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Somewhere ElseAnimated chalkboard tale, length 45 min

Somewhere Else, photo: Jaka Varmuž
The performance tells us about a little girl, who finds herself caught in the middle of the war. It is through her eyes that we observe her changing city, filled with horrors, violence and fear. But, hope too. Threatening planes are flying over the city, the streets are empty and there is no food left on the shelves in the store. The school is closed. And every now and then gunshots are heard nearby. Her environment gradually changes …And becomes intolerable. The little girl’s only wish is to go to another country, where it would be much nicer. She wants to go somewhere else, somewhere far away from the war atrocities. »I woke up this morning, washed my teeth as usually, ate my breakfast and went to school. Everything was pretty much as usual. And only yesterday I played with my friends in the backyard as well. Everything is different now. I am not allowed to go to the backyard any more. It is too dangerous. And when the thunder is heard, I must run to the basement with my mother. I don’t see my friends any more either. And the school is over. They just closed it.«

Somewhere Else is a touching story about the absurdity of war and its horrors. How do the atrocities of war look like through children’s eyes? It is only through this perspective that we can fully understand the absurdity of war. This topic is quite delicate and painful, therefore it often remains concealed. It is however quite necessary to discuss it, and especially in front of the youngest audience.

The performance includes a variety of modern technological approaches to puppet theatre. The classical puppet animation is intertwined with live video projections and virtual drawings. The actress and animatoress draws on a rotating table the environment, strolling around which we see the main heroine – the little girl. She uses chalk to draw hilly landscapes, high skyscrapers and shuddering soldiers. It is a simple bar drawing, magically coming to life during the performance. The drawn figures are moving around the surface of the rotating table and reacting to the environments, in which they find themselves. This effect results from the fact that the chalk drawing is actually complemented by the hidden projected image, which is moving according to the stop-motion animation principle. The combination of moving and non-moving drawings creates an illusion of an animated chalk drawing. The dynamic video mapping and tailor made sensors, which are depicting all the movements on the table live, blur the boundary between the real and projected image. It is an entirely new technique in the puppet theatre, overstepping and softening the boundaries between the individual genres. This visually animated adventure is interesting for theatre artists, animators and filmmakers alike, especially because they allow strong intertwinement of variety of genres. The video projections absorb the audience into the very heart of an exciting story about the atrocities of war, which are “fortunately” happening “somewhere else”. Or maybe not?

Tin Grabnar has finished his studies in directing at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television. He is expanding his field of interest in both classical and alternative theatre, as well as in dance and puppet theatre. 

May 2017, Tunnel LGL
Author: Zala Dobovšek, Nina Šorak, Tin Grabnar, Asja Kahrimanović Babnik
Director: Tin Grabnar
Cast: Asja Kahrimanović Babnik
Art Design: Matija Medved
Stop-Motion Animation Designers: Matija Medved, Lea Vučko
Dramaturgy: Zala Dobovšek
Assistant Director: Nina Šorak
Costumography: Sara Smrajc Žnidaršič
Music: Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar
Video Mapping Designer: Boštjan Čadež
Video Editing and Assistance: Lea Vučko
Animation: Kolja Saksida
Sound Effects Designer: Mateja Starič
Language Coaching: Metka Damjan
Lighting Design: Kristjan Vidner
Stage Manager and Sound Designer: Aleš Erjavec
Video Technician: Slaviša Stevanovič
Color Correction: Miran Bratuš
Set Technician: Slavko Milošič
Set Production: Sandra Birjukov, Marjetka Valjavec, Iztok Bobić, Zoran Srdić, Polona Černe, Uroš Mehle s. p., Matija Medved, Boštjan Čadež