Bojan Jablanovec


Translations: Danish, English

Interview: Barbara Simonsen
Aarhus , June 5, 2010


Tell me how you ended up in theatre?

Before I started theatre studies in Ljubljana, I went to the school for Economics, because my parents were not sure about theatre, and I decided to follow their advice. They said to me: “You need some kind of profession and this is not a profession”. At the school for Economics I gathered a group of people who were interested in theatre and started to do theatre there, which was quite weird. We did it for three years. Then I decided that I had to do it for real. And everything developed into the professional world of theatre.

But somewhere along the way you changed your approach to theatre?

Yes. My story is connected to the institutions. Obviously in the beginning everybody dreams about working in the theatre, on the stages, being actors. I was a student at the academy, and pretty soon I started to direct in the national institutions in Slovenia. They recognised me as a talented young director. They also awarded me. And it became harder and harder for me, because my ideas were stuck and I couldn’t break through with them in this kind of institutions and the way of working there. My performances became weirder and weirder for the general audience, and they started asking themselves: “What is happening with this young director? What is he doing? He is so talented. What’s wrong with him?”

I realised that I had to do something, because it was going nowhere, I was not satisfied, and people around me were not satisfied. I was always trying to push something, but I didn’t really know what I was fighting. Then I realised that I was fighting the production system, it didn’t work for me. I simply cannot fit into it. I decided to make a radical cut and not to have anything to do with them anymore. So I refused all offers of work. It happened while I was an assistant lecturer at the Academy for Acting in Ljubljana. I was watching the process from the other side, because before I was a student and now I was an assistant of the professor. I could not understand why some people are put into a situation where they are supposed to know so much about how theatre should be done and what it is about. And to lecture young people who are really hungry for knowledge. They were teaching them something that I didn’t believe in from the beginning. And now, after I’d had some experience I realised that this logic didn’t work for me.

I decided that you have to build your own production logic where you can fit in, and then try to develop this logic somehow. Find your own way. I didn’t know from the beginning what my way is and what I actually would like to do and how I would like to do it. I just knew what I hated. So I started from what I didn’t like. I knew a lot about what I didn’t like. I thought if you just go through the things that you don’t like, you will discover something that you like. And this thing that you like, sooner or later you will find out what you don’t like about it - and in this way you can improve your way of thinking, doing, creating. That has now basically become a process of working.


Translation: Maya Bjerrum Trinkjær og Barbara Simonsen