The theatre wasn't always just a place of intelectual wondering about the time and place in which we live in. It wasn't just a mere pictorial or verbal illustration of our reflections about the ''historic moment'', the actual condition of human existence, the means and ends which we are victims of, or to which we are striving for. All of this is, of course, part of its existence, part of its role. Without it, our lives would be undoubtedly emptier. A theatre that asks the ''right'' questions, a theatre that raises our awareness and captivates, that helps us feel the silent ticking of the ''pulse of time'', that brings to the stage what we ourselves cannot articulate clearly, which disturbs and troubles us...
Yes, that would be (or perhaps it already is) true theatre: the theatre that is ''not indifferent'', but cares for us. However, this point has often been exaggerated: after the avangarde, in times of the so-called postmodernism, the theatre has in many ways become a testing ground for patience, the actors and the audience. (Bergson said: ''Time is measured by the clock; duration by the conditions of the spirit''). It has become, lets say it openly and una tantum, devoid of pleasure.The intelectualism that likes to become hermetism has completely taken over the ''soul of the theatre'': the emotions, the play, the pleasure. I think this process, given the circumstances, perhaps unavoidable, but definitely exaggerated, has resulted in the effects opposite of the ones we desired. The theatre became more and more enclosed in its fragile ''nut-shell'' and became a mirror for itself. The audience began to experience the theatre as a strenuous and tiresome adventure of an uncertain outcome, something like a riddle or a series of Sphinx's questions, the answers to which were known only by the people who asked them and sometimes not even they. That's why the audience started to abandon the theatre – in the house, during the performance, they hadn't felt any pleasure, as a matter of fact a certain unease and distrust in their own cognitive capabilites grew. Sensations were thrown in front of the people and they were expected to get to the bottom of their complicated meaning... If they weren't able to do that, all the more worse!
Therefore the time has come to restore the ''pleasure in the theatre'', the enjoyment in a performance, the joy of play and to renew the ancient unity of the stage and the audience as a legitimate aspect of the phenomenon that is the theatre. I used these guidelines to select the productions for the jubilean, 20th ''Gavella Evenings''. Make no mistake about it, in all of the performances, the meaning, the question, the idea are united with pleasure into an unbreakable bond, an amalgam, which actually forms the unique magic of the theatre and because of which we always (despite everything) come back to it.
''But, one can't do without the theatre!'' (A. P. Chekhov)
Boris B. Horvat