47 years of the Week of Slovenian drama
A Short Overview
The Week of Slovenian Drama is the central festival for performances of Slovenian plays, organised annually by Prešeren Theatre Kranj with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Kranj. It encourages the staging of performances of national drama as well as its production, promotion and presentation abroad. To achieve that, the festival cooperates with Slovenian and international theatres and theatre institutes. Important contributions to the encouragement of creating Slovenian drama are annual playwriting workshops, mentored by renowned Slovenian and foreign playwrights, reading performances and presentations of the nominated plays and cooperation with the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television and the Faculty of Arts, both of the University of Ljubljana.
The festival started in 1971 as an overview of performances based on Slovenian plays. Between 1971 and 1977 the festival presented the entire annual production of the staged Slovenian plays. Following the need to encourage contemporary playwriting, a decision to introduce the Slavko Grum Award for the best new Slovenian play was made in 1978 and the Grün-Filipič Award for the achievements in Slovenian dramaturgy to the dramaturgy was established, too
In 1973 the Week of Slovenian Drama first started the practice of inviting theatres from other Yugoslav republics and in the following years there was a number of guest performances of Slovenian plays staged by theatres beyond the borders of Slovenian territory.
In 1974 the Week of Slovenian Drama became an even more open festival, as it allowed the participation of non-institutional theatres.
In 1999 in addition to the Grum Award and the Grün-Filipič award, a Grand Prix of the festival was created. In the same year a decision was made to systematically translate the plays that won the Grum Award into english language.
In 2002 the festival expanded to include the International programme, the first performance staged outside of the former Yugoslav territory invited to perform at the Week of Slovenian Drama was Vladimir (by Matjaž Zupančič) which was staged in Luxemburg.
In 2003 the Week of Slovenian Drama introduced reading performances – at first only for the Grum Award winner, and later for all the nominated texts, primarily to further our wish to popularize nominated authors.
In 2004 the Week of Slovenian drama introduced the playwriting workshops (in co-operation with the Royal Court and the British Council), with the (on-going) goal to encourage creativity of young dramatists. The Grand Prix was renamed the Šeligo Award.
In 2006 the Audience Award was introduced, and a year later A Day of Nominees (in which reading performances of the nominated texts are presented, and round tables about the texts are organized).
In 2009 we started the systematically international promotion of the festival and the slovenian plays – the goal is to get new performances of Slovenian plays staged by theatres beyond the borders of Slovenian territory and to invite and present them to the festival.
In 2011 the Week of Slovenian Drama and the Slovenian Centre ITI join forces to promote Slovenian drama abroad.
In 2012 the festival introduce the first Young Playwright Award .
In 2014 the plays from similar festivals of national drama were presented at the festival. The Week of Slovenian Drama started initiative for a festival association of national drama.