As most things have been in the past year, this is an extraordinary event for us.
We are proud to stage our festival indoors for the first time, at the Marin Držić Theatre, a venue that bears the name of one of the two playwrights that have marked Midsummer Scene thus far.
The other one is Shakespeare and the Festival began its life by marking the 450th anniversary of his birth in 2014 and, ever since, the Bard has been the core of Midsummer Scene Festival. In 2018 we have celebrated our first five years with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the play that, in part, gave the Festival its name.
Our 2015 production of Twelfth Night transferred to Vienna’s English Theatre in 2016, the year we also featured the first actress to play the titular role in Hamlet on a major stage in South-eastern Europe. Our productions have travelled to Bermuda Festival three times and have opened the inaugural season of Shakespeare on the Rock on that island.
Our last pre-pandemic edition in 2019 entitled Season of Love and Hate was headlined by Romeo & Juliet directed by Sean Aita who returns to us this year.
This season marks our new beginning where we keep close our old friends and embrace new ones.
We have successfully collaborated with Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and The House of Marin Držić, a museum dedicated to one of the brightest names in Dubrovnik cultural history. Together with the Marin Držić Theatre, we have co-produced Uncle Maroye Re-Examined, a piece inspired by Držić’s most famous comedy written in 1551 and translated by Filip Krenus. The production was in the main programme of Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival. Philip Parr, head of York Shakespeare Festival, returns to us this season, this time to collaborate on our headline production.
In this most difficult of years we feel incredibly fortunate and determined to return to our audiences with the programme that reinvents Midsummer Scene and brings acclaimed names such as Zdenko Bašić, who, besides exhibiting his art, created a visual identity for one of our productions; acclaimed playwright Ivor Martinić and Danijela Pintarić.
This is a time for joy. As Shakespeare penned it:
If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed.