People who have walked across half of the world to escape wars, persecution, violence and crushing poverty, call the last stretch of their route, the stretch that takes them from Bosnia and Herzegovina to a safe destination in the European Union, the game.
The game has no rules, laws don’t apply, the powers of the police is limitless, the violence increasingly brutal, the dangers increasingly more dangerous, the possibilities smaller and smaller, and the destination further and further… Many try several times, even twenty or thirty times; it’s a numbers game.
For many, the game is fatal. Available records show that around twenty people have thus far lost their lives on our borders.
The Game, a devised theatre project, will study the role and responsibility of Slovenia and its border policy for lives and fates of the people on the run.

direction Žiga Divjak

with Primož Bezjak, Sara Dirnbek, Maruša Oblak, Matej Puc, Vito Weis
on the recording Hamza Aziz, Zaher Amini, Khalid Ali, Behnaz Aliesfahanipour

research assistant Maja Ava Žiberna
director assistants Ana Lorger, Nika Prusnik Kardum
dramaturgical collaborator Katarina Morano
set design Igor Vasiljev
costume design Tina Pavlović
music, sound and video design Blaž Gracar
speech advisor Mateja Dermelj
translation of the recording Barbara Skubic
light design and stage manager Igor Remeta
production and stage manager Tina Dobnik

production Slovensko mladinsko gledališče
co-production Maska Ljubljana

winner of 7 Borštnik Awards in 2021 (best performance, direction, dramaturgy, set design, music design, actor, young actress) and numerous other awards

duration 110′

Žiga Divjak entered the Slovenian cultural domain (still as a student) with the series of events and performances entitled Right Before the Revolution (2013–2015) which brought him the Academy Prešeren Award and with which he toured to Germany and Croatia. Even after his studies, he remained loyal to his socially engaged position in his work, which has so far led him to direct at the Mladinsko, Maska Institute, Prešeren Theatre Kranj, Cankarjev dom, SNT Drama Ljubljana and Ljubljana City Theatre. His sensitive way of approaching social questions brought him a Borštnik Award for direction for The Man Who Watched the World (Mladinsko) in 2017, while the project 6 (Maska nad Mladinsko – The New Post Office programme), which he directed, won the Borštnik Grand Prix for the best production. The same goes for The Game (also The New Post Office), which received six more awards (for direction, acting, young actress, dramaturgy, set design, music and sound design).

Slovensko mladinsko gledališče
In English, we call the Slovensko mladinsko gledališče – which literally translated means Slovenian Youth Theatre – the Mladinsko Theatre. It carries its history in its name. And at the same time surpasses it.

MLADINSKO. For or of youth. The Mladinsko Theatre was established in 1955 as the first professional theatre for children and youth in Slovenia. In the first twenty-five years, it created for them. But it never underestimated its young audience. Since the very beginning, it has tackled heavy topics, like the Holocaust, coming of age, love in the times of revolution … And then around 1980, it took a new step and deliberately expanded its programme, in which it linked – and continues to link – political criticism and provocativeness with innovative performative procedures and fresh poetics, to attract the audiences of all ages. MLADINSKO IS NOT JUST FOR THE YOUTH.

SLOVENIAN. Mladinsko’s home is in Ljubljana. The house in which we conceive, create, study, play is here. Yet, we are an organism in constant movement, as we perform a significant portion of our performances on tour. From the very early days in Slovenia and (then) Yugoslavia, but at least since the early 1980s, we’ve been firmly embedded into the theatre landscape of Europe and, since the 1990s, also South America and other continents. In over forty countries around the world, our versatile ensemble, capable of extraordinary transformations, has left an indelible impression, as it is full of actors who can tackle music, choreography or psychological challenges and do not abide to a hierarchy or a star system, but support each other to become a fine-tuned whole. MLADINSKO IS NOT SLOVENIAN ONLY.

THEATRE. We are a theatre. But we expect more than just “watching” from our spectators, we try to engage them into a dialogue and make them active participants. We create performances. But we don’t create in a vacuum. We critically observe our society, comment on it and strive to shape it. Mladinsko is a theatre organism that tries to penetrate into the public space from the stage, so that for us, the public space becomes an equal space for performance. MLADINSKO IS MORE THAN A THEATRE.

The New Post Office, co-produced by Slovensko mladinsko gledališče and Maska Ljubljana, will remain a place of dialogue, meetings and confrontations, a place for thinking wider social events and responses to them. Within its programme, there will be discussions, presentations and round tables, as well as workshops, thematic or genre focused cycles or festivals; and we will be opening the selected themes with new creations, guest performances and theoretical contributions. We will be connecting with like-minded artists, particularly from the independent scene. The New Post Office will also provide the venue for new pieces of devised theatre.