As part of the Kitchen flagship of the Rijeka 2020 – ECOC project and the (Re)Discovering Europe project, Luigi Pirandello’s “The Mountain Giants”, directed by Paolo Magelli, will premiere on 2 March 2018 in the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc.

The play is special in the sense that it was created as one of the first European projects to unite five European minority theatres, i.e. it focuses on diversity which is why it is included in the Kitchen flagship of Rijeka 2020 – ECOC, which deals with diversity (national minorities in this case) and marginalised and excluded members of society.

In addition to the Italian Drama of the Croatian National Theatre Ivna pl. Zajc, the play was coproduced by the German Theatre of Timisoara (Romania), Slovensko stalno gledališće di Trieste (Italy), National Institution Albanian Theatre, Skopje (Macedonia), and Kazalište Kosztolányi Dezső (in Hungarian), Subotica (Serbia).

The (Re)Discovering Europe project includes a series of other activities – lecture, Performative cooking by national minority actors participating in the show accompanied by conversations with actors, and the so-called Theatre Knowledge Market.

The first education will be held on 20 February at 6 PM at Delta 5 for future actors and students of other departments at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka. Paolo Magelli, director of “The Mountain Giants”, will hold the workshop “Actor in theatre dell’Arte” in which he tackles various aspects of Luigi Pirandello’s artistic and social engagement. The aim of the workshop is to describe the historical and philosophical context in which “The Mountain Giants” were created and to explore its possible contemporary interpretations. One of the workshops will thus be open for students from Rijeka, but also from other participating cities – Subotica, Skopje, Trieste and Timisoara.

The new session of the Theatre Parliament will be held on Saturday, 3 March at 5 PM in the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, just before “The Mountain Giants”. The session will be presided over by Lade Čale Feldman, associate of the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research and full professor at the Chair for Theatre and Film Studies at the Department for Comparative Literature of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. The topic of the session is “Who was the first Countess Ilse or Pirandello and the actress” so the session will tackle the period of Pirandello’s work when the actress Marta Abba, the first to play Countess Ilse, entered his life.

The following day, on 4 March, Zajc is cooking for their audience. From 10 AM to 1 PM the space in front of the restaurant ,Fiume on the Rijeka Marketplace will be reserved for the Performative Kitchen. Under the guidance of masterchef Srđana Jevtić, national specialties of the guest actors’ cultures will be cooked, and it will also be an opportunity for audiences to talk to the actors.

The language of theatre is as universal as the diversity of cuisine – they bypass all language barriers and achieve communication. This is the basis for the project Performative Kitchen: Cooking Diversity which combines performing arts (theatre) and cooking. It’s a project in which actors of the different ensembles performing The Mountain Giants in different cities (Rijeka, Timisoara, Trieste, Skopje and Subotica) cook for the local community and present their culture in that manner. The cooking is performed live in different public spaces, and the audience is actively engaged in the process so the entire project has an educational dimension in the sense of meeting different cultures and learning how to prepare national dishes. The culinary session ends with the actors and audience sharing a meal.

The Theatre Market is an informal education in which interested audience members will be able to book half an hour with a member of the production team (actors, directors, stage managers, producers, scenographers, costume designers and others) and ask them anything they want to know. It will be held on 6 March at 9:30 PM in the foyer of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc.

This is a type of non-hierarchical transfer of knowledge inspired by Ranciere’s The Ignorant Schoolmaster. There is no predefined format, the participants themselves decide what they want to learn.

The conversation between the interested audience members and the members of The Mountain Giants team will be held in a relaxed atmosphere, one on one over a glass of wine.

Additionally, on 7 March, a lecture will be held as part of the “Theatre and new media / how to watch” cycle. It will be held by Morana Čale, professor of Italian literature at the Department of Italian of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. She will discuss the political aspects of The Mountain Giants and their position in Pirandello’s opus. The lecture begins at 12 PM in the foyer of Ivan pl. Zajc, it is free, and it is held in Italian in cooperation with the Department of Italian of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka.