It seems that the slogan of this year’s Zvezdariste – Know It All is completely adequate. And why? Because there are some exotic, exciting titles in this year’s selection. We love Pinocchio, Puss in Boots, and Cinderella very much, and we’ve proven that in some previous issues of Zvezdariste. But now, as the slogan says, we are ready for some new insights and omens, for new stories that we may not have heard of until now. This way, a kid who comes to the festival will be able to boast a friend in kindergarten, school, or neighborhood who knows the story of Quasimodo, the Belgrade Mummy, or Oliver Twist.
This year’s selection, curiously crafted by Željko Hubač, brings us stories created by truly great writers, those who created new worlds, bringing them the most wonderful of them. For the first time, children at the Zvezdariste may hear important names such as Jack London, Victor Hugo or Charles Dickens, and will want to read more of what they wrote, which is about masterpieces from different eras. Perhaps they will most like the worlds created by writers in our space, Jasminka Petrovic or Ahmet Hromadzic, whom they compare with Tolkien. Yes, there will be many genres, melodramas, fiction, but also a bit of mysticism and horror in the terrifying stories of Heinrich Hoffmann.
As before, both plays and puppet plays and mixed performances will be presented for different ages and even for the youngest ones who have just turned one year old. Not all the performances at this year’s Zvezdarište have a foothold in stories or novels, some can also be thanked for songs and counters, the ones that make childhood so playful. Yes, it’s that childhood mythology where moms and dads and the rest will be recognized. And if moms and dads love comics, they might be especially pleased if the kids liked a play inspired by exactly the ninth art.
It seems that this hub offers something nice and good for everyone to find in classic pieces, coming from an adult audience. However, the most important knowledge will be the one which will be conveyed by actors, set designers, costume designers, music, directly, in the game, live, before our eyes. This Zvezdarište will be in celebration of the jubilee, as we will mark the thirty years since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and one of those rights, which the Observatory affirms from the beginning is the right to culture. Hence the children’s jury at the festival.
Another right of the child is the right to a book. The Creative Center, a partner of the festival from the beginning, has been celebrating for thirty years, so the festival will also hold several interactive workshops regarding their releases.
Symbolically, the first day of the festival will be November 20th, World Children’s Day. Children and their parents who feel like children can enjoy in Zvezdarište. And the main feature of children is curiosity and desire for new knowledge.
That is why this Zvezdarište will connect big and small, theater and books, history and future and all of us together.
Ana Vučković Denčić, writer