Maribor Theatre Festival


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Contact info
Festival Borštnikovo srečanje
Slovenska 27, SI-2000 Maribor
Phone386 (0) 2 250 6227, 386 (0) 2 250 6100
Fax386 (0) 2 250 6228
Organised bySlovene National Theatre Maribor
Festival dates15.10.2015 - 25.10.2015
14.10.2016 - 23.10.2016
20.10.2017 - 29.10.2017
19.10.2018 - 28.10.2018
14.10.2019 - 27.10.2019
Aleš Novak, Festival Director
Daša Šprinčnik, Producer and Public Relations
Phone386 (0) 2 250 6148, 386 (0) 31 342 178
Špela Lešnik, International Programme Producer
Phone386 (0) 41 743 485
Online accounts:
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Borštnik Theatre Festival - 2010 - 16.jpg

Every Autumn since 1966, various Slovene theatres have met in Maribor at the Maribor Theatre Festival (its Slovene name being Boršnikovo srečanje), organised by and held at the Slovene National Theatre Maribor. This most prestigious theatre event is the largest annual review of Slovene theatre production. The festival awards the Borštnik Ring, the highest accolade for theatre actors in Slovenia, further Borštnik Awards are bestowed for best achievements in directing, acting, and other categories.

Since 2011 the festival publishes a Contemporary European Drama collection, comprising a number of selected cutting edge plays translated into Slovenian.


The festival took place for the first time in 1966 under the name Slovene Drama Week and was re-named Borštnik Meeting in 1972 (today its Slovene name still being Boršnikovo srečanje, but it has lately come to be known as the Maribor Theatre Festival in English). Prior to 1990 the festival was also held in other Slovene towns; in the 90s there were several unsuccessful attempts to move the festival from Maribor to Ljubljana. Until 1992 all professional Slovene theatres presented at least one production at the festival's competition programme, with independent productions appearing only in the off-programme. Subsequently, the selection became more rigorous, including only the most representative theatre productions. The 1990s saw the protest of numerous independent theatre producers and makers, arguing that with the festival's existing conceptually-closed orientation, it did not present the actual theatre production nor acknowledge the variety of aesthetics, poetics, approaches, and procedures.

On its 45th anniversary the festival was reorganised and internationalised. In addition to the selected Slovene performances by repertory theatres from Maribor, Ljubljana, Nova Gorica, Celje, Kranj, Ptuj, Koper, and Trieste, as well as by a few independent theatre producers, the festival's programme features also international performances. A special Showcase selection is addressed to international professionals who participate also in debates and symposia.

Since 1994, the selector of the festival has been given a two-year mandate. The jury usually comprises four to five persons (critics, directors, writers, theoreticians, artists, etc.). The Borštnik Ring Award recipient is selected by a different jury.

The festival is named after Ignacij Borštnik (1858–1919), director, actor, playwright, translator, and the founder of the Slovene artistic theatre. He was the first Slovene theatre director in the modern sense of the word, and a master craftsman of the most demanding roles, especially from turn-of-the-century modernist realism.


Each year, around 10 new performances are presented in the selected competition programme of the Maribor Theatre Festival. These stagings compete for the following Borštnik Awards: best performance, best director, best actor, best young actor, other achievements (set design, costume design, light design, musical score, and other artistic categories), plus a special jury award. At the festival an award of the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia for best performance is presented, too.

The accompanying non-competitive programme consists of interesting performances of the previous season, often created by a younger generation of authors, whose innovative approaches to making work challenge the established concepts and boundaries of theatre.

A selector and the festival director select also a dozen of Slovene performances for the Showcase for international professionals, a programme showcasing mostly established theatre makers and companies.

The Bridges section presents invited international performances, whereas the Focus programme section devotes special attention to playwriting and theatre of a selected country.

Maribor Theatre Festival presents also the annual young production of the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT).

International symposia and conferences

Each year the festival cooperates closely with the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia in the organisation of conferences, symposia, round tables, workshops, seminars, and talks, dedicated to relevant topics, such as festival production, criticism, dramaturgy, archiving, intercultural exchange, etc. The festival has also hosted several international symposia and conferences, which were prepared with international partners, such as the International Theatre Institute (ITI) or the international network of theatre critics AICT/IATC.


Digital collections (photo galleries) presenting outstanding authors (e.g. actors who won the Borštnik Ring Award) were compiled by the Slovenian Theatre Institute in collaboration with Novi zato, Prodok teater TV, Slovene theatre houses and regional archives. Further digital galleries present some recent Grand Prix performances, referential documentary photos, video and audio excerpts thus being accessible to wide public on the - Slovene theatre portal.

Contemporary European Drama book collection

To open the communication and bridge the gap with the international space, the festival has decided to devote special attention to the playwriting and theatre of a selected country. To this purpose, the Contemporary European Drama book collection has been launched in 2011, which has thus far brought translations of contemporary plays written by authors coming from Finland, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Holland, Spain, and Slovakia. The Focus programme features discussions with the playwrights, staged readings (by the students of the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT)), lectures, etc. as well as hosts performances from a selected country.

See also

External links


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