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Mirko Rajas

Jose and Maruša Majer

Stage design and puppets:
Kalju Karl Kivi

Ekke Västrik

Language consultant:
Mateja Dermelj

Set design and costume assistant:
Rosana Knavs

Head of techical crew:
Tilen Vipotnik

Technical crew:
Matej Primec, Ivan Waltl and Tilen Vipotnik

Mini teater and NUKU Tallinn (Estonia)

February 2013

February 2013

Duration 40 minutes

Puppet performance for children from 3 y/o

About the performance

A performance about a small boy that gets lost in the woods and is encountered by all the fascinating and also negative sides of summer, spring, fall and winter … We will witness different stories, actions, fight, game, love, hatred, happiness and sorrow throughout all the four seasons. Puppet adventure full of fantastical discoveries and entertainment.

We will witness different stories, adventures, fight, act, love, hate, happiness and sorrow throughout all four seasons – summer, fall, winter and spring. Even though Morrison will be many times in dangerous situations the adventure will last for as long as his imagination and desire will allow him to do so.

Adventure will be full of interesting, amusing, educational, playful and full of surprises for children who will be able to see through the eyes of a small boy in a magical forest of books in which the four seasons will take human forms. In the forest Morrison will learn also about the relationships among friends. They come and sometimes leave, but they never truly disappear. They keep changing our lives in various ways. Morrison therefore also realizes that some things sometimes in life happen completely without a reason.

The performance is also an excellent time out for adults that often stray due to everyday errands and life commitments. Sometimes we just all have to take some time off – especially when life reveals mysteries which were unimaginable to us.

A short video clip from the Mini teater's new puppet adventure can be seen here!

Author project of a young Estonian director Mirko Rajas with Slovenian actors Jose and Maruša Majer is being realized as result of Slovenian – Estonian cooperation, coproduction of  Mini teater and NUKU theater from Tallinn in terms of a grand international project Puppet nomad academy III coordinated by Mini teater.

About the director

“With every new project I try to start from the point what is new for me so that there would not be possible to see the final goal 100% of the work at the beginning.” Mirko Rajas

“I find directing a puppet show for children very interesting - it opens new level of thinking and creates a fresh way of creativity for actors, designer, composer and for director. Children think differently than grownups, so there is always a risk to not get their trust – what is interesting because it pushes you on for searching new things and always to come up with new solutions, so that you will not be satisfied with the first ideas what you come up to. Working here with Slovenian actors is also very inspiring and gives strength to move on. I feel that at the rehearsals we are working for a right thing and all together with supporting each other. I think that working together between Estonians and Slovenians will lead us to a great and magical theatre piece for children.

For me the most important thing of creativity is honesty - to be and stay honest on what you say out - or what you put on stage. I choose my materials from the subjects what are important to me or about the themes what are mysterious and unclear for me.  So there would always be something to discover and search for.  

For me the outside effects are not so important I’m mostly interested about what happens inside the actor or in the puppet manipulated by puppeteer or actor. After that all the effects. Mostly I’m a looking how to combine drama and puppetry so that they will make new and strong way of expression.”

Author project of a young Estonian director Mirko Rajas with Slovenian actors and animators. The inspiration about the story of a young boy being lost in the forest Mirko Rajas drew from old stories about forests.

Mirko Rajas, director of the performance and author of text trusted the set design to young Estonian set designer  Kalju - Karl Kivi, young Estonian compositor Ekke Västrik is preparing for the performance original author music.

“Because I’m come from Estonia, I would like to add some exotic northern touch for the play. Our nature is deeply influencing who we are, and Estonian nature is definitely exciting and inspiring.

As sound objects I use all kinds on naturel instruments and objects. Every season has its own sounds and through these sounds their character is introduced” the creation of author music for the new puppet performance is described by Estonian musician and conductor, Ekke Västik.

Magically oriented

“Magical at as it soon realized magical or even better magically oriented puppet performance of Mini teater Morrison and the four seasons is the impression even before the staging even begins. Its set is almost classical, puppet affective and literally framed and with the curtain closed stage at which it seems that there could be magical classic marionettes coming to life, animated with invisible threads … but there doesn’t seem to be as usually on marionette stage above the stage the animators, for there is nothing above it … so marionettes are out of the question, but …

Well, the performance of very internationally active Ljubljana’s Mini teater was staged as its first this year’s puppet performance, the February premiere in terms of its established international European project Puppet Nomad Academy in cooperation with Estonian theater NUKU according to the text and directed by young Estonian director Mirko Rajas (with the help of other set and costume designers and musicians from Estonia which he chose) and played by Slovenian actors or puppeteers, in mini teater well tested Maruša Majer and even more professional Jose … and even though they are “alone” there could still be marionettes …

… but after their introduction when they turn from very figurative narration to the audience from narrators to the parents of the main figure – Morrison – who appears as if he fell asleep at their fairy tale that for him became an imaginary reality. They reveal themselves on stage as we assume without the marionettes but nevertheless with magical and fairly small or so called table puppets hand animated at the acting surface. And even though their interpretators are visible all the time in the background they include themselves (sometimes both for just one puppet) so thoroughly that they literally become invisible and so the story lives in its fullness.  

The boy Morrison on his imaginary path gets to know how the year works so he meets many people, mainly the four seasons that are personated in different characters and to whom he with his thrill helps them in many ways. Everything takes place in the magically established surroundings where with sounds of nature and actually ambientally suggestive music of Estonian author Ekke Västrik and in stage determined frame left and right of growing trees (actual branched leaves) animators using set elements determine the time of year.

But almost most well realized and imaginative effect is the fact that the basis of set design which author is young Estonian Kalju – Karl Kivi are forest’s banks on the left and right the settled books as if they were in reality stacked on a desk and out of which at its opening as of some sort of herbariums considering the time of year different flowers grow. Symbolically in this way the magical imagination grows out of them.” Uroš Smasek, Magically Oriented, Večer, March 7th 2013

Creators about the performance

»Not Slovenian nor Estonian – the puppets speak their completely own language!” Maruša Majer

„Overcoming the boundaries between Slovenian and Estonian language, languages generally very different, is quite a funny thing, yet we managed. Jose and I talk a little in Slovenian, a little in Estonian, the director Mirko and set designer Kalju that both come from Estonia also speak a combination of both so to tell you the truth, English is almost unnecessary. Puppets no matter what speak their own language! We tend to listen to them carefully and somehow tend to get close with them … very, very soon we will start talking to them … that will be something to see.” Maruša Majer, actress and puppet animator in the new performance by Mini teater, Morrison and the four seasons.

Maruša Majer that besides Morrisona animated also Fall, Winter and Spring also in Mini teater at the end of 2012 took on an important role of Litlle Sleepy Star to which she, together with alternation Nina Ivanišin, gives to Little Sleepy Star new, moderated characteristics. In spite of overall popularity of the golden haired star that celebrated her 60th birthday last year (she promises not to fall asleep ever again since 1955) Nina Ivanišin and Maruša Majer together with the entire crew managed to create a new Sleepy Star that has already and will even more gain a way into hearts of the numerous upcoming generations. 

»Most important human desires and embarrassments are the same everywhere!« Jose

„Cooperating with Estonian director Mirko Rajas is a very educational and precise insight into puppet animation. What I find especially great is the fact that we are building this performance with the help of improvisations at rehearsals, search of personalities of certain characters is being realized throughout exact actions with my co-star Maruša Majer. To work with creators form other countries, mainly those that have a different cultural environment is always fresh and inspiring. With creating a performance it is soon obvious that basic human desires and embarrassments are actually the same everywhere. Our shared joy and imagination will, I believe, be seen in the performance itself.” Joseactor and puppet animator in the new performance by Mini teater, Morrison and the four seasons.

Jose that together with Maruša Majer in the performance animates Morrison, also took on the role of Summer has been an important part of Mini teater for quite some time. He thrills the children in Mishmash Bakery directed by Robert Waltl and in trilogy of director Marek Bečka – Snow White, The wishing table and Puss in Boots.  Adult audience was overblown by his appearance in Macbeth aster Shakespeare, performance Me, after whom Ljubljana can be named – Poker, Marsh – high song and day of murders in story of Hamlet all directed by Ivica Buljan.

From the media

Frisky puppets in the magical forest of books, Interview with creators, Dnevnik, 25th February 2013

Morrison and the four seasons in Slovenian-Estonian puppet form, MMC, 23rdFebruary 2013

Prognosis of premiere on Slovenian theater portal, 23rd February 2013

Deloskop is announcing, Delo, 22nd February 2013

Morrison and the four seasons at Sigledal, February 2013


The performance is being realized in terms of the international European project  »Puppet Nomad Academy 3«, that is being co-financed by the European Commission, program Culture (2007-2013). The content of the communication is exclusively the responsibility of the author and in no way represent the statements or values of the European Commission.