Borstnik theatre festival underway in Maribor

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The 39th Borstnik theatre festival opened in Maribor on Friday. Named after actor Ignacij Borstnik, the founder of modern Slovene theatre and the art of acting, it is Slovenia's central theatre festival, hosting the best performances from the season's domestic theatre every year.

The event is also a competition, since at its conclusion, awards for best performance, best directing, best acting and other accomplishments are given. Special attention is paid to the awarding of the Borstnik Ring to the actor or actress, who has made a particularly deep impression.

The Slovene National Theatre in Maribor is hosting the festival. This year visitors can enjoy 16 competitive performances, chosen by Marko Sosic:

"In a way I kept the guidelines of the Council of the Borstnik festival to add changes to the festival and to include also alternative or not institutional groups, which will equally compete with institutional theatre groups. The audience and the jury shall judge for themselves whether this is the right way or not. I completed my work in good faith."

Two theatre groups of a special status are also part of the festival. These are the Slovene theatres in Trieste in Italy and the Slovene national theatre in Nova Gorica. Some of the performances in competition are actually co -productions with foreign creators from Croatia and Serbia.

The festival attracts the cultural and professional public to Maribor every year and this year directors and managers of festivals abroad and foreign journalists are invited to see the performances of Slovenia's theatre groups.

Such an event is also very expensive - 200.000 Euros is the estimated cost of the festival. Half of the money will be given by sponsors and donors the rest, approximately 100.000 Euros, will be financed by the ministry of culture and the community of Maribor.

Today, the Borstnik festival is a modern theatre festival. The performances in competition are accompanied by various highlights of the past theatre season. The festival started on Friday with Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and will conclude on Thursday the 28th October with the awarding of the Borstnik Ring, the highlight of each Borstnik festival and a concert with songs of Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weil.