Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana
Director and author of the adaptation: Janez Pipan
Dramaturg: Mojca Kranjc
Stage designer: Sanja Jurca Avcı
Costume designer: Leo Kulaš
Composer: Aldo Kumar
Lighting designer: Andrej Hajdinjak
Language consultant: Jože Faganel
Choreographer: Sebastjan Starič
Assistant Director: Luka Marcen
Assistant to Stage designer: Tomaž Budkovič
Assistant to Costume designer: Lara Kulaš
Assistant to Dramaturg (student): Jasna Pintarič
Barbara Cerar/Maša Derganc
Timon Šturbej/Timotej Novaković
Veronika Drolc, Gorazd Logar, Matija Rozman, Vojko Zidar, Barbara Žefran
About the performance
The Serfs is considered one of those canonical texts that continue to provoke, raise essential questions and require a constant in-depth reflection. Working on his new play in 1909, Cankar was initially determined to write a political satire. In the third act, however, his satirical play suddenly turned into "a tragedy", as he himself described it. However, the play is ultimately not a tragedy according to classic criteria, despite the tormenting struggle of the main protagonist, the progressive school teacher Jerman, an intellectual of high moral standards forced to yield in the face of political pragmatism, self-centred pretension, abuses of power and manipulations. Nonetheless, The Serfs has established a long-lasting model of political mechanisms, which have not changed much since the play was first written 110 years ago.
Published in 1910, The Serfs caused an immediate scandal and gave rise to indignation and outrage, resulting in the censor’s ban on staging the play. Thus, it was first produced after Cankar’ death, in 1919, in Trieste, and later in Zagreb, and finally, on 11 December 1919, on the stage of the present-day SNT Drama Ljubljana.
With its pointed title, The Serfs has remained a paradigmatic text repeatedly used to describe the Slovenian political situation and a collective attitude towards the authorities. Frequently analysed and quoted, its selected passages have acquired various meanings, ranging from a devastating critique of the Slovenian national character to the slogans of emancipation and patriotism. Several characters from The Serfs have become synonyms for people of principle, decency and high moral standards, or, conversely, for the absence thereof and laxity. Cankar’s unforgiving diagnosis of the nation continues to provoke, which makes each new staging of The Serfs a singular response to the play.
Première: 23 September 2017