Ptuj City Theatre was reestablished in 1995 on the initiative of Samo Strelec and Theatre Zato. Based in a 230-seat hall within a recently renewed and modernised 19th-century historical building, it launched its first repertory season in Autumn 1995. Since that time the seven-member permanent team and over 200 guest actors produce around 6 performances annually, staging communicative plays of different genres. Ptuj City Theatre organises 2 theatre festivals, namely the biennial Festival of Monodrama, Ptuj and the annual Slovene Festival of Chamber Theatre (SKUP).
Programme and co-productions
The annual programme is based on new or contemporary relevant drama texts, often first stagings of individual drama texts in Slovenia. Past productions include Baltimore Waltz [Baltimorski valček] (2003) by Paula Vogel, George’s Marvellous Medicine [Gregorjevo čudežno zdravilo] by Roald Dahl, Kvetch [Jamr] by Steven Berkoff, Art by Yasmina Reza, Ay, Carmela! by José Sanchis Sinisterra, Neville’s Island [Nevilov otok] by Tim Firth, Norway-Today by Igor Bauersima, Sleuth [Vohljač] by Anthony Shaffer, Grönholm Method [Grönholmova metoda] by Jordi Galcerán, Two Character Play [Igra za dve osebi] by Tennessee Williams, and various domestic authors. Ptuj City Theatre has collaborated with directors, such as Rene Maurin, Tomi Janežič, Ivana Djilas, Nenni Delmestre, Zvone Šedlbauer, Sebastijan Horvat, Matjaž Latin, and others.
The theatre also enters co-productions with other Slovene theatre producers, such as the 2007 Ragged People/Pupils and Teachers [Raztrganci/učenci in učitelji], directed by Sebastijan Horvat, which was co-produced by Cankarjev dom and EPI Centre; and the 2010 production Custom-Made Kitchen [Kuhinja po meri], directed by Igor Samobor and co-produced by Glej Theatre, etc.
The theatre appears at Slovene theatre festivals, such as Days of Comedy, Slovene Drama Week, Borštnik Theatre Festival, etc., where its productions and actors are also often awarded. For example, Gregor Strniša’s play Frogs [Žabe], directed by Jernej Lorenci, was awarded by the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia at the 2010 edition of the Borštnik Theatre Festival. rokgre’s text Garbage on the Moon [Smeti na Luni], which received the 2008 Grum Award at the Slovene Drama Week, had its first staging later the same year at Ptuj City Theatre, directed by Nick Upper, while the theatre’s production Grönholm Method [Grönholmova metoda], directed by Nenni Delmestre, received the audience and grand jury award at the 2008 edition of Slovene Festival of Chamber Theatre (SKUP). The theatre’s production Micka was also awarded at the 2007 Days of Satire in Zagreb, Croatia.
In addition to its main subscription repertory series, Ptuj City Theatre also hosts guest performances from all Slovene professional theatre houses and international guests. Puppetry subscription series for children features guest performances by several Slovene puppetry ensembles.
The theatre also organises practical theatre workshops for the youth (“Theatre Studio”), led by the actress Dunja Zupanec and the director and pedagogue Branka Bezeljak.