Tena Štivičić

Plays by Tena Štivičić

3 Winters

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Tena Štivičić’s play 3 Winters follows a single Croatian family living in Zagreb throughout the vicissitudes of the nation's history between 1945 and 2011. It was first performed in the Lyttelton auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on 3 December 2014 (previews from 26 November) and went on to win the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

The play's action is set in and around the Kos family house in Zagreb, Croatia, in three alternating time periods: November 1945, January 1990, and November 2011 (with the exception of the first scene, which takes place in an office in Zagreb in 1945). In 1945 we see Rose, with her mother, husband and their baby daughter, Maša, moving into a partitioned house at the time of the victory of Tito’s communist partisans. By 1990, Maša and her history-teacher husband, Vlado, are occupying the same house, with their young daughters, at the very moment when Croatia and Slovenia are about to break up the dominant Yugoslavian communist regime. Finally we meet the Kos family in 2011 when Maša’s youngest daughter, Lucija, is about to marry an avaricious entrepreneur and Croatia is on the brink of joining the capitalist club of the European Union.

In an article published on the National Theatre's blog (http://national-theatre.tumblr.com/post/103126868756/tena-%C5%A1tivi%C4%8Di%C4%87-on-3-winters), Štivičić writes: 'The very first moments of inspiration for this play came from stories in my family. My mother’s, my aunt’s, my grandmother’s and even my great grandmother’s when I was very little. These women spoke in very different voices, each with a different set of tools, or in fact, lack of tools to express their circumstances and articulate the plight of their life.'

The National Theatre premiere was directed by Howard Davies and designed by Tim Hatley. It was performed by Charlotte Beaumont, Lucy Black, Susan Engel, Siobhan Finneran, Daniel Flynn, Hermione Gulliford, Jo Herbert, Alex Jordan, Gerald Kyd, James Laurenson, Jonny Magnanti, Jodie McNee, Alex Price, Adrian Rawlins, Sophie Rundle, Bebe Sanders and Josie Walker.

Fragile!  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Tena Štivičić's play Fragile! is a drama about the people behind the tabloid stories of migrant workers and sex-trafficking in twenty-first-century Europe. It was first performed at the Arcola Theatre, London, on 4 September 2007.

The play is set in present-day London (2007). Mila is a Croatian singer who dreams of a career in the musicals; Marko is a Serb who wants to be a stand-up comedian. They both work for Michi, a Bulgarian whose bar is a focal-point for immigrants from the former Yugoslavia who want to leave the Balkan war and its legacy behind. Another patron is Erik, a Scandinavian journalist who almost lost his life in the war and did lose his lover, Tiasha, who he believes to be dead. But after being trafficked throughout Europe as a prostitute, Tiasha arrives in London and everyone at Michi's discovers that dreams break easily and the past is not so easy to escape.

The Arcola Theatre production was directed by Michael Gieleta and designed by James Macnamara. It was performed by Catherine Cusack, Joseph Garton, Georgiana James, Edward Kingham, Rayisa Kondracki, Stella Maris and John Moraitis.

Invisible  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Tena Štivičić's play Invisible is a drama about migration and the world in flux. It was originally developed at the National Theatre Studio, London, and co-produced by Transport and New Wolsey Theatre. It was first performed at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, on 13 October 2011.

The play weaves together several stories of migration and cultural dislocation. Lara left home convinced that hard work and talent would reward her with a better life. Anton was forced to leave his village and finds himself suspended sixteen floors above a city cleaning windows. Malik stands on a beach and looks out towards a country where women apparently walk around half-naked. Felix, a young businessman with a pretty wife and a lucrative future, finds it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings. Amid the world of visas and wind turbines, commuter flights and nightclubs, fairy tales and tabloid press, a chance meeting drives disparate lives towards a chilling point of no return.

In a preface to the published script, theatre writer and academic Synne K. Behrndt writes: 'Invisible attempts to imagine the faces, the bodies and the individual human experiences, the "human scale" behind the statistics. Who are the people who leave their homelands month by month and find themselves in a new and disorientating context? And how may their experience be juxtaposed with the human consequences for globalisation’s "other half"? Finally, how does living in a world on the move shape the individual sense of identity and belonging?'

The New Wolsey Theatre production was directed by Douglas Rintoul and designed by Hayley Grindle. It was performed by Liam Bergin, Anna Elijasz, Jon Foster, Krystian Godlewski, Gracy Goldman, Mark Jax and Bridgitta Roy.

Tena Štivičić’s plays Can’t Escape Sundays, At Deathbed, The Two of Us, Fragile!, Fireflies, Felix, Invisible, Europa, and plays for children, Perceval – the Quest for the Grail, and Psst have been performed in a number of European countries and translated and published in ten languages. They have won numerous awards including the European Author’s Award and the Innovation Award at Heidelberg Stückemarkt for Fragile! In 2007, she wrote a one-act play for Goldoni Terminus, a collection of short plays commissioned to celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of Goldoni’s birth, which premiered at the Venice Biennale. She is a columnist for Zaposlena magazine in Croatia and has published two books of her columns. Her play Seven Days in Zagreb was the Croatian partner in the ETC Orient Express international project in summer 2009. Europa was co-written with Malgorzata Sikorska Miszczuk, Lutz Hübner and Steve Waters for the Birmingham Rep, ZKM Zagreb, Teatr Polski Bydgoszcz and Dresden Staatstheater. A feature film adapted from her play Invisible is currently in pre-production.