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

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19 september 2022

29 th Subotica International Children's Theater Festival officially opened

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29 th Subotica International Children's Theater Festival officially opened

On Sunday, September 18, the 29 th edition of the Subotica International Children's Theater Festival was opened with a solemn ceremony at the Subotica Children's Theatre. This year's Festival edition lasts until September 23 and takes place at several locations in Subotica. The main program consists of 14 performances by ensembles from Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, Croatia, BiH (Republika Srpska), Spain, Israel, Indonesia, Greece, as well as Serbian theaters. Entry to all Festival programs is free.

Stevan Bakić, Mayor of Subotica, in his speech at the opening ceremony said: "I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to greet you tonight on behalf of the city of Subotica, and on my own behalf, at the beginning of one, both for our city and for our country, very important manifestations such as the International Children's Theater Festival. To our great pleasure, from September 18 to 23, Subotica will host this Festival, which has gained a great reputation throughout Europe and the world with its artistic achievements and contribution to puppetry, contributed to the affirmation of children's theater and theater arts, and influenced the development of contemporary world theater for children".

Stevan Bakić continued his introductory speech with the words: "The International Children's Theater Festival in Subotica has been going on for 29 years and is one of the few festivals in the world that has maintained continuity, and has not been interrupted or postponed due to the flu epidemic or Covid-19 pandemic. It's the same this year, despite the corona virus, the economic, Ukrainian, and energy crisis. Theaters from a total of 10 countries are coming to Subotica, with 14 performances, which bring primarily puppetry and which, I believe, will bring a smile to the faces of our youngest fellow citizens".

The "Little Prince" Lifetime Achievement Award, for outstanding contribution to the development of culture and performing arts for children, was assigned to actress Marijana Petrović and Victor Schreiman - Russian and Israeli theater director, actor, pedagogue, critic, and one of the leading experts in the field of puppet theatre. The mayor of Subotica, Stevan Bakić, presented the prizes to the laureates.

Victor Schreiman emotionally addressed the audience: "My dear friends, I am very happy today. This day is very important in my life. I'm very excited. Subotica, Serbia, the Festival - you are my heart!

After receiving the award, Marijana Petrović said: "I would like to thank you for this recognition, which, in my opinion, is primarily of cultural importance. It is a great honor and obligation to be among those who received this recognition before me. I learned from the vast majority of them, collaborated with them, and socialized with them. I hope they are proud of me, and I hope they are thinking of me at this moment. This statue - The Little, Big Prince - is something that unites us and means that we are on the same path."

This year's laureate of the "Little Prince" Award added: "I am also thankful for the grace to do what I love all my life. I guess I'm not here just because I'm an award-winning actress - decades ago I used and taught all my skills and acquired knowledge to others for the benefit of people, and theater in general. Many thanks for the lifelong support in life and work to Donka Špiček and my colleague, Professor Dr. Sava Anđelković. Be healthy, free and yourself! That's happiness."

At the opening ceremony was also presented the Young Jury, which will declare the best performance in the Competition Program according to the opinion of children, consisting of: Relja Miković, Mila Popov, Iva Francišković, Nađa Berecki and Nika Vizin.

The Festival jury whose decisions will be announced at the closing ceremony of the Festival, on Friday 23 September, are The Little Prince laureates and Irish early childhood arts practitioner Cliodna Noonan.

In the artistic part of the ceremony, the Children's Choir "Emanuil" from Subotica performed with conductor and artistic director Rafaila Stokin; young Subotica talents Ognjen Orelj and Filip Nađ, Primary Music School students from the guitar department in the class of professor Ljiljana Ostojić. The program was closed by the clown Arsa from Mars.

The competition program of the Festival was opened on the stage "Jadran" of the National Theater in Subotica with the performance "The Great Word Factory" by Little Stage Theatre from Croatia, directed by Morana Dolenc. In this play, the boy Phileas lives in a world where you have to buy words. He is in love with Cybelle, and would like to put his infatuation into words, but those big, special words cost more than he has to give. They can only be bought by the rich, who throw them around without much meaning. The rest of the people put their emotions into meaningful looks, doings, smiles or regular words, but said in a special way.

Buga Marija Šimić, the main actress in the play, said about the performance: "The picture book that the play was based on served us only as the beginning of the play, because this is actually a trilogy. We have three parts and each character from the picture book got their own story. We used the characters and land of the Great Word Factory, invented by the author Agnes de Lestrade, to dream up a whole new world and tell one story from three different perspectives”. About her arrival in Subotica, she pointed out: "This festival is very well known throughout the region and Little Stage has never participated here. When we found out that we were chosen, we were overjoyed. It means a lot to us. Especially to play on the first day, it's really a great honor and responsibility".

On the second day of the Festival, on Monday, September 19, in the competition program, the audience will be able to watch the performances "Cinderella" performed by the Italian Zakes Theater ("Jadran" Stage at the National Theater, 10 a.m.), "The Dream of Fairy Moll" by the Harlequin Puppet Theater from Hungary (Children's Theater Subotica, 12:00) and "The Stolen Prince and the Lost Princess" by Duško Radović Little Theater.

At 9:30 will be opened the exhibition of posters "Thinking by Letters" in the Foundation for Youth Culture and Creativity "Danilo Kiš", where the works of 3 rd year students of the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, from the Department of Applied Graphics and Objects, in the class of professor Rastek Ćirić, will be presented. The exhibition "70 years of the Duško Radović Little Theater" will be opened on the same day at 11:30 a.m. in the Children's Theater Subotica, together with the history of this important theater aimed at the youngest audiences.

The thirteenth edition of the Forum for Theater Art Research for Children and Youth begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Open University Subotica. The leader of the forum is Dr. Marijana Prpa Fink, and this year's theme of the forum is "Interculturality in Theater for Children and Youth and Community Development."

A screening of the animated film "Dreambuilders" will be held at the Eurocinema in Subotica at 11 a.m., while the program featuring dance and acting groups, street entertainers, schools and kindergartens will be held at City Square starting at 5 p.m.

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Subotica International Festival of Children's Theatres