The Primorska Summer Festival is an international theatre festival that takes place throughout the coastal region of Slovenia and occasionally also in Italy and Croatia. Launched in 1993, the festival was co-produced by the Primorska Summer Festival Association. Since 2003, the festival has been managed by the Koper Theatre.
Primorska Summer Festival takes place both indoors, in various performance venues (Arrigoni Izola, Georgius Centre in Piran) as well as outdoors (Valdoltra Beach in Ankaran), utilising the town squares and other ambient-rich locations of the region.
In 2020, the international "PPF Youth" festival section is launched with six international theatre academies invited to present their creations.
During its first decade – when the Koper Theatre was yet non-existent – the Primorska Summer Festival was the only platform for presenting recent productions by Slovenian repertory theatres to the audiences of the Slovenian coastal region. As such, the festival is in a way the theatre's predecessor.
The festival was co-produced by the Primorska Summer Festival Association in partnership with Koper Theatre, the Slovene Permanent Theatre in Trieste and Teatro Miela in Trieste/Trst. Today, partners include Teatro Verdi, Muggia Teatro, Kino Otok - Isola Cinema Festival, Tartini Festival and the Italian Community in Koper-Capodistria.
Since its inception, the festival has hosted a huge number of theatre performances, many of them its own productions, an enterprise that has been the festival's staple since its beginning. Alongside the theatre shows, the festival presents concerts, musicals and even operas.
The festival cooperates with various theatres from the littoral region, some of them coming from neighbouring towns in Italy and Croatia. These collaborations range from staging invited performances to producing entirely new works, many even multilingual as befits the character of the region. The festival has also incubated various NGO endeavours, like those of Lutkarnica - Koper Puppetry Studio.
Sometimes, the programme is conceived somewhat thematically; in one of the years, for instance, the festival was dedicated to Molière. Various takes on Molière's plays were staged throughout the festival, also taking place at the Slovene National Theatre Maribor. In 2017, the festival co-hosted a show with the Maribor-based Lent Festival.
Besides presenting its own works and those of Slovenian repertory theatres, one of the festival's prime focuses is that of showcasing new works produced in the Balkan region.
More and more, the festival is reaching into other artistic fields, also inviting musicians and screening films.
In 2020, a new section of the festival is launched: six theatre academies of the ex-Yugoslav region, Great Britain and the Czech Republic present their productions during four days in July. The academy performances presented at the Koper Theatre are accompanied by panel discussions with the aim of sharing knowledge, getting to know new theatre practices and poetics emerging in the region.