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Letter from the managing director


The 2024/25 season is a turning point for us. For the first time in the history of our theatre, we are moving house from our residence at Erjavčeva 1 to relocate in our interim venue. There we will operate until we can return to the completely refurbished Drama. After a period of great uncertainty, when it was unclear whether and where the Drama would operate during the reconstruction of our building, we were immensely relieved to hear about our relocation to Litostroj, a venue, known as L56. There we will have the best possible working conditions under the given circumstances. Two halls will be built to meet our needs, so we can resume to produce and present our Main Stage and Small Stage programmes, and also accommodate our entire staff. It is fair to say that the Drama will continue to thrive in Litostroj for a few years, with all its programmes and people who create them.

Naturally, our impending relocation shaped our plans and programme. When drawing up the repertoire for the 2024/25 season, it was impossible for me to disregard the fact that the lines of selected texts would not reverberate from our old, weathered boards and echo from the golden stucco of the modernised baroque hall, but would come to life in a completely different setting.

And yet. Fortunately, it is only the location that is to change. We shall not. We remain committed to our values, our core mission, our long-term vision, and our ambitions. We will continue to give our best and present to you an outstanding programme that will disengage you with every performance from your everyday life, at least for a while, and will impart new insights, reflections, and emotions.

I am pleased and proud that you have embraced favourably our refreshed programming course and expressed your approval by significantly increasing the seat occupancy in the 2023/24 season. I am pleased and proud that you have championed our commitment to present a broad range of ideas rather than advocating a single line of thought. I am pleased and proud that you are thrilled and drawn to a variety of stories we tell to portray human beings and their position in the world. I am pleased and proud that you have appreciated and approved of our efforts to spot and address topical issues and bones of contention; and that we have the potential to entice you into the world of art, offering you and us a space to reflect, empathise and learn about different worlds.

I strongly believe that the mission of our theatre Drama is not to mirror and “advocate” the politics of the day. When deciding which texts to stage in our two venues, my main criterion has been as follows: what can the text tell us, what is it that moves us, how does it touch us. Are the characters relatable, does it raise enough questions? Therein lies our “topicality.”

Maxim Gorki and Paolo Magelli, Michael Frayn and Ivana Djilas, Ivan Cankar and Vito Taufer, Bertolt Brecht and Mateja Koležnik, Robert Icke and Martin Kušej, Georges Perec and Anđelka Nikolić, Ferdinand von Schirach and Peter Petkovšek, Tennessee Williams and Nina Šorak.

These are the authors and directors summoning you to our new premises in Litostroj.

Do we resemble the characters in Maxim Gorky’s Children of the Sun, lost in their private, erratic feelings and interests, while the world around them is crumbling? To explore this, Paolo Magelli, whose penetrating productions always seek to take the audience out of its comfort zone, returns to the Drama after several years.

Will we find relatable the situation in Michael Frayn’s famous farce Noises Off that divulges the mechanism of theatre-making at a frenetically comic pace? In Ivana Djilas’ witty interpretation, this dizzying theatrical madhouse will perpetuate the situation we find ourselves at the point of moving.

Will Cankar’s brutal analysis of (Slovenian) political quagmire in the comedy For the Good of the Nation make us angry, laugh or upset? As long as we do not dismiss it and say with relief: “It’s just a play…”! Vito Taufer, whose recently directed our acclaimed production of The Broken Jug, will address the pitfalls of these issues.

Why on Earth should anyone be interested in a story about thieves, beggars and whores in Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera? Well, it will surely be a very special event, the first co-production of the Drama and the SNT Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, where it will also be performed. What is more, it will be directed by Mateja Koležnik, returning to the Drama after more than ten years working internationally, and she will dismiss any doubt about the play’s relevance with her signature perspicacity and precision.

A clinical director refuses point-blank the parents’ wish to have a priest attend to their dying daughter. The ensuing scandal destroys the doctor’s career and exposes the fragility of human relations and the toxicity of public discourse. Does it sound familiar? With Robert Icke’s highly topical and explosive socially critical play The Doctor, we welcome back director Martin Kušej, former general manager of the Residenztheater in Munich and the Burgtheater in Vienna.

Have you ever gone to see your boss to ask for a pay rise? On our Small Stage, we will observe a myriad of funny, absurd and also tragic versions of the opening situation in The Raise by Georges Perec. The vicious circle endured by a petty consumer in the destructive machinery of capitalism will be examined by director Anđelka Nikolić, making her debut in the Small Stage venue.

Do you agree with the idea that doctors should be allowed to prescribe their patients a dose of medication and assist in suicide at their request? God, a highly up-to-date courtroom drama by Ferdinand von Schirach about euthanasia, in which the opinions of various experts clash when they deal with a specific case, will be directed by Peter Petkovšek, who made his acclaimed debut in our Small Stage venue with his sensitive staging of Mrs Dalloway.

How to deal with the themes of ruin, illusion and violence in the context of social change and moral dilemmas of today? The subtleties of relationships in Tennessee Williams’ famous play A Streetcar Named Desire will be explored by Nina Šorak, who previously directed our box-office hit The Children on the Small Stage.

Eight performances. Eight worlds, eight thrilling artistic explorations, eight stories presented by our wonderful ensemble.

We cordially invite you to join us in finding out what these eight texts can tell us, move and stir us.

Come to L56!

Vesna Jurca Tadel,

General Manager