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M. Držić: Grižula
Dubrovnik Summer Festival in co-production with the Academy of Dramatic Art, University of Zagreb (as part of the EU project Future Epics)
Marin Držić: Grižula
Directors: Saša Božić and Petra Hrašćanec
Grižula: Ozren Grabarić
Omakala: Nataša Dangubić
Vukosava: Perica Martinović
Staniša: Branimir Vidić
Plakir: Boris Barukčić
and Acting and Dance students of the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art:
Iva Jerković, Anica Kontić, Lana Meniga, Dea Presečki, Danijela Evđenić, Viktoria Bubalo, Lucija Alfier, Kristijan Petelin, Leon Dubroja
Set and costume design: Zdravka Ivandija-Kirigin
Costume designer’s assistant : Ana Mikulić
Lighting design: Martin Šatović
Music: Nenad Sinkauz
Stage manager: Roko Grbin
Language consultant: Maro Martinović
Location: Gradac Park
Marin Držić’s comedy Grižula only partially belongs to the pastoral tradition, primarily because of a group of mythological characters and plot in one segment of the story. However, what Držić started in Tirena – the introduction of sharp-witted Dubrovnik Vlachs into the world of Arcadia – became a rule in Grižula. The directing concept activates the space of Grižula as a space of captivity, it does not provide shelter to those who seek harmony, purity and beauty, but becomes a space of uneasiness and caution – the fairies fear Cupid, Plakir fears the fairies, Gruba fears that she will lose Dragić here, Dragić loses himself in this space and, by escaping one evil, Omakala encounters another, while Grižula is mocked and enslaved.
The interplay between the enamoured couples is especially important for Grižula, resembling the one in A Midusmmer Night’s Dream. Throughout this interplay of couples in love who search for each other in an enchanted circle, which we find both in May festivities and comedies, Držić introduces an idea which he conveys to his audience as a moral lesson and a warning: when ordinary people cross boundaries set for them as human beings and encounter the supernatural fairy world, they become comical and victims of restlessness and misunderstanding. By combining conventional motifs typical of mythological-allegorical drama, by stripping the Vlach characters of caricatured features and crude humour, by individualising them, involving them in the dramatic plot with the theme from real-life Dubrovnik, by assuming a critical stance towards it, Držić equipped Grižula with meanings lacking from the works of similar type. By parodying the theme of an idyllic world in which noble shepherds are eternally searching for fairies, through three seemingly secondary, ‘non-fairy’ strands of the plot he shaped the idea of disharmony between what is desired and what is possible, between the ideal and reality, between what we want and what we can get, thus showing that happiness is not found in the imaginary Arcadian world and the search for the ‘fairy’ (the desired value), but in the reality, we live in. Therefore the contemporary relevance of Grižula does not lie in the allegoric glorification of marriage, but in the story about love that is not to be sought beyond what is known and available to us. This new reading of the eternal human search for love by Saša Božić and Petra Hrašćanec is a study of the local mentality intertwined with motifs from Dubrovnik folk songs and dances.
The specificity of the project is the participation of the final year students of Acting from the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art alongside renowned Croatian theatre actors. They will go through the process of attending workshops and auditions and, through their work with actors and directors, learn the language of Držić’s works and be introduced to the general context of older Dubrovnik literature.