by Aja Onuk

  In 2016 we made the impossible happen; by combining play, music and dance we travelled twenty years back in the past. Gimnazija Slovenj Gradec was founded in 1996, so in 2016 – twenty years later we celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The high school students and music school Gvido came together to make a musical. At the beginning we only had the foundation of the idea and a working title: Project 96. Our first meetings could hardly be called meetings; there were three, maybe four of us in a classroom with our mentor Tomaž Pačnik, putting ideas together. Everything started to speed up after we had come up with the idea for our main story. The idea was to start in the year 2016 then go back in time and simultaneously act out a particular story we thought appropriate for that year. We started the show by painting a picture of today’s society; how we’re all corrupt by the technology and don’t even know how to interact with one another anymore. We displayed the fake world we live in, where we can be manipulated by the false advertising and where the technology can impact and ruin our private lives. We went further in time, when social media didn’t have as much influence and showed that teenagers could enjoy themselves without phones and such. The further back we went, the more we focused on the social problematics and controversial themes. We tackled the tax numbering system, the “evil businessmen” and the corruption of innocence. With the musical we wanted to make people think. People don’t often realise what goes on around them, and we wanted to take things from our everyday life and show it through art and performance. We did all that through musical, dance and theatrical performances connected by the main speaker Max Pšeničnik. Dancing parts were overseen and created by Mateja Rožič and Maša Kolšek and the musical parts by Tomaž Pačnik and Gvido band. We also had help from our teacher Alenka Kac Herkovič. Our first live performance was in October 2016 in Slovenj Gradec. We performed for high schools, middle schools, primary schools as well as the public. Later on we performed in different cities such as Velenje, Žalec and even in Austria, in Bleiburg. In the beginning of 2017 we performed what we thought to be our last show in Prevalje and there we combined our musical with some previous ones.. But then, with the start of the new school year, we got together again. Because some of the original cast was gone, we made a few changes, recast some roles and performed again. When we performed our last show in December, I believe we were all emotional and relieved at the same time. Thirty cast members, among them twenty-two Gimnazija Slovenj Gradec students, performed altogether about thirty times. With this memorable journey we gained not only lots of experience, but made new friendships and unforgettable memories. When a story ends, a new one begins. Although we will always remember this adventure, we look forward to bringing our talents to new projects and can’t wait to see what the future may have in store for us.   Foto: Nika Hölcl Praper, fotobeležNica | Špela Peruš​