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Translation:
Milan Štefe

Director:
Ivica Buljan

Actors:
Veronika Drolc as Schneewittchen, Ana Karić  as Queen, Robert Waltl as Prince, Niko Goršič  as Hunter and King

Set design:
Tomo Savić Gecan

Costume design:
Ana Savić Gecan

Music:
Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar

Musicians:
Andraž Polič, Blaž Celarec and Gregor Cvetko

Choreography:
Mare Sesardić

Make up artist:
Gabriela Fleischman

Light design:
Janez Kocjan

Language consultant:
Mateja Dermelj

Co-production:
Cankarjev dom, ARL Dubrovnik, Festival Ex Ponto, Novo kazalište Zagreb

Opening performance:
September 2002; Cankarjev dom

About the performance

Unlike Disney’s work in a different genre, Walser’s Schneewittchen is not a reinterpretation of the Snow White fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. Instead, it disassembles the story into individual viewpoints. The quadrangle, composed of well-known heroes whose characters are here presented much more clearly, speak a posteriori about what happened (to them), comparing the reality of their experience with the story and the experiences of others. The neurotic Snow White, the indecisive and gullible Prince, the Queen who resembles Mme Merteuil from Dangerous Liaisons and the manly Hunter all investigate the coherence of the story and attempt to separate the truth from the lie and find some sort of meaning. They repeat the key scenes from the story, reconstructing the scene of the crime.

Schneewittchen shares with its author Robert Walser (1878-1956) a certain air of intangible particularity: it has only been recently that artists of various fields have discovered this piece, while theoreticians are analyzing his enigmatic semantic tectonics and viewers enjoying its thrills. Croatian director and dramaturge Ivica Buljan sets Walser’s drama piece into a cold fairytale playground in which Snow White with her snow-white neck reminds us of vampire victims, where the evil queen plays the role of a femme fatale, unable to resist her own temptations, the prince is indecisive and the hunter plays a double role while undergoing an amazing transformation. In this spiral-like story all the actors strive for their own fairytale endings, which in the end turn out not to be: “...and they lived happily ever after.”

By choosing Schneewittchen by the Swiss writer Robert Walser for his latest production, Ivica Buljan is following the main outlines of his stage direction procedure and a consistent poetics of theatre, which he delineated back in the initial stages of his work as a stage director. He always selects poetic theatre plays that are devoid of all psychological analysis or linear plot. The spectacle effect is subdued or even completely erased by the emphasis on the rational components of the text that focus the spectator’s attention on aural perception and comprehension. Unlike Disney’s work in a different genre, Walser’s Schneewittchen is not a reinterpretation of the Snow White fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. Instead, it disassembles the story into individual viewpoints. The quadrangle, composed of well-known heroes whose characters are here presented much more clearly, speak a posteriori about what happened (to them), comparing the reality of their experience with the story and the experiences of others. The neurotic Snow White, the indecisive and gullible Prince, the Queen who resembles Mme Merteuil from Dangerous Liaisons and the manly Hunter all investigate the coherence of the story and attempt to separate the truth from the lie and find some sort of meaning. They repeat the key scenes from the story, reconstructing the scene of the crime (Walter Benjamin, one of the first critics of Walser’s work said that the play begins where other stories stop).

Walser’s short plays are pioneering works of that poetic modernity that is clearly articulated in Beckett’s plays as presented by the theatre of Thomas Bernhardt. Their characters excel in their remarkable inner motivation and energy, which cannot be contained. In traditional theatres (and fairytales), characters behave according to a certain logic, following ethical choices and actions that lead them either to disaster or glory. In Walser’s text, modernity is expressed through a relative presentation of each position, the shattering of any kind of security, and characters who do not understand themselves but whose relationships with others have a complex meaning.

Schneewittchen belongs among those works that have been staged by Ivica Buljan many times and that can be enjoyed without having to understand them in order to be enchanted by them.

Tours

International festival KARANTENA, Dubrovnik, Croatia; International theater festival MESS, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2002; Kraljevsko gledališče Zetski dom, Cetinje, Montenegro, 2002; Črnogorsko narodno gledališče, Podgorica, Montenegro, 2002; 27th festival teatro de Oriente, Barcelona, Venezuela, 2002; Teatar mladih, Split, Croatia, 2003, Istrsko narodno gledališče, Pula, Croatia, 2003; Festival Opatija, Poletni oder, Croatia, 2003; International festival Karantena, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2003; festival Mladi levi, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2003; Akcija Frakcija, Zagreb, Croatia, 2003; 38. Borštnikovo srečanje, Maribor, Slovenia, 2003; Festival NET, Meyerhold center, Moskva, Russia, 2003; Linhartova dvorana, Radovljica, Slovenia, 2004; Slovensko narodno gledališče Nova Gorica, Slovenia, 2004; K&K, Šentjakob v Rožu, Austria, 2004; Festival Osješko poletje, Osijek, Croatia, 2004; Festival Actores - Tempus art, Rožnava, Slovakia, 2004; Festival festivalov - Spotkania, Varšava, Poland, 2004; Drugo more, Reka, Croatia, 2004; festival Rdeči revirji, Hrastnik, Slovenia, 2004; Festival EXODOS Ljubljana, May 2005, Slovenia; , Szena internationale- international theatre festival Napoli -Neaples, Italy, October 2005

Awards

The actor Robert Waltl is the recipient of the Award of the Slovene Association of Drama Artists 2003 for the role of the Prince in the performance Schneewittchen After Party

Special award from the Jury of the 38th Slovene national festival Borštnikovo srečanje for the performance Schneewittchen After Partyas a a theatrical unit

Award to Veronica Drolc for the leading role in the performance Schneewittchen After Party at the 38th Slovene national festival Borštnikovo srečanje

Gran prix - award for the best performance at the festival Actores - Tempus Art, Slovakia, 2004