Miriam Kičiňová (SK)
Miram Kičinová studied theatre dramaturgy and theory as well as theatre criticism at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. Currently she works with the Slovak National Theatre (SND) as a dramaturgy lecturer. Besides practical dramaturgy, she writes reviews and pursues teaching activities. At the SND Drama Ensemble, she organises teaching courses and leads a creative writing workshop. As a literary manager, she participated in Rivers of Babylon, Midnight Mass, Prophet Štúr and His Shadows and other productions of the SND Drama Ensemble. She is the driving force behind Blue Salon, a creative space concept that gives birth to tailor-made plays, hosts discussion evenings and organises stage reading sessions.
When (National) Theatre Comes Out of Its Shadow
In its endeavour to educate primary and secondary school pupils, the Drama Ensemble of the Slovak National Theatre (SND) is gradually learning to seek other ways of reaching out than traditional educational visits when the children are accompanied to theatre productions by their teachers. The author demonstrates this shift on two projects that went beyond the scope of normal operation of SND and made this institution more accessible to the youngest audience. The first project entitled Pedagogues in Theatre Backstage, organised in cooperation with the Theatre Institute in Bratislava, enabled 25 teachers from around Slovakia to witness the process of making a theatre production, leading them through all stages of the creative process. The second project entitled National Theatre in Urban Ghetto/Urban Ghetto in National Theatre, organised in cooperation with the Cheerful Work civic association, was aimed at children of special low-threshold leisure time centre Mixklub at Pentagon, which is a neighbourhood in capital Bratislava that gradually turned into an urban ghetto. Besides serving as a drug abuse prevention centre, Mixklub is a place that teaches the local children to spend their leisure time in a meaningful way. The project was the first attempt aimed at working with children from socially deprived environment. Both projects have bared SND as an institution, accentuating not only the needs of minorities with respect to the majority but also the effort of the majority to understand minorities.