Slovak National Theater in Quarantine
A trial by fire for the Slovak National Theatre in its jubilee season
Virtual Centenary of the SND
On 1 March 2020, the Slovak National Theatre (SND) celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala program. Shortly thereafter, activities planned for the jubilee season to commemorate the centenary were drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated quarantine and the cancellation of social and cultural events of all kinds.
The SND closed its doors on 9 March 2020, with ticket sales suspended until the end of the season. Such an extraordinary situation has demanded an extraordinary solution. Each of the SND’s companies has prepared a rich online programme with offerings for all age categories, with the online project SND DOMA (SND AT HOME) launched on the website 100.snd.sk. “Art and culture have always been a way to access different, more beautiful ways of thinking. I believe we’ve done a good job of thinking it through and are bringing our patrons a bit of distraction in this difficult situation,” explained Henrieta Borowiecka, director of the SND’s Marketing Centre, speaking about the project’s goal in the time of quarantine. Read more
The most representative theatre in Slovakia has thus taken to the virtual space for the first time in its history during the coronavirus crisis, thanks to which its spectators are closer than ever before. “Online programming is not a traditional medium for theatre. But we want to stay close to you — our spectators — and so we’ve created a programme on our Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel that brings the SND to your home. Your response to this type of communication in the current situation shows us of the strength of artistic speech today. Everyone is at home and SND is there with you,” the theatre announced on its homepage, introducing a rich programme that features interesting options for all age categories.
Music fans, for example, might enjoy A Little Day Music with the SND’s Opera and Opera Orchestra, while dance lovers can try Morning Exercises with the SND Ballet. Meanwhile, on YouTube, the SND has presented well known dramatic productions such as Jan Amos’ Labyrinths and Paradise, Leni, The Prophet Štúr and His Shadow, The Bride of the Ridge, Innocence, Morals 2000+, The Singing House, The Brothers Karamazov, Buddenbrooks and Fanny and Alexander.
The children’s programme features the fairytale Mechúrik-Koščúrik and the series Fairytales with the SND, where famous actors read different Slovak fairytales, recite poetry or share their own creations. For theatre professionals, demanding viewers and students, the SND offers podcasts, educational videos and reprises of the discussion series Slovak Eights, Ľubica Krénová and Her Guests and others. In a dedicated section, secondary school students can access recorded discussions and key productions from Slovak history; a look at the opera’s backstage and the Coffee with Drama section are also interesting.
Beginning in May, broadcasts from the Blue Salon will be added to the programme. Viewers can also look forward to Fairytales with SND Drama, or the series Dancing in the Kitchen with the SND Ballet. Additionally, the theatre is a making a successful drama production available each Friday, according to the following schedule: The Jurga Brothers (24.4), Mojmír II, or the Twilight of an Empire (1.5), Coriolanus (8.5), Hollyroth (15.5). New surprises in the form of legendary archived productions such as The Women’s Law, Dance Hall, A Theatre Comedy and others, are also in the works.