1492 a.k.a. Is There Anything a Pre-War Erotic Dancer Can Still Show Nowadays?
The first Ana Monro performance was a medieval farse containing elements of commedia dell’arte and acrobatic stunts. In ten years there were 65 replays in Slovenia, cities in former Yugoslavia, Graz, Klagenfurt, and Vienna, Austria.
Bibol a.k.a. Our Discipline is a Premonition of Dawn
A discipline, where players pass two balls simultaneously to each other, strengthens the muscles and reactivates the psychomotor centres people have already written off due to our one-hand-only-activation system.
The Red Ray
Based on a novel by M. Bulgakov, this unified, eccentric, and ironic story combines live acting and pre-recorded scenes. The whole text was recorded and played through a sound system, whereas the actors were puppets, soundlessly opening their mouths. There were 32 performances all around Slovenia, in the capitals of ex-Yu states, and at festivals such as La Biennial in Barcelona, Spain, and 9e Biennale in La Chaud-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
First based on Hašek’s The Good Soldier Švejk (pronounced shvake), this performance with elements of exercise, dance, live music, and theatre developed into a story about a master of Holmes-like deduction and a doctor, who try to prevent a war and the emperor’s pure madness. In Slovenia, the show was performed 33 times.
My country – My White Mother
A performance with a series of cabaret and vaudeville acts accompanied by live and pre-recorded music, dancing, singing, and clown shows. It was basically a pop show in which Ana Monro was unveiling, mocking and (mentally as well as physically) destroying the general symbols of our region.
An exciting crime story with live music, pantomime, circus shows, and pyrotechnics – and large amounts of fire and water. The performers arrive at the scene in and on a fire engine.
A funny operetta with 17 musicians and actors who performed versions of well-known operas as well as new pop songs with their own lyrics about the hard life of a peasant, hinting several times about the after-war history, and the modern social and cultural situation. The performance was staged 20 times in Slovenia and Zagreb, Croatia.
Circus Kansky I
The performance was based on a simulation of hypnosis: A hypnotist chose a few members of the audience (who were actually performers). He put them under pretence hypnosis, and they acted in bizarre ways (dry-swimming, iron-bending, fire-breathing). He even made a watermelon blow up.
The Baptism at the Savica
The well-known poem by France Prešeren was enacted by Ana Monro in two performances: The first remained faithful (so to say) to the original text, place, and time, whereas in the second performance, the actors adapted the text according to their views and needs while using contemporary artistic and theatrical approaches. (They used pop art costumes and a cabaret-setting.
Circus Kansky II
This broader version of Cirkus Kansky incorporated brass band music, singing, simulations, circus stunts, and pyrotechnics. There were at least 40 replays, often remakes, one of them at the Borštnik theatre festival in 1989 and at other festivals, such as Grad Teatar in Budva, Montenegro, and Alles Teater in Gera, Germany.
The Cirkus Kansky Shooting Gallery
The next developmental stage of this circus spectacle was to reach the European public in the form of a universal farse. This compact story showed key events in the life of an individual, presented surrealistically through the use of music, juggling, illusionism, fire, and pyrotechnics. It was performed at several festivals, such as The International Theatre Festival in Ljubljana, Grad Teatar in Budva, Montenegro, Eurokaz in Zagreb, Croatia, Alles Teater in Gera, Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia.
Staged almost 30 times in Dance Theatre Ljubljana, this performance was a remake of a famous fairy tale. Ana Monro incorporated elements of the (then) modern era such as a bulldozer, Formula 1, and robot.
Mystification of the Italian way of life, the performance was presented through pop songs from the 1960s Sanremo Music Festival. Every character had its own stereotypical attributes and played a certain role (the mafia, a young innocent girl, a gigolo), and all were part of dirty back-stage plots. The show was performed at least 50 times, also in Brno, Czech Republic, and BRAMS festival in Belgrade, Serbia, where it received the Grand Award.
A show about a vampiress who crawls out of a coffin of the Slovenian history, finally being able to turn into a hen. In times when democracy in Slovenia was born and Catholicism was on the rise, this performance tried to predict potential tendencies in the country. One of the performances took place at the Borštnik theatre festival in Maribor in 1991.
Feature performances, based on the method by Dutch theatrical and improviser Keith Johnston, combined several structurally defined disciplines with strict rules. Spectators decided upon topics and genres, roles, titles, or emotions; they were able to interrupt or change the course of an improvised story. This programme was staged in Slovenia more than 110 times, and it was the foundation of the strong improv movement that followed.
From Thalium to a Tory
A monography about Ana Monro Theatre with a history/theory essay on theatre development, texts of performances, photographs, and posters. A comprehensive account of a decade of Ana Monro, created in collaboration with the Slovenian Association of Cultural Organizations.
A Cirkus Kansky modification, this performance was created after the short war in Slovenia. It was a funny story about a member of the Territorial Defence and his troubles during and after the war. The performance was also staged at the Borštnik theatre festival in Maribor (1991).
Tarzan: The Great Vulture Episode
The famous film and literary character endures several climate changes and possesses a myriad of physical skills, and Lady Jane moves from her garden in England directly to the jungle. There she sees Tarzan – after he had been relocated to a circus along with his animals – finally defeating the Great Vulture, bringing the story to a happy end. The show was enacted almost 30 times.
Rape, Strangle and Call
Taking place at three venues at the same time, this is a story about Sherlock Holmes, inspecting a mysterious murder in Soho – interpreted by Ana Monro, off course. The show was also staged at the Borštnik theatre festival in Maribor (1992).
The Ginger Association
The first (and only) performance, actually based on a novel: Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Following a fixed script, Ana Monro were adding improv elements – but then incorporated another novelty: Before each show started, performers publically drew roles for each of them and each performer new all the roles. This meant that the show was never the same – by definition. In 1993, Ana Monro Theatre received the Župančič Award, presented by the City of Ljubljana.
The Path to Delphi
Presented in Gyula, Hungary, and – a shorter version – in Ljubljana, this performance of 80 members in six successive shows (three parades and three performances in set locations) was a common project by nine European theatres (from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Scotland, and Switzerland). The parade in Gyula and Ljubljana was designed and directed by Ana Monro Theatre. There were five successive scenes (mountains, a village, war, professions, joy). Performed on a truck in set locations in a town, each scene had its own story, scenic design, and props.
Ana Monro Theatre invited all theatres and other interested groups to form improv groups which then took part at a summer theatre camp at the Slovenian countryside to practise with Ana Monro and hold seven contests in Ljubljana. In the autumn of 1994, an improv league of six teams took place – and, as expected, Ana Monro won. After three years, Ana Monro stopped performing in the league but continued to mentor other teams. The summer theatre contests still exist today, and new teams are being formed every year. The improv movement even takes place in elementary and high schools (ŠILA contest) all around Slovenia. Several successful theatre groups have been formed on the foundation of improv.
Trial of the Baker
A spectacular performance about the middle-age custom, created for the 25th anniversary of The Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia. Ana Monroe Theatre adapted the custom to the Chamber’s needs using modern elements and props. They presented a story about a town judge and his colleagues (a constable and executioner) who caught a local baker and his assistant cheating – the bread they were selling was too light. They were punished by being dunked into the Ljubljanica River, and finally, a shark put an end to their secular suffering.
The Lazy Glutton
A children’s show. Co-produced by Cankarjev dom, this is a children’s show about a glutton who comes to town. He torments the locals with his bad breath and eats all the food there is. The hero who resolves the situation is a beggar and a magician. He offers the man some food which causes him to breathe fire and finally explode. The show was performed 30 times.
Trupelo Beta Kentauri
A truck arrives at the scene. The actors – singing a song about their show in the commedia dell’ arte style – transform the truck into a stage. Ana Monro Theatre chose a modern method to present the medieval travelling theatre. The performance was premiered at the Lent Festival in Maribor (1994).
A tragicomedy about a cabaret artist, singer, and actress Diva Divanova who tries to make a comeback. Her show, however, is overcoming several technical difficulties – but there are also a couple of loud spectators. After having a fight with the artistic director and guard, they disappear behind the curtain and find themselves in a big television on stage. Instead of Diva, they are now the ones performing: a variety of TV-shows and TV-genres, such as documentaries, entertainment shows, news coverage, films, and advertisements. The performance was staged 24 times.
This is a fairy tale about builders who try to fix a wall, but they unintentionally bring down another one. Completely by accident, they manage to save a princess behind the wall who flies away and rides off with her prince charming. In 1997, the show was also performed at the Ljubljana Castle and Lent Festival in Maribor.
The Lucy Jordan Cabaret
A show in the form of a TV-diary featured by a TV-presenter who presents news about politics, culture, sports, and weather. The content is simultaneously interpreted by actors and musicians. The performance was enacted 14 times all around Slovenia.
The Dragon of the Postojna Cave
Based on the story, which goes by that same name, about a creative shepherd who defeats a dreadful dragon because of his special skills. Among other places, the performance took place in the Postojna Cave where there were almost 2,000 spectators.
Making preparations to return to their world, seven extra-terrestrials walk on Earth and set on several adventures – horse racing, a flood, circus, mirror barrier, and more. This majestic performance was, among other places, enacted at a festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
All is Well
The show was created in cooperation with a theatre group of Bosnian refugees under the leadership of Draga Potočnjak who wrote the texts and co-directed this performance. It’s a story about three Bosnian refugees who experience all kinds of problems and set on adventures while travelling through Europe. In the end, they find themselves in an uncertain and hopeless situation. The show was performed 25 times in Slovenia and 4 times in Bosnia.
Mainly financed by the City of Ljubljana, the international street theatre festival called Ana Desetnica came to the streets of the Slovenian capital. Now boasting with audiences of more than 40,000 a year, in the two decades to follow, the festival became the biggest Slovenian international cultural and social event.
This street theatre hit took spectators back to the 1970s. It’s a story about a family (husband, wife, son, grandpa, and dog) who arrive in the smallest of cars, the legendary Yugoslav Fiat Zastava 750, to enjoy a nice picnic at the countryside. But things get complicated. The rain finally makes the family pack their things and leave hungry. The show was enacted more than 70 times all around Slovenia as well as at festivals in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sardinia in Italy, and Ukraine.
This majestic street performance begins in a gloomy atmosphere of a dirty, smelly street. Sanitary workers are disinfecting and marking infected bars and sick people, reporting on the radio and warning about the dangers of the plague. Then a group of comedians arrive – but their show in the commedia dell’ arte style is quickly put to a stop. An intervention group try to control the situation, however, they’re interrupted by a politician who claims they are frauds, and proposes a solution to the problem: sacrifice. The victim gets a monument, yet redemption is merely an illusion. The performance also took part at the Fira del Teatro al Carrer festival in Tarrega (Catalonia, Spain), and the street theatre festival in Barakaldo (Basque Country, Spain).
On the initiative and organized by Ana Monro Theatre, and produced by the Lent Festival, six Slovenian street theatres joined forces for the first time, creating this majestic open-air spectacle. Including biblical themes, presented in a totally new, ironic, and spiritual way, the story was a medieval passion.
Ana Monro Theatre tried to find out if it was possible to intrigue an audience and make them finish the show successfully without the casting crew. They were also interested in seeing if such a show is dynamic, fun, and successful (in the eyes of other spectators) every single time. Through their superb manipulation, the answer was obvious: YES! The performance was enacted 17 times, also in ceremonial venues, such as a church, town hall, judgement tower, and reception hall.
Crime for Punishment
A grandiose street performance with a strong storyline and a somewhat less strong course about a shoeshine boy and shoelace seller who, while doing their jobs in the street, encounter a finance worker, and struggle to grab his suitcase. They then start bribing witnesses (with real money), there’s a police investigation, and reconstruction of the crime, along with the murdered finance worker, a zombie who’s collecting money for his funeral. Realizing that there’s a bomb in the suitcase, they all scatter, the suitcase blows up, and there’s money falling all around the place. The show was performed 14 times, also at festivals in Belgrade and Pančevo (Serbia).
In this street action, four cleaning ladies thoroughly clean everything they come across: people, their clothes and possessions, vehicles, shops and bars, façades, houses, and streets. The performance includes several skills and artistic acts, singing, dancing, and a compulsory snack.
The Ana Monro Monthly
A series of monthly street theatre actions by Ana Monro Theatre to lift their spirits and boost stamina. Each action was designed by a different theatre member, whereas all members always took part. They enacted the following actions: Sightseeing of Ljubljana, Passing a Suitcase, The First Mini-Relay Around Fascist-Occupied Ljubljana, Let’s Go to School, Street Merchants, and The Ana Monro Memorial Plaque.
Criticizing the ever lower standards of life in Slovenia, this is a show with elements of burlesque, silent film, the absurd, and criticism of the society. The story has no text; the problems and resourcefulness of four casualties in a self-service ER, who try to help themselves by following instructions, are presented through pantomime and simple props. The show was also staged in Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland.
Custom-made show (Bob leta)
Professor Vrečko is a scientist, linguistic researcher of echoes. Helped by his assistants and his own genius, he builds a special vehicle to travel around Slovenia in order to search for and collect statements with the loudest echoes. However, such statements are hard to find. They hide in the strangest of places: dustbins, bushes, handbags, and even human heads. Enacted 18 times, the show was custom-made for the Večer newspaper to promote their annual action Bob leta, publishing the most interesting statements.
In this creation, Ana Monro Theatre announced the removal of its theatre and members from the registry, and their flight with a space rocket to a new star called Gallina where they are going to maintain and develop the basic Slovenian values. The performance was a press conference with an ironic, socially critical note. The Ana Monro Theatre members explained their reasons for leaving and their vision of a new life.
A performance about beggars, their lifestyle, habits, mutual relations, and parties. It’s a story about a desperate businessman who wants to commit suicide. In vain, beggars try to persuade him not to do it, and they then try to remove the source of his problems from his head with a surgery. However, things turn bad.
A Garden of Eden, a Magical Park
After years of formation and creation, an atmosphere that is a total opposite of an everyday city environment came to life in A Garden of Eden at the international winter festival Ana Mraz. In a large pyramid in Zvezda Park in Ljubljana, Ana Monro (re-)created a magical atmosphere and energy with a tropical set, exotic sound effects, and warm lighting. They attracted tons of visitors, giving the park a new and unusual image which triggered new park activities.
The Golden Ass
Based on the Roman adventure novel by Apuleius, The Golden Ass is a story about miserable Lucius who turns into an ass because of his curiosity. He endures several adventures before a goddess turns him back to his original state. This was the first time that Craig Weston (BEL/USA) kept a vigilant eye on an Ana Monro creation. Premiered on the staircase in front of the Town Hall in Ljubljana, this street remake was later staged all around Slovenia as well as in Armenia, Iran, Columbia, and Great Britain – always in the local language.
Ana Monro Theatre established ŠUGLA, School of Contemporary Performative and Street Theatre Arts, with a successful programme of non-formal education and training. Modules are run by renowned experts from Slovenia and abroad who pass down knowledge, tools, and skills, useful to street performers in the public space, to a potential younger generation with diverse artistic interests.
A co-producer in an international collaboration for the first time (Belgium, France, Slovenia, and Spain), Ana Monro Theatre took part in this international project, premiered at Ana Desetnica.
A silent burlesque and reality show about a team of security guards who, due to their ignorance and stupidity, run wild with imagination and get scared, until they finally go too far, beyond common sense. New cooperation with Craig Weston (BEL/USA), the performance was an Ana Monro response to modern society and its fear of the unknown. The show was also performed in the Czech Republic, Columbia, Spain, and Germany.
Ana Monro Theatre‘s mission is to make Ana Desetnica a part of the city environment while connecting with the locals and visitors. In Ljubljana, a part of the festival programme was moved from the centre to Poljane, and Maribor got a new project called Living Courtyards, which still (co-)creates the cultural vibe in the city on the Drava River.
The International Ana Monro Summer
It was a busy summer for Ana Monro Theatre: The Cage visited the Czech Republic, and then went on a festival tour in Columbia. A co-organizer, Ana Monro ended the summer with a grand finale – the EWO Conference (East West Opening Doors) in Spain.
In this performance, two generations joined forces – certain older members of Ana Monro Theatre, and the younger generation, the ŠUGLA offspring. The show was directed by renowned French street artist Jean-Luc Prevost. Drawing from several Moliere works, the performance is strongly influenced by commedia dell’ arte, and lead by one of the seven deadly sins. This remake focuses on hypocrisy.
After more than a decade, Ana Monro Theatre gave the initiative again for several Slovenian street artists to join forces. And a street spectacle was born, based on the motifs of Bertolt Brecht’s play. The Slovenian team was joined by artists from Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy, and the USA, and there were over 40 people in the cast. The performance was co-produced by Maribor 2012 Institute – European Capital of Culture.