Although geographical distances between places in our country are not great, it has been obvious, unfortunately, that for the past few years theatre-goers from our nation's capital have rarely been given the opportunity to experience, first-hand, some of the best performances from Split, Osijek, Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Varaždin, Virovitica or Pula, finding out about these performances only indirectly, through media reports or by word of mouth. ''Gavella Evenings'' are a way to change this situation.
Held for the first time in 1973, ''Gavella Evenings'' have, until 1991, been held 19 times after which they've been cancelled, mostly due to war circumstances that struck Croatia at the time. After a fourteen-year break, in October 2005, a revived, jubilean 20th ''Gavella Evenings'' took place, which is, hopefully, just the beginning of this festival's new existance.
''Gavella Evenings'' are a festival of the best productions from Croatian national and municipal theatres whose respective ensembles foster the drama repertoire. The festival also welcomes three productions from other theatres or theatrical communities. The choice of which performances will be shown on the festival depends on the selector who is elected every year. An appraisal committee, assembled from prominent members of the Croatian theatre, selects the best performance and grants the award, named after our theatre's founder, dr. Branko Gavella. All of the performances are held in ''Gavella'' except when there is bigger technical demand. In that case the stages are ceded by the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb or Zagreb Youth Thetare.
''Gavella Evenings'' do not overlap, thematically, with any other existing theatre festival in Croatia.
Marulić days in Split are a festival of Croatian drama and theatre, the International Small Scenes Festival in Rijeka is focused on smaller forms, the Actors Festival in Vinkovci is dedicated to the actors and their performing art, it is subtitled ''the festival of monodrama and closet drama'' and finally the Days of Satire in Zagreb, the annual festival held by Kerempuh Satirical Theatre, gathers the best comedic and satirical works of the Croatian theatrical production along with the participation of some prominent productions from abroad, therefore a genre festival...
On the one hand ''Gavella Evenings'' are a continuation, chronological and thematical, of the World Theatre Festival, so theatre-goers, just fifteen days after seeing the top achievements from the world's stages, have the opportunity to see the best of what Croatian theatres have to offer at the moment. On the other hand ''Gavella Evenings'' anticipate the Croatian Actors' Guild Award, presenting to the Zagreb audience the performance peaks of the past season.