The relaunch of the ''Gavella Evenings'', after their interuption in the early nineties for more or less known reasons, was welcomed by the theatrical intelligentsia as a praiseworthy initiative and the festival's high attendance rate (over 80 percent on almost every performance) showed that the audience also greated the decision Gavella Drama Theatre made with the support of cultural politics.

When selecting the productions for this year's ''Gavella Evenings'' I was well aware that my selection would contribute to the concept definition of the revived festival which, unlike before, now has a narrowed production market focused only on Croatian theatres. Equaly important were regarded the quality criteria, as well as the information and diversity (in the good sense of the word) that repertoires outside the capital city brought to the festival.

My selection is based on the best theatrical productions of the entire Croatian theatre in the past season regardless of the theatres' organization structure (institutional or non-institutional theatres). The second important selection factor is the audience, who is apparently interested in what is it that is happening outside Zagreb, as the theatrical centre, that has quality and is interesting. In the past two years I have noticed that the guest performances of the playhouses at the ''Gavella Evenings'' turned theatre halls into small county-clubs (in the good sense), which is another welcome step towards the audience, especially at a time when other media have supremacy over the theatre.

The productions I am bringing to the ''Gavella Evenings'' can be divided into two groups: quality repertoire performances and ''the Croatian off'', or the performances that belong to the scientific research way of working in the theatre.

The first group is comprised of the productions based on the plays by Chekhov ( Uncle Vanja from Split and The Seagull by Zagreb Youth Theatre), Goldoni ( Molière from Varaždin) and Držić ( Dundo Maroje by the CNT from Zagreb). Along with the classics, there is considerable interest in domestic and foreign contemporary dramatist like Matišić ( Nobody's Son by the CNT ''Ivan pl. Zajc'' from Rijeka), Glowacki ( The Fourth Sister by Gavella Drama Theatre), Bojčev ( Titanic Orchestra by the INT Pula) and Stephenson ( Memory of Water by the CNT Osijek).

The productions that represent ''the Croatian off (off)'' (Rajković/Jelčić's On the Other Hand, Anočić's Mr. Lojtrica's Meaning of Life, Frljić's Miss Rice... and the auctorial project by the Exit Theatre What Do You Mean I'm Not There?!) do not take as their starting point a text written beforehand, but use the dramatic/textual material that is moulded by the director, together with the actors, through research, improvization and creativity, into a problem play that deals with our lives here and now.

New director's poetics and strong actors' personalities talk in a very explicit way about the universal themes mirrored by the everyday life (loneliness, rejection, the repressiveness of the social and political system, frustration...); so through performances of this kind and quality repertoire interpretations and reinterpretations of classics and the contemporaries one can discern the position of the aesthetic and production coordinates of the Croatian theatre in the season 2006/2007.

Željka Turčinović