Golden Stick Festival (Festival Zlata paličica)

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Country and Region SloveniaCentral Slovenia
Type of Festival Drama
Location of Festival Ljubljana, Central Slovenia, Slovenia
Festival Contact Information

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre
Krekov trg 2,
1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 (0)1 3000 970
Fax: +386 (0)1 3000 980

Festival Description

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre organises two biennial festivals, taking place on alternating years. Lutke International Festival is intended to show an international cross-section of tendencies in the puppet sphere and Golden Stick, which has so far been a combination of a two-year selection of Slovene theatres for children and youth and guests performances from abroad, by (mainly) random selection. The Golden Stick is the dowry that Theatre for Children and Youth Ljubljana brought into the union with LGL. It is pointless to criticise the concepts of previous festivals, and I will also refrain from discussing the decision of our public financiers who decided to deny financing to this year’s festival. The crisis period will father many more such deliberations of supporting various cultural manifestations in our area, our neighbouring area and global village. While deliberating whether there is a point to such support one must surely stop to ponder if there is the point to the manifestation itself. Without the support of public finances there is no imperative for a programme which would satisfy specific form of public interest.

So we were faced with the dilemma whether to cancel the festival or if there still is an interest for our festival. According to the maxim, it is easier to cancel something than to found something, so we decided to keep the festival alive. But we have yet to decide the form (if any) of the festival, and how it would best integrate into the programme of our house and wider sphere of culture.

The carefully deliberated concept, offered to the Slovene space (and financiers), was prepared taking into account the other theatre activities and needs of Slovene space. Since there is no shortage of festivals which include productions for children (and some children productions), this was a limitation and direction on one hand, and on the other hand, the development of LGL as a national performance centre for children and youth offers an additional direction which is in harmony with other parameters. This is a developmental direction, which makes no difference between expression genres for children and youth, which not only maintains and develops traditional puppet art, but also makes it rich by entwining it with new and different stage technologies, looking for values in registers of classical drama performances for children and youth. This development vision of our house offers a possible recipe for the survival of Golden Stick festival in the form of a comprehensible festival, which is presented to (in addition to children and youth) to domestic and foreign expert audiences.

In case of our festival, the abroad long since established showcase concept or festival market, can prove to be very sensible and useful. To foreign programmers, this is an excellent opportunity to view the very best performances of Slovene theatres (and non-government organisations), which have been prepared for young audiences in the past two years, and the condense festival format is the most rational form of learning about them. In addition to the same overview, it offers domestic expert audiences (educators, cultural coordinators in pre-schools and schools, organisers of Slovene event centres, etc.) a possibility to set up comparison standards for the field of performance and in the field of education.

This is our plan, which made it seem worth directing our own resources (which we would sorely need for other purposes in this year) to this year’s edition of the festival. Golden Stick 2011 will not live to its full potential yet, (performance selection had begun before public financiers made their decision), but nevertheless we add select performances from our house, which we deem interesting potential guest performances, to the selector’s in-competition selection. And at the end of the festival we wish to present the Berlin example of theatre for the young, which we can use to determine put fitness in this area, and at the same time broaden the horizons, which in itself should remain the aim of the festival. I hope the debates accompanying the festival will offer additional direction, making this year’s edition a suitable ending of something and a beginning of something new.
—Uroš Korenčan, General Manager

Festival Dates October 2013
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