The New Post Office

Ljubljana

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Nova pošta

Robbova ulica 15 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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The New Post Office is the name of both a venue and a project conceived and operated jointly by the Maska Institute and Mladinsko Theatre. Located since 2017 in the premises of a former post office a short step away from the main Mladinsko building, it provides space for smaller-scale theatre performances, talks, workshops and festivals devised by the two organisations separately or in collaboration, with the express aim of exploring contemporary political and social themes through performance, dialogue and confrontation.

Background

Emerging from an idea, advanced by directors Sebastijan Horvat and Žiga Divjak, for a new use for the site, The New Post Office began (and has continued) as a nimbler way of working, as the fairly rigid frameworks (premieres, specific rehearsal periods and the like) that govern most theatres and theatre companies could largely be dispensed with.

Work

Despite the setback to the project caused by Maska’s temporary loss of state programme funding, the two organisations managed to stage a total of 38 events in the first year. Highlights after the first season include performances of 6, which also enjoyed subsequent festival appearances in Hungary and Croatia and won the Borštnik Grand Prix the Maribor Theatre Festival in 2018. It is a hard-hitting play about asylum seekers in Slovenia, a theme followed up in 2020’s Gejm (The Game), whose text is based on testimonies from the Border Violence Monitoring Network database. Other highlights include a short cycle of films by controversial German director Christoph Schlingensief, a short season of plays in 2018 by rising star Simona Semenič, with two performances in English at Stara Elektrarna, and the Performance Festival and Sex and Theatre Festival in 2019.