Another locally produced play is All Adventurous Women Do, produced by Theatre Atelje 212, based on text by Tanja Šljivar and directed by Selma Spahić. The play about teenage sexuality is inspired by the true story of seven thirteen-year-old girls who fell pregnant on a school trip. The play highlights the topic of the generation gap and the consequences of the carelessness of the older generation, raising the question of the burden and responsibility placed on the shoulders of the young, at the same time highlighting the extent to which the voices of young people in these areas are neglected, i.e., how adults do not want or are unable to hear their voice.
About the Performance
All Adventurous Women Do explores the social phenomenon of seven thirteen-year-old girls who fell pregnant on a school trip. Here Šljivar's gives voice to young female subjects whose speech in public space is prevented, and whose very experiences are often interpreted and processed with certain ideological points of view and from the perspective of the adult world, which does not see girls as equal social subjects. It is a text that exposes discriminatory attitudes towards women's, girls' and minors' sexuality, towards young women's experience of the world and traditional values and outdated social norms in which they live and grow up, and which they question through their actions.
This is Tanja Šljivar's third play which has its first domestic performance at the Theater Atelje 212. All Adventurous Women Do had its world premiere at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and has been publicly read and performed in various countries, including Germany, USA, Croatia, Austria, and Italy. It has been translated into seven languages so far.
This is the first performance in Atelje 212 by Selma Spahić, one of the most successful directors from the region, and the second time she has directed a text by Tanja Šljivar.
The performance received several awards at the Festival of Bosnian Drama and Author's Theatre in Zenica.
TANJA ŠLJIVAR is a playwright. She was born in Banjaluka, and studied dramaturgy in Belgrade and applied theater studies in Giessen. Her plays have been produced, published and publicly read in over ten languages in professional theaters in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BNT Zenica), Serbia (Theatre Atelje 212, National Theatre in Belgrade, National Theatre Užice, Bitef Theatre, Little Theatre “Duško Radović”), Germany (Deutsches Theater Berlin, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Schauspiel Dortmund, Theater Paderborn), Poland, Finland, Croatia, Albania, Spain, Austria, and Slovakia. She also writes film screenplays, short stories, theoretical texts, librettos, and texts for visual arts projects. She has won Sterija Award for contemporary play, two “Miodrag Žalica” awards, “Borislav Mihajlović Mihiz” and “Slobodan Selenić” awards, and was nominated for Retzhofer Dramapreis and for Stückemarkt award at Theatertreffen in Berlin. In 2019, she worked as an artistic director of the drama department at the National Theatre in Belgrade. She has been a guest at literary residencies in Split, Pristina, Vienna, Graz, Prague, Budapest, St. Erme, and Majorca. She is currently writing her first novel and teaches playwriting in Belgrade.
SELMA SPAHIĆ was born in 1986. She has graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo. She has done over 30 theatre directions and performances, for which she is often also the co-author of the texts, some of which are: Spring Awakening (ASU/MESS, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Hypermnesia (Heartefact/Bitef, Serbia), Scratching or How My Grandmother Killed Herself (BNT Zenica/Heartefact, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Serbia), Women Who Clean (MNT Podgorica, Montenegro), The Secret of Raspberry Jam (SARTR/MESS, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Liliom (SNT Drama Ljubljana, Slovenia), The Master and Margarita (HNK Zajc, Rijeka, Croatia), That Which Is Missing (ZKM Theatre, Croatia), 4AM (Kostolanyi Dezso Theatre, Serbia), The Clickworkers (Schauspiel Stuttgart, Germany), Seven Terrors (BNT Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Purple (Chambre Theatre 55, Bosnia and Herzegovina). In her performances, she focuses on intimate history and political intimacies, she explores physicality and feminist deconstruction of patriarchal narratives.
Her performances have often been awarded and participated at renowned international festivals like Bitef, Neue Theater Stücke aus Europa in Germany, Kontakt in Poland, or Culturescapes in Switzerland.
From 2012-2017, she was the artistic director of the International Theatre Festival MESS, and its curator from 2009-2018. She is currently employed at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo.
From the Reviews
“Šljivar counters throughout the show the conservative idea that children are asexual, proving the opposite but also implying that children deserve a fundamental right to education about sex and their bodies.
Selma Spahić, while directing, focuses most of her energy on her work with actors. She manages to find in each of them the spark that gives liveliness to their characters, a blend of teenage anger, helplessness, naïve desires and confusion.
But unlike usual teenage stories, All Adventurous Women Do is deeply dark and even morbid at times. It is a tale about seven girls who are completely abandoned, not just by their parents or the educational system, but by the whole adult society.
It is really hard to qualitatively examine this kind of pessimism, especially since it’s based on real-life events. On one hand, it shows the dangers of a society where sexual health is a taboo. On the other, there is a sense that this distressing narrative stigmatizes young women and may give them an idea that, if they want to be sexually liberated, they may indeed get punished.”
Borisav Matić, seestage.org