This year as well, for the 34 time, from 5th to 10th of June in Prilep was held the Macedonian Theatre Festival whose patron is the founder of the Macedonian drama – the Macedonian patriot Vojdan Černodrinski (1876-1951). The list of performances in the official competition this year was: “The last peasants” by the National theater of Bitola, “Hamlet” by the Drama Theater Of Skopje, “ The spirit if the can” by the National theater Anton Panov of Strumica, “G’of” by the Albanian Drama of Skopje, “Crazy Ibrahim” by the Turkish Drama of Skopje, “Raskol” (dissent), by the National theater of Kumanovo, “Cat on the hot tin roof” by the National theater of Bitola and “Murlin Murlo” by the Macedonian Drama Theater of Skopje. There were many awarded, but unsatisfied were both the part of the awarded and non-awarded.
For many years back, this only festival of the Macedonian folk theaters, has been living and existing with all its ups and downs. In the beginning it was a review, than it became plays, than the question was whether to become just a review of the domestic drama, and at the end it defined itself as MTF (Macedonian Theatric Festival), with triennial option for domestic drama.
The continuity of its existing deserves considerable respect, by all means, and it shows sense for caring for the tradition and the valuable national cultural /theatric heritage, but it is more than certain that this theatric institution, like so many, is in need of fundamental reorganization and restructuring.
In recent times, everyone’s desire (with some exemptions) to be awarded, has been achieved only by the fighters and the lucky ones, but those truly worthy are only few. Uncontestable is the fact: we are a small medium, the competition is even smaller, there is no prestige, and everyone can be the best… Lost are the fundamental parameters of assessment and of any help are neither ten selectors nor twenty members of the jury.
This institution can use an art director, the creator of the festival concept, and as regards the acclaims they should be reduced – it should be only an award for the best performance and one award respectively for the best male and female performance. In that way the festival competitive character will gain in value, and the satisfaction for the laureates will be bigger. The quarrels, the accusations that the jury has been bribed and the opportunities for manipulations will be avoided. In question is the date of its opening, as well. Why it can’t be in spring or autumn? Currently it seems like taking an HSC exam.
Big deficiency is the festival communication with other cultural environments, invitations to the directors of world festivals, foreign critics, journalist, theatrologists, and mediums…
The only innovation from the recent issues of MTF is the theatrological symposium that this year was on the theme “Actorship and production in the Macedonian Theater”.
That’s why before the end of the millennium I am alarming and appealing: Quo vadis, MTF?!
Translated by: Katarina Cipuševa