Novi Zato. [in a literal translation The New Because] is the descendant of the “old” Zato [that is, Because].
Zato. (with a full stop) was the name of the theatre troupe established in 1991 which set out to professionalise the theatre in the town of Ptuj. When we reached our goal, the group Zato. ceased existing and disbanded.
Samo M. Strelec, one of Zato.’s co-founders, became the managing director of the newly-formed playhouse while the actors scattered around Slovenian theatres, from Trieste to Maribor. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Ptuj City Theatre, or rather, the re-establishment of its professional stage. Yes, that’s how the years go by.
On 15th April 2008 I founded a private institute Novi Zato. Again with a full stop at the end. Why?
Because every day I find a reason to get out of bed.
Because I ask myself every day, why do this but not do that or something other than that or something entirely different.
Because I need to know why even do something as ephemeral as theatre.
Because I need to know why read, translate, offer myself to theatres, ask for work.
Because I want to know why I do what I do.
Because I need my daily dose of because. And that’s that.
The stated aims of Novi Zato. are to provide: education, research, organisation of cultural events.
Now and again Novi Zato. thinks up a theatrical adventure, most commonly with partners and co-producers.
Now and again I work as a lecturer (for five years I taught Directing and Project Realization on the Media Communication course at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Univeristy of Maribor).
Since 2010, Novi Zato. has been carrying out the “digitisation of theatre” initiative, funded by the Slovenian Ministry of Culture. One of the “products” of this project is the performing arts online portalSigledal, created by Tamara and Gregor Matevc and myself. It is available at www.sigledal.org and offers free and daily-updated content and services, providing information as well as a research and education resource for current events on the Slovenian performing arts scene. It also serves as an archive, enabling web access to the Slovenian theatre heritage and its digitised artefacts.
Another of Novi Zato.’s “products” is a national theatre information tool Ifigenija, a web application which is being rolled out across eleven Slovenian theatres, including two puppet theatres, in October 2015.
Novi Zato. is currently (autumn 2015) embarking on another adventure in Ptuj: opening an exhibition of analogue artefacts and electronic materials – what I call the Analogue iExhibition – titled Enter Hidden Ptuj.
We kindly invite all those who would like to co-create the theatre community of Novi ZATO. and realise their ideas in its frame to join us!