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Shame on YouIntermedia performance, length 90 min

Photo: Miha Fras
Shame on You is a performance of endless scrolling and content generation, avatars, emojis, trap, stand-up, music videos and stories that seeks a space without shame at the intersection of the virtual, the fairytale and the present.

Through experimentation with the formats and language of social media, it addresses ingrained feelings of shame and pervasive mutual shaming and shamelessness. Through the original material of a young creative team, it explores when and how shame is born, in what ways it is reproduced and whether it can be overcome at all.

The sense of shame that society instils in individuals from an early age through phrases like "shame on you" and "don't you know any shame", while never offering us valid criteria for shame, is one of the key themes that we are constantly confronted with and struggle with, both individually and collectively. Through questions about the relationship to the body, self-image, insecurity, anxiety, and sexual, social and national identity, the creators of Shame on You want to open up a parallel reality, both material and virtual, intertwined with different symbols and notions of shame, in which different rules, different ideals and, above all, different shame can be established.

The performance materials, set in three equal but theatrically unconventional spaces of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, look at shame through the eyes of today's world and place it in the context of the social spaces in which shame is born, and above all in which it is fed and reproduced. The creative team therefore explores and questions home, school, social life and the social networks that are now fully equal to other elements of life, and by unpacking them, asks the question: 'Is there a place without shame?'

The production was developed within the LGL Theatre Lab, starting with a months-long workshop with teenagers in collaboration with the Dschungel Wien youth theatre from Vienna. During the workshops, the creative team worked with the teenagers to conceptualise the essence of the theme of shame, which was then taken into the second, conceptual part of the creative process, in which the extended team created an intermedia performance.

This takes place in three separate spaces, each of which is used by one of the actors to explore his or her own experience of shame, while all three spaces are connected by an original mobile app, which gives the audience access to all performance spaces and to an extended, augmented virtual space of the performance.

Varja Hrvatin is a dramaturg, playwright and, since 2018, the editor of Teritorij teatra broadcast on Radio Študent. She graduated in dramaturgy and performing arts and received her master's degree in film and television screenwriting from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. Her dramatic texts have been published in Adept, Dialogues, Literatura, Sodobnost, Maska and November, and her theoretical texts in numerous theatre journals, on the platform Neodvisni and in the magazines Amfiteater, Dialogues and Maska. Her play It All Started with the Bunny Rabbit Goulash (2019) directed by Eva Kokalj premiered at the New Post Office, and was included in the accompanying programme of the 54th Maribor Theatre Festival and the 50th Week of Slovenian Drama. In 2020, she received the award for the best young playwright at the 50th Week of Slovenian Drama and collaborated with the Prešeren Theatre Kranj on the project Couch Monologues. In 2021 she staged her first original projects I Wish the Earth Would Open Up and Swallow Me, which was included in the competition programme of the 57th Maribor Theatre Festival, and Zelda, which was included in the accompanying programme of the 52nd Week of Slovenian Drama. In 2022, she co-created Apophenia/1 with Nina Ramšak Marković, and is currently working on a series of site-specific performances La isla bonita, co-produced by the Sploh Institute and Via Negativa.

The European ConnectUp project involves 14 partners from 10 countries, including theatres, festivals and universities. The lead organisation is Adger University (Academy of Fine Arts) in Norway, which is committed to cutting-edge innovation in education and research. The project is launching an international cultural initiative for the over 12s, aiming to create a counterbalance to the growing social and cultural divide in Europe. Ten theatres with different artistic skills, nine festivals and two universities working in the field of theatre for young people are pooling their skills in a European "diversity union" and planning major investments in audience development. The theatres and festivals are striving to create, at least in their own spaces, a cross-section of society where existing middle-class and marginal audiences meet. As part of the project, the partners are working on co-production performance projects involving teenagers and training theatre mediators to act as a link between the target groups, theatres and schools.

In cooperation with Dschungel Wien and in co-production with Theatre Alpha (Czech Republic)

As part of Creative Europe's ConnectUp project

Audiences can simply watch the show or participate actively and anonymously – for that, they will need a smartphone with internet access.

The performance includes lighting effects that may disturb sensitive viewers.

Premiere 25 October 2022, LGL Grand Stage Foyer, LGL Rehearsal Room, LGL Project Room

Author of the concept and script: Varja Hrvatin
Authors: Lea Culetto, Varja Hrvatin, Nejc Jezernik, Farah Sara Kurnik, Vid Merlak, Daniel Petković, Mia Skrbinac, Jurij Smrke
Cast: Nejc Jezernik, Daniel Petković, Mia Skrbinac/Ena Kurtalić
Graphic Designer, Video Designer and Set Designer: Farah Sara Kurnik
App Developer: Jurij Smrke
Music: Vid Merlak
Animation and Video Editing: Pavel Enderle
Choreographer: Sebastijan Geč
Language Consultant: Irena Androjna Mencinger
Consultant: Benjamin Zajc
Assistants: Nina Koritnik, Sofija Lavrač Črnivec
Stage Managers, Sound Designers and Video Technicians: Mitja Vasič/Izidor Kozelj
Producer: Alja Cerar Mihajlović
Lighting Designer: Danilo Korelec
Setup of the stage and costumes: Sandra Birjukov, Monika Colja, Polona Černe, David Klemenčič, Olga Milić, Zlatko Djogić, Zoran Srdić