TRY theatre and Rijeka host the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
From August 6 until 17, TRY theatre and the City of Rijeka hosted the RCS, Scotland's top acting academy, and its summer course "Shakespeare and Greek Theatre". The course was headed by RCS tutors Ali de Souza, Lorna Penney and Lucien MacDougall and gathered eleven students from across Croatia and Europe. The two week course, RCS's first outside of Glasgow, ended with a presentation of Macbeth and Choephori at HKD. Among those participating were also TRY theatre students Lizzie, Gala and Erick - well done, thespians
The long-awaited "Clinically Same", the high school group's new project, premiered on May 14th 2012 at Filodrammatica theatre. This dynamic and energetic piece, hinting at conformity during high school years, proved that the young actresses and actors are developing their on-stage skills at a very high pace, showing exceptional maturity and concentration. The third and last night, 17 May, also broke TRY theatre's attendance record with as many as 183 people rushing to see the show - Filodrammatica is getting too small! All high school students got to participate in at least one of night, with some truly memorable performances. The play was written and directed by Ivan Verunica, with Erin Sweeney as assistant director and stage manager, while Sierra Verunica designed and made the costumes. The hair was the work of Salma Hasanbašić.
The Adventures of Baron Darcy Popplewhite
In mid-April, Rijeka's theatre-goers had a chance to see a new writing play, "The Adventures of Baron Darcy Popplewhite", performed by TRY theatre's 7th and 8th grade group. Linguistically more challenging then any other TRY theatre production, the play takes us a century back into the intriguing world of English aristocracy and their resourceful servants. During the two nights, the cast (Vrhovski, Dessardo, Butorac, Šustar, Arbanas brothers, Ettinger-DeLong, Jurčević-Franko, Banov, Kaštelan, Fućak) did a splendid job interpreting their lines in custom-made Sierra Verunica costumes, causing one established critic to write: "When I learned that the actors were all still in middle school, I was as positively shocked as I was ashamed at the level of my own English." The play was written and directed by Ivan Verunica with Erin Sweeney as the assistant director and stage manager.
The Winter Night Special
2011 was seen off in style! Three consecutive performances at Filodrammatica theatre made sure that the first semester's work was wrapped, signed and delivered to the general public in time for holidays. Hiding under the umbrella term "Winter Night Special", we got to see two sketches and two half-hour plays performed by various classes functioning within the organization. The youngest crew had their stage debut with the Classroom Sketch, the Kastav group made audiences laugh with the Restaurant sketch (thank you Monty Python), and the two older groups presented two new-writing plays. Middle school students performed a comedy set in WW2 Yugoslavia under German occupation and the high school student went contemporary revealing the inner workings of corrupt city administration in "A Position of Influence".
To top it off, we also saw the first ever Thespian Awards handed out on the last night of performance.
After the four originally scheduled performances and one more due to popular demand, one gets the impression that Hamlet was indeed just about the only one that didn't turn up for the play. Luckily though, his merry entourage from Elsinore castle showed up, as did the struggling playwrights Nina and Vesna and their mildly strange neighbour. This resulted in 90 minutes of quick dialogue, humorous situations and some extremely good acting! An acting staff made mostly of on-the-stage first-timers showed high concentration, good execution and a very promising ability to think quick and improvise in unscripted situations.
The audiences’ laughter spoke volumes of what they had thought and even the ever-grumpy director liked some parts of some performances. All in all, it was a very strong first run and a major down-payment for future performances and the shows yet to come. With Hamlet or without him.
Belgrade English Language Theatre
From May 22 until 25, TRY theatre hosted the Belgrade English Language Theatre headed by Paul Murray and Pavle Pekić. It all started with an impromptu performance at the Rijeka Harbour and ended with two proper shows. First the BELT show at HKD: a well-enacted and genuinely entertaining parody on the Hercules Poirot; and then "Without Hamlet" at Filodrammatica. The whole affair was not short of laughter.
Big thanks to all TRY parents who did such an excellent job hosting our friends from Belgrade, to the Serbian Consulate in Rijeka, and to Jolanda for working her magic.
We all have a feeling that this was the beginning of a very fruitful friendship!