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Gjergj Prevazi: Theater competition increases the responsibility to select values, encouraging new directors is and should be the duty of every theater
Written by Julia Vrapi 2 Dhjetor 2023
Works of Albanian and foreign dramaturgy were performed on the theater stage this year through the "Youth Theater Fund". Gjergj Prevazi, director of the National Experimental Theater "Kujtim Spahivogli", says that encouraging young directors should be the duty of every theater institution. In the interview for the "SOT" newspaper, the director Gjergj Prevazi talks about the theater productions that have been realized through this fund, which is finalized with the "Hapat" festival. Director Prevazi says that there was previously an open call for applications for this fund, where a large number of young directors and choreographers applied and in the end ten winners emerged.
Prevazi says that a total of 10 premieres have been realized from this theater fund, where 50 performances for the public have been given not only on the stage of Tirana, but also in the districts. "Hapat" is a festival with a competitive nature, but Prevazi says that the competition increases the responsibility to select values, where and why the competition is not everything, it is a tool that highlights some values, work, research that are more interesting. "Theatre fund for young people" is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture and TKEKS and this year it is 10 million new lek for the projects that have been realized. Earlier in the call for applications to the Experimental Theater it was said that through the "Theater Fund for young people" the aim is to revitalize the theater movement at the national level.
- The theater festival "Hapat", the most important event of the theater scene for young people is approaching. The performances participating in this competitive festival were realized through the "2023 Youth Theater Fund". How important is it to you as the director of the National Experimental Theater "Kujtim Spahivogli", on whose stage this festival will take place?
The development of the theater festival "Hapat" has a special importance. "Youth Theater Fund" is a fund dedicated to young directors and choreographers. It was an open call for applications, where a very large number of young directors and choreographers applied and ten winners emerged. During a period of 5-9 months, each of them has performed five performances and in total ten theater premieres and 50 performances for the public have been performed so far, which were given not only on the stage of Tirana, but also on the stages of other theaters. in districts. From these theater shows, a theater festival called "Steps" is organized as a conclusion of all this work, which started with this name last year, but in fact it is a festival that once existed but was then discontinued. Since last year and this year it has been ongoing and I think and hope that it will turn into a tradition festival for young directors.
- The "Steps" theater festival will take place on the stage of the National Experimental Theater at "ArTurbina" and the "Black Box" hall at UA from December 5 - 10, where prizes will be awarded at the end. A competitive festival for young people in the field of theater, but how much does this confrontation between them serve for them?
The competition increases the responsibility to select values, in the end the competition is not everything, but it is a tool that highlights some values, work, some research that are more interesting, that best lead to the approaches for which we have made them clear since at the top of the time. Which is mainly related to contemporary theater, that is, theatrical research, theatrical experiment and competition in this case is better evidenced in those values ??that we seek to select, we seek to separate from many works to come to the most prominent and most accomplished.
- The "Steps" festival is the final stage of the "Youth Theater Fund 2023", but the plays have been staged in theaters in the districts before. In your opinion, should more be done for this cooperation with performances in theaters in the districts?
This is something that needs to be improved. Sometimes it worked better, sometimes it didn't work so well, but I believe and hope that by turning into an experience in time, of course, we as a theater and the young directors, but also those host theaters will become more responsible and will be more interested in welcoming and stimulating new directors. Encouraging young directors is and should be the duty of every theater and public or local institution.
- This year, among the applications, the artistic board of the National Experimental Theater chose 10 winning projects. Among them, the young artists have proposed five pieces of Albanian dramaturgy and five of foreign dramaturgy. This whole process will culminate with the "Steps" festival, where the best prizes will be awarded. What can you tell us about the jury of this festival this year?
The jury of the theater festival "Hapat" consists of 7 people. A professional jury, which will include well-known artists, etc.
- We are in the last month of 2023, but during this year in the theater that you run, there has been a rich artistic activity with various shows, where co-productions have not been missing. In the theater that you run, premieres are expected during these days and others. Are these works productions of the National Experimental Theater or theater co-productions?
In the theater activity, we have three more theater premieres to appear on stage for the public until the end of this year. They are theatrical performances, where two are theatrical productions exclusively of the National Experimental Theater "Kujtim Spahivogli" and one performance is a co-production.