Subotica International Festival of Children's Theatres Subotica International Festival of Children's Theatres

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25 september 2020

The 27th International Children's Theater Festival in Subotica closed with "Csokibaba utazása" (Journey of a Puppet)

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The 27th International Children's Theater Festival in Subotica closed with

On Thursday, September 24, with the performance of "Csokibaba utazása" (Journey of a Puppet) by the Children's Theater in Subotica, the 27th International Children's Theater Festival in Subotica was closed. The Eurocinema previously screened two foreign plays: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by the German Zenobia Theater, and "We are the Terracotta Army" by the Shiyan Children's Theater from China.

The play "Csokibaba utazása" was performed at the Children's Theater in Subotica, based on the text by Olah Tamas, directed by Dobrei Denes. The complete story of a puppet’s adventure is performed by Veres Imelda. On her unusual journey, in the strangest situations, the puppet finds friends, realizing the values ​​of personal happiness and courage as important life lessons. Actress Veres Imelda pointed out the biggest challenges posed by playing this play: "This is not pure melodrama, because I am not alone on stage. The play is not a film, it is alive and something new can always happen. The audience and the atmosphere are always different. When the audience totally follows the performance, we get more energy to give. That is the most important thing."

One of the most lavish performances shown in the cinema program is "We are the Terracotta Army" by the Shiyan Children's Theater from China. Director Zhong Hao commented on the advantages offered by the cinema projection of their play: "Through the video, our play is more modern, and the means of expression are more diverse, so it is easier to attract children's attention. Through video, for example, we can change the scene from the museum to the Silk Road desert without changing the scenery on stage, or conjure up for the audience the difficulties of traders on the Silk Road through images of the desert. At the same time, the costs of the play are reduced, the process of explaining the story is shortened and the overall impression of the theater is improved."

On the challenges of creating performances for children in the age of social networks in the 21st century, he added: "China is an ancient country with a rich culture and history of five thousand years. This is the age of the internet in which communication is fragmented. In order to attract a young audience to ancient Chinese history, children's theater must have an interesting historical theme, touching language and intriguing performance, which means that we must respect historical facts and illustrate them in modern language. For example, we often promote our shows through TikTok. It's important to help the young audience feel like they're participating in the performance."

In the side-program of the Festival, the XI International Forum for the Research of Theater Arts for Children and Youth took place. This two-day event was held at the Open University Subotica in a hybrid format, live and with video conference, on "Women's Creativity in Theater for Children and Youth and The Festival as a Social Phenomenon."

Dr. Mariana Prpa Fink, the head of the forum, summarized her impressions from this year's edition of the forum: "It is very important that this topic has started to open up. Our theatrologists and artists from Serbia, India, Greece, Croatia participated, and the Forum enabled people to get in touch through a very lively topic, which concerns all of us together. Not because we would favor female creativity over male, but to establish a balance between female and male creativity. And let's see what it is that, from a woman's point of view, can strengthen the theatrical-stage language. And on the other hand, what is it that is universal in both creations? Regarding the festival during the Corona pandemic, Prpa Fink said: "Due to the happiest circumstances, we managed to gather here and see the performances live. What is happening now is something completely new. I believe that there will be a lot of material for analysis in the future, but it is too early now, because very little is happening. What we had here for a few days, is the privilege of rare communities, to be able to afford a festival gathering."

At this year's edition of the International Festival of Children's Theater Subotica, 11 plays for children from China, Russia, Israel, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Serbia were performed and shown, chosen by the director and selector of the Festival, professor Dr. Zoran Djeric. The "Little Prince" Lifetime Achievement Awards were assigned to writer, playwright and director Vladimir Andrić and Bulgarian director Slavcho Malenov, for their outstanding contribution to the development of culture and performing arts for children. This year, for the first time, a posthumous award for life dedicated to creativity for children, was awarded to actor and director Zoran Lozančić. The side-program included numerous exhibitions, book presentations and panel discussion programs.

The realization of the International Festival of Children’s Theaters was supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Provincial Secretary for Culture of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the City of Subotica.

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