NATIONAL THEATRE BECOMES A MEMBER OF THE ADRIATIC ROUTE WITHIN THE EUROPEAN ROUTE OF HISTORIC THEATRES PROJECT

International conference on preparations of historic theatres for future took place in the City of Hvar, on the island of the same name in Croatia, in period 21 – 23 May.
The event was organized within the European cultural project – European Route of Historic Theatres, and attended by representatives from about seventy European theatres, including the National Theatre in Belgrade, represented by Dr Sanja Živanović, theatrologist, and Mikojan Bezbradica, journalist and web-site editor in chief.
Criteria for selection of theatres, established prior to 1920, were focused on their architectural and historical importance.
The idea is to create a network of European cultural routes which would, besides other things, make a map of cultural tourism.
One of the goals is to emphasise the unique spiritual space and common background of theatre buildings in Europe and, as such, the importance of theatres as European cultural heritage.
The National Theatre in Belgrade was included into the Adriatic Route for its architectural beauty, preservation and, first of all, its rich history. Members of the Adriatic Route are also theatres from ex-Yugoslav countries.
The Research Centre of the National Theatre in Belgrade established communication with the Association of Historical Theatres in Europe, with central office in Berlin. The Research Centre submitted the selected and systematised materials and photographs, based on these materials the National Theatre was included into this prestigious project.
The project is fully supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union and it was initiated by the Hvar Heritage Museum and twelve partner countries.
The conference was organised under auspices of the PERSPECTIV - Association of Historic Theatres in Europe.
The conference took place in the Palas Hotel in Hvar in order to promote the Adriatic Route (since 2007, the following routes have been introduced: German Route, Nordic Route, Emperor Route, Italian Route, Channel Route), which encompasses, besides the National Theatre in Belgrade, the Slovenian National Theatre Ljubljana, Slovenian National Theatre Maribor, Hvar Public Theatre, Croatian National Theatre Zagreb, Croatian National Theatre Šibenik, Croatian National Theatre “Ivan Pl. Zajc” Rijeka, National Theatre Sarajevo, Royal Theatre “Zetski Dom” Cetinje, National Theatre “Toša Jovanović” Zrenjanin and National Theatre Sombor.
Mrs. Mirjana Kolumbić, the main manager of the Route, gave a speech at the conference and presented various illustrative materials. In her speech, she emphasised that the National Theatre in Belgrade is a leading theatre in the region with a strong ensemble.  
The conference programme included several lectures on specific cases of some of the theatres, amongst which was the Hvar Public Theatre – the oldest public theatre in Europe, established in 1612.
The conference focused on several themes, some of which were: Making state regulations suiting a historic theatre (speaker: Per Forsstrom, Sweden), Adapting to changing audiences & making use of historic and modern stage machinery (Thomas Lantz, Sweden), Plans for climatising the 1590 Teatro all’Antica in Sabbioneta (Andrea Marchini, Italy), The Teatru Manoel, Malta – recent and future works in the theatre (David Drago, Malta), Results of the EcoVenue Project in Britain (Mhora Samuel, Great Britain), European Route of Historic Theatres and the new media – some observations on the digital future of historic theatres (Antje Boshold, Germany); About the upcoming touring exhibition on the European Route of Historic Theatres (Carsten Jung, Germany), etc.
Recent floods in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia were mentioned quite often in the informal communication between the participants during the conference and they all expressed strong support and solidarity with people from flooded areas in the three countries.  
When the working day at the conference ended, the participants saw the performance of Stori Letrat by Lucija Rudan, presented by the Hvar Public Theatre.
The theatre buildings, which represent historical heritage, are still being used for their original purpose – as theatres; but they have also gained a new dimension – they have become tourist attractions, as well.
M.B.

Оn the pictures:
Mirjana Kolumbić, introducing the Adriatic Route
Carsten Jung, coordinator and general secretary of the Association of Historic Theatres in Europe, and Sanja Živanović, theatrologist.

Click HERE to see photographs.