Port of Dreamers

Original play Beside Oneself to be the first premiere of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival

Dubrovnik, 16 June 2021 Beside Oneself, a project by Nataša Rajković, Ivan Penović and the play’s cast, will be the first drama premiere of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival, with the performances scheduled for 13, 14 and 15 July at 21:30 at Lazareti. The rehearsals are currently underway in Zagreb and the play is produced within the Port of Dreamers project co-funded by the European Union Creative Europe programme, with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival as the leading partner.

The dramaturgy of one part of Beside Oneself is based on the form of previously held workshops for migrants, which enables different performative modes of expression which, in satirical, tragic, pseudo-documentary tone, expose the pointlessness of attempts to contextualise the other and those who are different with bureaucratic language of European attitude to migrant experience. In its second part, Beside Oneself addresses psychological and personal aspects of migrations, the emotions of people who emigrate, move and immigrate. It also deals with those who witness the migrations and the need to process all information, data and communication through the filter of one’s own emotions in order to provide those emotions with reasonable, fact-based foundations, and to pair the data and numbers with stories and people.


– The play Beside Oneself will address all those things that a person who is leaving likes, but has to leave behind, and the things they are hoping to find. We will be dealing with the issue of hospitality, the right of every person to come to a foreign land and not feel like an enemy, because we have the opportunity to live and feel in accordance with Kant’s ideas – the authors stated.

Beside Oneself is directed by Nataša Rajković and Ivan Penović, with Ana Mikulić as the costume designer and Elvis Butković as the lighting designer. The cast consists of Nikša Butjer, Nataša Kopeč, Romina Tonković, Suzana Brezovac and Pavle Vrkljan.


Nataša Rajković works as a dramaturge, lecturer and theatre director in various authorial combinations and production contexts. From 2004 to 2018, she was the Artistic Director of the Culture of Change programme at the Student Centre of the University of Zagreb. Ivan Penović has worked as dramaturge on the productions of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc in Rijeka, the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin, the Zagreb Youth Theatre, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and Theatre &TD since 2012, and since 2014 he has directed plays based on his own works, for which he has received numerous awards. He has served as the Artistic Director of the KUFER Theatre Company since 2019.

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