Recognize your star

This year’s slogan of the Pozorište Zvezdarište Recognize your star is ambiguous, because it can refer to people and their connection to the nature, that wonderful moment at night, when it is clear and we can see the stars that are shining, especially in Zvezdara. Recognizing your own star is also recognizing the purpose, the good and the bad in us, the guiding star, some new idea, until then unknown or undiscovered. Recognizing your own star can be recognizing some hero or a hero of the play, who excels by some virtue, special braveness, and humanity.

Zvezdarište again this year represents great joy, because of the reunion, because of the dialogue, exchange of thoughts and feelings, because of the wide range of topics, styles and ideas, that eleven wholesome, gentle and bold plays bring. Each year we try to find some direction, tendency, some mutual thread, that connects all the selected plays. This year that is possible in several ways, and this text is just one suggestion on how to observe this year’s program, that is composed of recent and relevant plays from Serbia and the region. Thematic focus on the nature is noticeable, longing for nature, a great return to the exciting green world, which is often foreign to the children from the city. The personification of a girl from nature is exactly Heidi, whom we will get to know, as well as the forest crew, from even two plays –Missing" and "The Forest of Songs". Following the life of plants and animals, trees and bugs, we will understand better both ourselves and our characteristics and feelings, we will learn something about the world, that is actually, although a lot greener and healthier, very similar to us. The story about the gentle fawn Bambi is a completely logical continuation of the mentioned plays, and it will be a pleasure to see how this story is told through theatrical means. In that forest we will meet various animals, also one that, although seemingly from the wild, found itself in a big city, the city of the great and dear Duško Radović. Yes, indeed we are very lucky to be seeing plays at Zvezdarište based on the works of our great writers – from the aforementioned Duško Radović, through Ivo Andrić, to the young and active Stefan Tićmi. Duško Radović gifted us long ago a scary lion, Andrić the story about Aska and the wolf, referring to the story of Scheherazade, and the young author from Leskovac, Stefan Tićmi introduces into our world Akiko, unusual little girl, that is actually one of us. All these plays are actually stories about identity, about self-understanding in our environment and beyond. About this also talks the Snow Queen, which narrates about unbreakable friendship, acceptance, vulnerability and tenderness, one big forest of ideas.

That forest in itself has also something primordial and archetypal, so with the story of boys turned into trees, the play "The Fairy Tale of the Enchanted Beauty" takes us back to mythology and our folk beliefs, fairy tales and picturesque folklore. This year’s festival will open, as it does every time, some important and big topics, so we will, for example, in "The Little Match Girl "see how children live on the streets, the children that are forced to fights, the children to whom aid can be given by empathy and helping hand in a bitter and difficult childhood. "The Caffe Kingdom" will encourage young viewers, that want to stay persistent in their original idea, to convince other that what they feel is good– is the right thing. And again, story about the identity and about how it is good to be your own star and accept yourself as you are.

In front of us, audience of all ages, is really big and great selection of plays, all of which are sincere, noble and starry, and it is up to us to think about and recognize a play for ourselves, to recognize our own star!

Ana Vučković Denčić, journalist and writer