Mladinsko Theatre


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Slovensko mladinsko gledališče Ljubljana (SMG)
Vilharjeva 11, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 300 4900
Fax386 (0) 1 300 4901
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Founded byMunicipality of Ljubljana
Tibor Mihelič Syed, Director
Phone386 (0) 1 300 4906
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Goran Injac, Artistic Director
Phone386 (0) 1 300 4905
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Tomaž Toporišič, Dramaturg
Phone386 (0) 300 4916
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Tina Malič, Consultant
Phone386 (0) 300 4917
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Helena Grahek, Public Relations and Marketing
Phone386 (0)1 300 4908, 386 (0) 51 360 400
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Mladinsko Theatre

Past Events

Mladinsko Theatre 2010 Preklet naj bo izdajalec svoje domovine 02 Photo Ziga Koritnik.jpg

Mladinsko Theatre (Slovensko mladinsko gledališče or SGM) is one of two municipal theatres in Ljubljana and is considered to be a laboratory for actors and directors, choreographers and musicians to research and develop, risk and create. Throughout its history, Mladinsko has collaborated with the reformers of the Slovene theatre of the second half of the 20th century. Mladinsko Theatre's recent premières were: Sarah Kane's text Crave [Sla] directed by Vito Taufer, and a stage adaptation of Anthony Burgess' cult novel A Clockwork Orange [Peklenska pomaranča], directed by Matjaž Pograjc, both house stage directors of Mladinsko Theatre. The theatre regularly tours worldwide and was awarded the title European Ambassador of Culture by European Commission in 2008.



Mladinsko Theatre was established in 1955 as the first professional theatre for children and youth in Slovenia. Although Mladinsko Theatre's productions of its first decade aimed at younger audiences with the stagings of adaptations of classical as well as domestic youth literature, the theatre's first director Balbina Battelino Baranovič (who established in 1955 also the first experimental theatre in Slovenia, introducing the theatre-in-the-round principle) succeeded to professionalise the theatre's activities and also include into the theatre's programme productions intended for a wider audience. Thus in the 1960s and 70s, Mladinsko collaborated with distinguished Slovene directors, such as Mile Korun, Dušan Jovanović, etc., in which time its productions and actors were gaining wide recognition, exemplified also by several prominent awards. For example, Mile Korun's staging of Aurand Harris's Androcles and the Lion [Androkles in lev] (1973) brought to the theatre the first Borštnik Award for best performance in 1973.

In the 1980s Mladinsko Theatre initiated a unique interdisciplinary stage research and its productions (Victims of the Bang Bang Fashion [Žrtve mode bum-bum] (1975), Missa in a minor [Maša v a molu] (1980), The Class Enemy [Razredni sovražnik] (1982), Romeo and Juliet – Commentaries [Romeo in Julija – komentarji] (1983), The Persians [Peržani] (1980), Anna [Ana] (1984), etc.) were widely acclaimed during the 1980s for their political engagement as well as for their innovative approach to mise-en-scène. The performance Victims of the Bang Bang Fashion, directed by Dušan Jovanović, who was the artistic director of Mladinsko Theatre in the 1980s, put Mladinsko Theatre on the international map of experimental theatres.

However, the complete aesthetic break was brought about with the performance Missa in A Minor, directed by Ljubiša Ristić, who staged an original montage of Danilo Kiš's text A Tomb for Boris Davidovich with fragments from political texts of Lenin, Trotsky, Proudhon, Bakunin, etc., thus departing from the traditional relation between the literary text and theatre. This gesture constituted a new understanding of theatre and proved to be decisive for the general orientation of Mladinsko Theatre in the future. By the end of the 1980s, Mladinsko Theatre production took a turn from making subversive, director-oriented theatre to making theatre by deconstructing modernist theatre traditions, a transition that was most notably epitomised by Vito Taufer's dramatisation of Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland [Alica v čudežni deželi] (1986), which combined the apparently incompatible: childlike sensibility and daredevil theatre experimentation.

The production of the 1990s was marked by spectacle and intimacy, the aesthetic radicality approached the post-modernist theatre of images, while Mladinsko Theatre continued to work with stage directors whose dialogue with dramatic texts and personal poetics was inventive and avant-garde (Matjaž Pograjc, Vito Taufer). The last turn in Mladinsko Theatre production was introduced at the turn of the 21st century by the youngest generation of directors (Diego de Brea, Tomi Janežič, Jernej Lorenci), who again brought to the focus the dramatic text. In its productions, Mladinsko Theatre continues to thematise the universal paradoxes of civilisation, its programme being founded in problematisations of new times and spaces.

In 2006 Mladinsko Theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary, publishing an illustrated book about its history, entitled Has the Future Already Arrived? [Ali je prihodnost že prišla] (in English and in Slovenian editions).

Youth programme

Mladinsko in English means "youth". However, although the theatre has outgrown its primary role while keeping the name, Mladinsko Theatre has always included performances for children in its programme. These productions have met with great success and have toured extensively in Slovenia and abroad, winning also a number of Slovene and international awards. Vito Taufer's Alice in Wonderland [Alica v čudežni deželi] (1986) received the Golden Laurel Wreath Award at the 1988 MESS Festival in Sarajevo, his staging of Pippi [Pika] (1998) received the Silver Laurel Wreath Award for best children performance at the same festival in 2008 (after 10 strong years in the repertory). Pippi, based on Astrid Lindgren's beloved Pippi Longstocking character, also won three Little Golden Stick Awards at the Golden Stick Festival in 1999 for Best Performance, Best Actress (to Janja Majzelj) and Special Award of the Jury (to Ivan Rupnik).

Besides stagings of classical children stories, such as Snow White and Seven Dwarfs [Sneguljčica in sedem palčkov] (2003), which was selected as the best performance of 2005 in the Bologna-based Teatri di Vita, and Kekec (2004), based on the Slovene story about the adventurous, courageous, and kind shepherd Kekec, Mladinsko also stages performances for young adult audiences, most recently Mark Ravenhill's Totally Over You [Kok ti men zdej dol visiš] (2007).

Since 2009, Mladinsko co-organises the Ljubljana-based festival of children education in culture and the arts called Bobri (in English: Beavers), featuring a number of theatre and music performances, a film programme, and workshops for children.


Mladinsko Theatre prepares around five new productions each year, some of them in co-operation with guest directors and in co-production with independent producers. Mladinsko's productions include adaptations of classical and contemporary texts (from Shakespeare's The Tempest [Vihar] (2008) to Tena Štivičić's Fragile! (2005) or Sarah Kane's Blasted (2008) and Crave (2009) as well as projects by guest directors such as Dragan Živadinov or a puppetry author Silvan Omerzu, and directing projects by actors of Mladinsko Ivan Peternelj, Neda Rusjan Bric and Janja Majzelj.

The 2009/10 season, entitled "Art, Eros, Hope", presented six premières: a project by the uncompromising Croatian director Oliver Frljić and five texts (two of them commissioned by Mladinsko Theatre) staged for the first time in Slovenia. Vito Taufer presented his twenty-first direction in Mladinsko Theatre, namely Crave [Sla] by Sarah Kane, Ivan Peternelj's project Amado mio by Pier Paolo Pasolini inspired by the novel, Vinko Möderndorfer directed the new play Šumi by the late Peter Božič, a presentation of socially marginalised characters in the now-demolished Ljubljana café in which artists and philosophers used to gather, and Ivica Buljan presented his adaptation of Marina Tsvetaeva's The Swain [Vampir].

Since 2007 the Mladinsko Theatre runs its own festival called Overflight International Theatre Festival: an overview of Mladinsko Theatre productions quite soon became an international manifestation with selected performances from abroad.

International cooperation

Mladinsko Theatre regularly makes guest performances at international festivals worldwide (Nancy, Hamburg, Belgrade, London, Moscow, Essen, Cardiff, Lisbon, Madrid, Bogota, New York) and also hosts selected performances from other countries. Its most acclaimed performances have included Alice in Wonderland, Drama Observatory Zenith, Scheherezade, Roberto Zucco, Miss Juliet, Silence Silence Silence, Queen Margot, Fragile! and The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Damned be the traitor of his homeland! by O.Frljić was presented at the International Small Scene Theatre Festival in Rijeka and at the Days of Satire festival at the Kerempuh Satirical Theatre in Zagreb, Croatia in 2010, and at the Perforations Festival at La MaMa Theatre, New York City, at the Nová dráma Festival in Bratislava, the Sterijino pozorje festival, Novi Sad, and the Stage, Helsinki Theatre Festival.


The Mladinsko Theatre is found in Ljubljana's Bežigrad neighbourhood, occupying a part of Slovene architect Jože Plečnik's unfinished Akademski kolegij which was intended to be the Baraga Seminary. The theatre incorporates two venues – the Upper Hall (Zgornja dvorana) and the Lower Hall (Spodnja dvorana), however, some of Mladinsko performances are also held at the Old Post building in immediate vicinity of the theatre.

Upper Hall (Zgornja dvorana)

  • Type of venue: multi-purpose hall
  • main use: theatre, puppetry, film, music
  • seating: 275 seats total
  • proscenium opening: 8m W x 4.4m H
  • performing area: 9m W x 12m D x 4.4m H flat wooden stage floor, suitable for dance
  • forestage: 2m D
  • wing spaces: 2m W SR, 2m W SL
  • soft hangings: black house curtain, black tabs, legs and borders
  • lighting: Euro system lighting desk, 500-1000W beamers
  • sound: Euro system mixer, power amplifiers and loudspeakers
  • stage equipment: 35mm projection equipment, cinema screen, technical staff available
  • backstage: dressing rooms for 40 persons total
  • climate control: air-conditioning
  • availability: available for hire

Lower Hall (Spodnja dvorana)

  • Type of venue: multi-purpose hall (non-conventional space)
  • main use: theatre, puppetry, film, music
  • seating: 200 seats total
  • performing area: 8m W x 25m D x 3.15-4.47m H, flat stage floor suitable for dance
  • wing spaces: 2m W SR, 2m W SL
  • soft hangings: black house curtain, black tabs, legs and borders
  • lighting: Euro system lighting desk, 500-1000W beamers
  • sound: Euro system mixer, power amplifiers and loudspeakers
  • stage equipment: 35mm projection equipment, cinema screen, technical staff available
  • backstage: dressing rooms for 20 persons total
  • climate control: air-conditioning
  • availability: available for hire

See also

External links

International cooperation


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