51st Week of Slovenian Drama

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

The Grüun-Filipič Award 2021: Milan Ramšak Marković

The Grüun-Filipič Award 2021: Milan Ramšak Marković <em>Photo: Osebni arhiv</em>
Photo: Osebni arhiv

Milan Ramšak Marković

The Serfs. Teorema. How I Remain Pretty and Free. In the Republic of Happiness. Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul. we, the european corpses. Alarm!. Cement. These are the titles of some of the more resounding productions that carry the distinctive dramaturgical signature of Milan Ramšak Marković. His dramaturgical work engulfs the broadest spectrum of this theatre profession: he works as a practical dramaturg, as the author/co-author of various texts, theoretical articles, scripts, theatre and stage adaptations, as a screenwriter and also as a performer and author of socially-engaged productions. He applies equal force and sharpness to his work in both the independent and central theatre institutions. Nevertheless, his versatile talent has fully flourished in the productions that he co-creates with the permanent team of the director Sebastijan Horvat. 

When Marković the dramaturg provides a new reading of such exemplary artists such as Cankar, Semenič, Krleža, Muller, Pasolini or Fassbinder – when he adapts plays, novels or films for the stage – he dares to expose their very dramaturgy, the dramaturgy itself. Through the work processes and productions, he surprisingly reveals the directorial and, at times, the acting procedures. Along with his highly prolific collaboration with the stage designer Igor Vasiljev, this skill allows him to allocate a special position to the dramaturgy of the stage space, something only the most daring artists with an excellent ear for theatre research can successfully develop. 

At the same time, Ramšak Marković understands theatre as a primarily social phenomenon. Through an entire palette of dramaturgical procedures, cuts, merges, links, breaks, seams and different alienation processes, he very concretely bares everyday social manifestations of racism, xenophobia, nationalism, (neo)fascism, re-patriarchalisation and similar phenomena of today’s world. As a creator, he is interested in ideological frictions. He studies them meticulously and thoroughly and asks the spectator many mental rebuses, riddles that poke into the very fabric of the current social problems. 

Teorema enters into a dialogue with Pasolini’s work by testing the situation of foreignness and social responses to it in a modern middle-class family. Ali extracts from Fassbinder’s drama and film script about an Arab guest worker in 1974 Germany the emphases and dilemmas that are distinctly current and rethink the relationship between the majority population and immigrants, all based on a failed and increasingly dysfunctional romantic relationship. Intelligent, witty and sharp – such is Marković’s dramaturgical approach to Cankar’s The Serfs, where along with Jerman’s story of revolting and abandoning revolt, we follow the parallel comments by Radko Polič Rac, who speaks of his own engagement in theatre and rethinks its meaning and urgency.


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