks, and call themselves the Mayo Brothers.

Written by Tomer Pawlicki
Directed by Timothy de Gilde
Translation: Purni Morell
Dramaturgy & Mentor: Paulien Geerlings
Mentor: Mohammad Al Attar
Education: Martien Langman

Recommended for ages 12+

Peter Uhan


by Shelagh Stephenson

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Saturday 20 April 2024

Small Stage

Performance in Slovenian with English surtitling

The murder of a father triggers a police investigation, a psychiatric evaluation and preparation for defence in a court trial. From the crime to the verdict, through fragments, a shattering history of a family, and, at the same time, the ruthlessness of the social and legal system that makes violence possible, opens. For three decades Billy, the father, Mary, the mother, and adult sisters Susan and Janet lived locked in the family circle of violent relationships. Through memories and descriptions of situations a story emerges – one of horrifying physical, psychological and sexual abuse that for years took place in silence: the silence of four family members and the silence of the world outside them.

Since the 1980s, contemporary playwrights have been studying the topic of child abuse and the silence of society intensively, deconstructing the form of the ideal family and warning that the abuse often becomes a behavioural pattern that passes from one generation to the other. Shelagh Stephesnson, English actress and playwright (with only one play thus far staged in Slovenian – The Memory of the Water at the Ljubljana City Theatre) wrote Five Kinds of Silence first as a radio play and won the UK Writers’ Guild Award for the Best Original Drama (1996) and Sony Radio Best Play Award (1997). Some years later, the stage version premiered at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. The first Slovenian staging of this tense family drama will be directed by Maša Pelko, a prominent member of the youngest generation of Slovenian directors, for whom this will be a Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica debut.

Director Maša Pelko
Translator Irena Duša Draž
Dramaturg Tereza Gregorič
Choreographer and Assistant to Director Klemen Janežič
Language Consultant Anja Pišot
Set Designer Sara Slivnik
Costume Designer Tina Bonča
Composer Mateja Starič
Light Designer Uroš Gorjanc
Expert Counsellors Tanja Pipan, Maja Plaz, Jasna Podreka, Polona Selič - Zupančič
Cast Ivana Percan Kodarin, Anuša Kodelja k. g., Marjuta Slamič

© Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica


by Henrik Ibsen

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Small Stage

Performance in Slovenian with English surtitling

Professor Arnold Rubek, a sculptor, and his wife Maia have been together for some years, but don’t feel real affection towards each other. Theirs is a boring life which they try to energise with summer travels, this time, with a voyage along the coast. The professor once promised his wife that he would take her to the mountaintop so she could see the entire world in its beauty, but that has not happened. Their life is turned upside down when, while they’re waiting in the summer resort for their ship to leave, Maia meets an eccentric bear hunter and landowner Ulfheim and Rubek meets Irene, who for several years was the model for his masterpiece The Ressurection Day. During that time, Rubek and Irene became very close, but just before the sculpture was finished, Irene unexpectedly and inexplicably left him.

The classical piece by the giant of the world drama Henrik Ibsen digs through the pain of the unfulfilled life, unmet dreams, and unachieved emotional, creative and spiritual goals and ponders if perhaps we might be given a second chance once it seems to be too late for everything and we, while weighing different loves, perhaps made a wrong decision. The successful Bulgarian director Stiliyn Petrov, known for his specific poetics and the close attention he gives to actors’ work, will debut in Slovenia by putting this rarely produced play on the Nova Gorica stage.

Director Stiliyan Petrov
Translator Darko Čuden
Dramaturg Ana Kržišnik Blažica
Language Consultant Anja Pišot
Set Designer Darjan Mihajlović Cerar
Costume Designer Alan Hranitelj
Composer Branko Rožman
Light Designer Marko Vrkljan
Sound Designer Gašper Torkar
Interpreters at Rehearsals Ljudmil Dimitrov, Eva Šprager, Matej Tratnik
Cast Gorazd Jakomini, Arna Hadžialjević, Blaž Valič, Helena Peršuh

Edgar de Poray


by Marko Bratuš & Haris Pašović

Thursday 18 April 2024, 20:00 - 22:45

Big Stage

This performance is an international co-production between five ETC Member Theatres: Teatru Malta, JK Opole Theatre, Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica, Fondazione Teatro Due, National Theatre of Kosovo

A colourful panel of judges find themselves sitting on a jury for a pan-European theatre festival, based on the Eurovision Song Contest, and are tasked with selecting the best European theatre production. The task seems easy enough, however, the judges come from all over, each with their own view of theatre, each from their own social context and a fully formed opinion – and their opinions are additionally faced with attempts to be steered: by the festival director and by the highest European political powers. When, in this mess, it seems that the situation could not get more confusing, added to the mix are a tragic piece of news, a corruption affair, police, and the furious striking theatre audience. From the point of view of the judges – who each represent a key aspect of theatre (actors, directors, critics, experts, writers, and theatre managers) – the production confronts the modern trends in theatre and shakes the attitude towards the creators, profit, audience and other topical and pertinent themes, such as the #MeToo movement, ecology, political theatre and entertainment.

The idea for the international project was born in the Maribor Theatre Festival jury where two of the judges were Norbert Rakowski, director of JK Opole Theatre, Poland, and Bosnian director Haris Pašević. While working on the jury they were toying with the idea of how to use the dilemmas the festival judges encountered to discuss the situation of the theatre in Europe today. With the help of the ETC theatre network, this production connects five Member Theatres in creating this project that will each participate with two actors, one expert and the postproduction of the performance in their city.

This project is supported by an ETC Development Grant

Director Haris Pašović
Marko Bratuš
Dramaturg Sean BuhagiarLanguage
Consultant Philip Leone-Ganado
Composer Trimor Dhomi
Costume and Set Designer Krystian Szymczak
Choreographer Robert Nuha
Light Designer Branislav Milinković
Video Designer Dino Hujić
Assistant to Director Aleksander Dulak
Cast Paola De Crescenzo, Ana Facchini, Davide Gagliardini, Ibrahim Koma, May-Linda Kosumovic, Weronika Kozakowska, Małgorzata Kowalska, Philip Leone-Ganado, Felix Römer, Gianni Selvaggi, Armend Smajli, Błażej Stencel

© Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica


by William Shakespeare

Friday 19 April 2024

Big Stage

Performance in Slovenian with English surtitling

This version of Shakespeare’s classical comedy about two pairs of lovers with different views on infatuation will focus on the conflict created when men return from the war after a long time and find at home the women who, during that time, got used to living without men – self-determination, independence, freedom. They are therefore no longer willing to concede the power to them and this is where new reasons for entertaining altercations begin, in which despite everything, as always and at all times, affection and love win, because men and women cannot exist without each other.

William Shakespeare’s comedy, one of the most beautiful in the treasury of world comedy, adapted to the contemporary spirit of emancipation and female energy which is emerging in every field, will be put on the Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica stage by Ivana Djilas, known for her musical theatre spectacles, which this production also promises to be.

Director Ivana Djilas


ETC International Theatre Conferences

Next Conference in partnership with Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica, 17-21 April 2024

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