Nacionalinis Kauno dramos teatras

The Slovenian and National Kaunas Drama Theatre creators are producing the play ELECTRA

Workshops and play readings take place in the rehearsal hall – this is how the modern “Electra” based on texts by Sophocles, Euripides and Eschilles begins its creative journey. One of the most interesting and promising Slovenian theatre directors, JAŠA KOCELI, leads the group of thirteen actors to the premiere, assisted by a large team of Slovenian artists. The premiere is scheduled for 2020 March 25, 26th on the Big stage.

About director Jaša Koceli

Born in Celje, Slovenia. He finished theatre directing and sociology studies at the University of Ljubljana. He often create projects where he combines different text sources. He encourages new writings or writes his own texts.

In last 6 years, he directed sixteen professional performances in several different theatres in Slovenia and now he continues his artistic journey abroad, where he directed „5boys“ by Simona Semenič in Hungarian theatre Weöres Sándor in Szombathely and in 2020 he directs „Electra“ in the National Drama Theatre in Kaunas, Lithuania. His last performance is grand opera „The Magic Flute“ by W.A. Mozart in Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Ljubljana. In 2018 he directed first Slovenian staging of „The Trojan Women“ by Euripides in Slovenian National Theatre Nova Gorica. This performance opened the 2019 edition of the International festival of ancient Greek drama in Cyprus.

He created four performances in Glej Theatre (recent one is „Psycho“ by Davorin Lenko in 2019), two performances in Ljubljana City Theatre („Café Dada“ and „Breathless: Now“), two shows in Ljubljana Puppet Theatre („Little Queens“ by Eva Mahkovic and „Nellie Goodbye“ by Lutz Hübner), „Pomona“ by Alistair McDowall in Slovenian National Theatre Drama, the iconic Slovenian drama „An event in the town of Goga“ by Slavko Grum in Anton Podbevšek Theater „Novo mesto“ and an intimate erotic fragment „Lesbos“ in BiTeater.

He was active in the field of opera as well: besides 2019’s „The Magic Flute“ he directed his first opera „Julka and Janez“ by the composer Jan Gorjanc and librettist Svetlana Slapšak in the SNT Ballet and Opera Ljubljana and first operetta „Hop Princess“ in his hometown of Žalec.

As a lighting designer, he co-created three ballet performances: two in SNT Opera and Ballet Ljubljana („Symphony of sorrowful songs“ and „Heartmeat“) and one in National Theatre in Belgrade „(Dictionary of the Khazars: Dream Hunters“).

As assistant director, Jaša has cooperated in six institutional theatre performances with the acclaimed directors Dušan Jovanović, Janez Pipan, Ivica Buljan, and Tomaž Pandur.

Director Jaša Koceli/ photo D. Stankevičius  

About the choice

There are many powerful archetypes in the texts by ancient Greeks that fascinate and challenge me. They demand strong interpretation and Electra is on my mind over the years. The destiny of a woman who waits indefinitely is a hunting one. She’s not passive, but desperate and full of impulses that cannot be realized. She’s not allowed to fulfill the potential she has so her personality goes through many tough angles. After all the possibilities to free her mind are lost she turns to violence and unpredictable passions. It’s the story about how waiting can transform a human being. I’m attracted to strong female characters because I believe that there’s a kind of a parallel human history if we look through the eyes of the women.

Elektra, the team, from left: Darjan Mihajlovic Cerar, Branka Pavlic, Tajda Podobnik, Jasa Koceli, Miha Petric, David Andrej Francky, Mankica Kranjec

The performance is created with vivid means of contemporary aesthetics. The creative team consists of Slovenian artists, with whom the director  is working regulary: stage designer Darjan Mihajlovič Cerar, costume designer Branka Pavlič, composer Miha Petric, photographer Mankica Kranjec, choreographer Tajda Podobnik.

Cast: Greta Šepliakovaitė (Electra), Jūratė Onaitytė (Leda), Daiva Rudokaitė (Clytemnestra), Tomas Erbrėderis (Aegisthus), Ričardas Vitkaitis (Agamemnon), Povilas Jatkevičius (Orestes), Deividas Breivė (Pylades). Kamilė Lebedytė, Jurgita Maskoliūnaitė, Saulė Sakalauskaitė, Ieva Stašelytė, Aistė Zabotkaitė, Roberta Sirgedaitė (chorus).


Director Jaša Koceli and choreographer Tajda Podobnik/ photo D. Stankevičius

Workshop/photo D. Stankevičius

First play reading /photo D. Stankevičius

Costume designer Branka Pavlič/ photo D. Stankevičius

National Kaunas Drama Theatre information

Photos: Donatas Stankevičius

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