35th / 14th International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre
35 / 14. интернационални фестивал алтернативног и новог театра

Novi Sad, 25th June - 3rd July 2008

Thu, 3rd July
Marija Karaklajić
The Bitef Theatre/SCC, Belgrade (Serbia)
| 18:00,SNT, Hinterbine

Cast: Damjan Kecojević, Dušan Murić, Jelena Ilić, Sena Djorović, Stefan Šteref

Directed by: Anja Suša
Set design: Igor Vasiljev
Costume design: Maja Mirković
Composer: Vladimir Pejaković
Video design: Igor Vasiljev
Movement: Dušan Murić

Production and organisation: Milica Mihailović

The duration of the play is 80 minutes

The drama ‘Face of Glass’ deals with the question of how ready we are to accept personal responsibility or forgive for what has happened.
Marija Karaklajić

The drama ‘Face of Glass’ perfectly depicts the sense of despair of a group of people who meet in an impersonal public place of an aseptic shopping mall, which could be anywhere on our planet today. Although they share the same public space, they are actually lost in the personal spaces they are unable to leave and reach for another human being. The drama analyses the subjective experiences of the protagonists a few moments before a killing and their attempts to redirect the unavoidable course of events. Also, the drama plays in an interesting way with the concept of time and the readers’ perception of cause and effect in an inescapable chain of events. Written in the manner of postdramatic theatre, in a style very provocative for interpretation and staging, the drama by Marija Karaklajić belongs among the most significant and remarkable contemporary Serbian dramas.      

‘Face of Glass’ is a genuine (and still rather isolated) Serbian literary contribution to postdramatic theatre. This drama unfolds simultaneously on several spatial and temporal levels,  playing artfully with the reader’s perception, producing an effect of suspense and anxiety in face of the multitude of questions posed by our times and civilisation progress, which the authoress only underscores without offering any judgements, arbitrage and of course, any definite answers. Placing her drama in a diner of an average shopping mall, a kind of contemporary Babel, among the symbols of consumerism which know no space or culture boundaries, the authoress actually transcends the geographical, spatial even gender continuity. Starting from the idea to reconstruct the event from mutually controversial and utmost subjective points of view of the two protagonists, she primarily focuses on speech as the basic means for the reconstruction of the said event. This is why the present tense is intentionally used throughout the play, even when it speaks about the past, which suggests an idea that the event itself is not determined by time, but that it unfolds again and again whenever it is discussed about. Because of the instability of the memory the protagonists rely upon, the event in question constantly eludes us, and with it, any possibility to assume a clear attitude towards it. 
Anja Suša

Marija Karaklajić (1978)
She graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Dramaturgy Department, in 2002. She is currently doing her postgraduate studies in Dramaturgy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt, under Professor Hans-Thies Lehmann.
As a dramaturge Marija Karaklajić has worked on productions of the National Theatre in Belgrade, National Theatre in Maribor, Bitef Theatre, Little Theatre “Duško Radović” and the Centre for Cultural Decontamination. During the 2003-04 season she was engaged as a coordinator of the Script Development Programme within the New Playwriting Project (NADA) of the National Theatre in Belgrade.
Plays: Fausse-attaque, mal parer (National Theatre in Subotica, 2003, director: Ljuboslav Majera), Milk Tooth of Soil (2002/03), Face of Glass (2005).
Dramatizations: Life? or Theatre? (National Theatre in Belgrade, 2003, director: Gordana Lebović), Play of Folly (Bitef Theatre, 2005, director: Gordana Lebović).
Face of Glass won the ‘Borislav Mihajlović Mihiz’ Award for 2007.

The Bitef Theatre was founded in 1989 with an idea to disseminate the influence of the Bitef festival, discover new theatrical tendencies in our country, and provide a space to those artists whose work represents a step forward from the traditional boundaries of stage expression. Supporting various stage forms, which have no anchorage on any other Belgrade stage, it could be said that this is a theatre of exploration, theatrical experiment, a theatre which does not hide behind standard theatrical models. Giving its full attention to the theatre of movement, contemporary dance, new reading of classics, but also the latest dramatic texts from our country and abroad, the Bitef Theatre has been developing a completely different artistic scene for all these years.    


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