Help Plavo Theatre at a Precipice

Hi, my name is Uros. I am an artist and accomplished painter based in York, Ontario, Canada, but with roots in Serbia.

I'm fundraising for Plavo Theatre, an independent theatre organization from Serbia, whose survival depends on securing funds to remain in their workspace and provide basic resources for their day-to-day operations.

Owing to the fact that it is not possible to fundraise on GoFundMe from Serbia, Plavo Theatre contacted me as their close friend and admirer, to act as their fundraiser in Canada, which is a supported GoFundMe country.

All the gathered funds from this fundraiser will be first withdrawn to a separate bank account in my name, and the same amount will be forwarded to Plavo Theatre's bank account in Serbia, where the funds will be used in line with the budget outline laid out below.

Without further ado, please read Plavo Theatre's call for funding and help an important cultural and artistic group to continue their work

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Plavo Theatre is at a Precipice: Why We Need Your Help

Independent culture and art is struggling everywhere. However, it is especially hard hit in places like Serbia, where the political and economic climate does not provide fertile soil for their growth - to put it mildly.

Our existence as an independent theatre organization has always been a struggle in a country that does little to support culture out of the mainstream, with a population that can barely make ends meet.

From the very beginning, we have been operating in survival mode, shifting from one space to another, like nomads.

In the past, we were always able to find a way to patch up our finances, mainly by way of various national and international cultural grants.

However, two unfortunate events have brought us to a precipice.

1. We have been evicted from the space we had rented for the past decade, as the building we worked in with a host of other independent cultural groups was sold by the government to a private real estate developer.

2. COVID-19 has literally devastated the cultural scene in Serbia, as it has all over the world.

In 2010 we became a part of the independent cultural scene at BIGZ, a large derelict public industrial building that was abandoned by the state and occupied by various artists.

BIGZ was probably one of the last bastions of authentic and critical urban culture in Belgrade, until the state sold the property to an investor who decided to turn it into a high-end business rental.

We were kicked out and forced to either find a new space to continue our work, or simply disband.

Quitting was not an option, however, we were very lucky to find a beautiful, but run down house in downtown Belgrade, built at the end of the 19th century, perfect for initiating a new independent cultural community in Belgrade.

This is where we need your help. The house requires a lot of adaptation and renovation work, such as fixing the heating, plumbing, electricity and a new floor in one part of the house.

We also need to secure resources such as additional theatrical lighting, audio equipment, seating, and curtains in order to be able to stage our performances.

Without these interventions, it is impossible for us to start our work and the clock is ticking.

We are literally living on borrowed time and funds.

 

Our Funding Needs

Renovation of our work space

- Levelling the floor, laying down and polishing the parquet 1650 USD/1997 CAD

- Electricity works: 365 USD/442 CAD

- Plumbing: 250 USD/303 CAD

Fixing the heating system

- Heating radiators: 2200 USD/2663 CAD

- Mounting air conditioning: 305 USD/369 CAD

Basic equipment

- Curtains 100m: 1000 USD/1210 CAD

- Audience seating: 1220 USD/1477 CAD

- Lighting control console: 440 USD/533 CAD

- Lighting stands:: 2710 USD/3280 CAD

- Theatre led lights: 10105 USD/12232 CAD

- Sound system: 1345 USD/1628 CAD

Rent and utilities (1 year)

- Rent July 2021 - June 2022: 11650 USD/14102 CAD

- Utility bills July 2021 - June 2022: 3650 USD/4418 CAD

Campaign management, fund withdrawal, currency exchange and bank transfer fees: up to USD 3100/3752 CAD

TOTAL: 40,000 USD / 48406

 

 

We know it’s not easy to part with any amount of money these days. To show our appreciation and gratitude for your support, we shall reward you with a surprise gift.

About Us

 

Plavo Theatre are:

Nenad Čolić, Founder and Director / Teacher

Ivana Čolić, Co-founder / Costume and Set Designer

Dejan Stojković, Actor and Musician / Educator

Maša Jelić, Actress and Educator

Dubravka Vujinović, Executive Manager

Marko Potkonjak, Actor and Musician / Educator

Jelena Martinović, Actress and Educator

Jasmina Knežević, Administrative Assistant

We are an independent group and laboratory creating in the spirit of the theatre reformers of the XX century - Constantin Stanislavsky, Antonin Artaud, Jerzy Grotowski and Teatr Laboratorium, Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret - as well as Italian director Massimo Giannetti.

These are the basic premises of our work:

- We serve theatre - we are not its servant

- We are a theatre that explores deeper levels of human communication, with an intent to move the boundaries of human perception.

- We are living the utopia that reconciles anthropology and society, presenting a critical attitude.

Plavo Theatre was founded in 1995 in Belgrade. To date we have:

- Staged 25 theatrical productions, performing at many festivals in Serbia and abroad, as well as our own facilities

- Implemented over 250 youth educational projects

- Organized 7 international festivals and established cooperation with numerous partners in Serbia and abroad.

 

Plavo Theatre has a wide spectrum of activities that can be roughly divided into three categories:

Creating and performing theatre performances based on laboratory work

Our performances are based on themes that directly relate to the human condition and our lives. We incorporate a wide range of topics for the background of our performances - communism, various utopias, war, emancipation, tollerance, inequality, the Holocaust, the nature of evil and freedom…

Plavo Theatre uses a very precise performing technique which combines a specific thinking process with organic expression through physical and vocal action.

This specific thinking process is based on a personal approach of the actors to the theme using ironic discourse and critical attitude through self-observation.

Our performances aim to provoke questions in every spectator and to put the audience into an active state, rather than to provide them with packaged answers and recipes.

Our work is a search and exploration of a different perception of theatre.

Theatrical Pedagogy

Plavo Theatre is engaged in the education of young performance arts professionals, and generally everyone interested in theatre as a tool for self-development through theatrical methodology.

We apply the framework, methods, processes of laboratory theatre in the domain of civic society programmes, working with people, especially youth, who are underprivileged, marginalized or are challenged to lead fulfilling lives in the context of modern society - people with hearing and physical disabilities, young migrants and asylum seekers, and others.

 

International cooperation

We have organized a number of international collaborative projects, co-productions, meetings and festivals, and educational projects for theatre artists.

Our partners are independent theatres, cultural centres, non-government organisations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and other countries of the world.

 

What our international partners have said about us:

Theatre like you, with two decades and more, even with own tradition, has its place already on the European map and it is absolutely rear and unique, so to lose it is to really erase a fragment of a European culture.

Jaroslaw Fret, director of the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, a curator of Wroclaw – European Capitol of Culture and curator of UNESCO World Capitol of Performing Arts, Wroclaw / Shanghai, 2022

One has to realize that Plavo pozoriste’s work often revolves around questions of human nature, in an environment that became more and more nationalistic, discriminatory and violent. They work with their artistic and educational means to make a difference, especially in their work with people who live on the edge of society.

Indira Heidemann, theatre maker, Theaterlabor Bielefeld, Germany

The most important moments from our cooperation are in fact every time that we created a kind of “sacral” round table with all members of our groups and in fact we created incredible conditions to go very deeply inside of each person and unveil important elements of personal self-knowledge facing important themes of human existence. In some sense it is a phase of inner process toward Theatre.

Massimo Giannetti, theatre director, pedagogue, dramaturge, Milan, Italy

They were standing in a perfect manner for the ideas of my festival, sometimes controversially discussed, but quite often admired and perceived as a sort of utopia, artistically and socially, not only with their theatre productions, but also as a way of living. Not only in the field of art, but also in terms of society.

Knut Geißler, artistic director of festival Off-Europa, Leipcig, Dresden and Kemnitz, Germany

The most important is this human quality of this very worm connection, which we established, I believe, from the very beginning and honest, serious approach to theatre, which is not only the way of working, but the way of living and doing everything in order to make the life in this way possible.

Przemysław Błaszczak, leader and director of Studio Kokyu, residential company of the Grotowski Institute, Wroclaw, Poland

I know these people, and I know how dedicated they are to the work. They are directing all their life force towards artistic work. They are passionate about the profession. I think it is very important to support such a non-commercial place as Plavo pozoriste that the culture can grow.

Kamila Klamut, actress and a co-funder of Zar Theatre, Wroclaw, Poland

What the participants of our training programs for performance artists said about working with us:

"I was day after day more and more fascinated and involved with the work. I started to little understand how important it is for me searching myself through theatre and asking myself why I’m doing it…"

Joanna, actress, Poland

"...Towards the end of the workshop From Myself towards Theatre I thought – and still think, without exaggerating – that it was one of the rare workshops that really made sense to me… We were not taught a lot of exercises, but touched one simple thing out of different perspectives which is the phenomena of a highly elevated attention necessary to work, or what director calls ‘trance-like intention’. We were encouraged to touch every day a kind of limit, a very personal one, and to go one step further."

Simon, actor and musician, Germany

"… People from Plavo theatre succeeded to motivate me to try to overcome some of my performing habits and limitations… I have never worked with songs, resonators and isolations of the movements the way we did it in the workshop…"

Josipa, dancer, Croatia

"… One of the most important things I have learned about art was to see that … you have to be ready for changing and re-evaluating all the time. It doesn’t mean to be confused, it means to be open for things around you as well as things inside of yourself…"

Jana, dancer, Czech Republic

"For me it was precious to be part of this event. I passed many of my borders and broadened my thinking about art and life. I see Plavo theatre is a unique place on the map of the contemporary theatre and I would like to come again to work at some next workshops organized by this theatre."

A participant from Italy

"I came with no expectations and was impressed with the first performance. In fact I haven’t seen something like that before. During my time in Plavo I worked on the edge of my ability. I feel like this workshop will help me in my daily life as well as in my profession. I experienced a lot of sensations and liberation in the last session. I already recommended this workshop to a friend who will enjoy this training."

A participant from the Ukraine

 

We thank everyone for any amount of support they can provide us and we hope to see you in the audience of one of our performances in the future, or as a participant in one of our workshops.

 

Sincerely Yours,

Plavo Theatre

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Organizer

Uros Jelic 
Organizer
York, ON