Monday, 18 December 2017 | News today: 14

Rubens Muratovski: Actors are most powerful when they are on stage

The most important thing that we, the actors, must not forget is that, regardless of who is for which party, tomorrow will stand on the same stage, where we work exclusively. We will have to be partners again, no matter if we love or hate, if we are brother and sister, father and son... None of us, the actors, should allow what is offstage to affect our basic work, and that is the stage, Muratovski says

Rubens Muratovski has been Art Director of Skopje-based Drama Theater for one year now, while also taking part in plays staged in the same theater. Many would agree his leading role in “The Gorge” is one of the best-played casts in his career. Drama Theater will be guest at Week of Slovenian Drama at the beginning of April in Kranj, Slovenia.

You have been an Art Director of the Drama Theater for an year now. Are you satisfied with what has been achieved thus far?

MURATOVSKI: Just like there is no role from which I am fully satisfied with, same goes for this position, as well. I know that Director Robert Veljanovski and I tried to do some things which might have already been done, but have never received much attention. I can only promise one thing – that I will work honestly and I will devote my entire time. I am extremely happy with some of the things we have done, but a lot remains unaccomplished because it does not depend on us. I hope we will be able to make it happen in the coming period.

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You constantly publish status updates on social networks regarding theater’s repertoire. Why did you chose guerrilla marketing?

MURATOVSKI: Very simple. Because it’s free. It costs nothing but some creative energy and desire to do something for my theater, for the company I work for. Everything else costs money. A huge gratitude to all media that pay attention to my theater and all theaters in general. I am speaking of my theater in the first place – some other things require money. This does not. I find social media to be as powerful as print and electronic media.

What are you doing, or what needs to be done to return Drama Theater its old shine and increase the demand for tickets?

MURATOVSKI: I do not believe Drama Theater has lost its shine. In its most beautiful years – the 1970s – there used to be only one electronic medium and two print media and less theaters than there are now. Theater is an elitist art. Now we have many theaters, hundreds of media houses, huge offer of cultural events in a day, and audience quantity is large. It wouldn’t even cross my mind to decrease the value of what Drama Theater has achieved in those years. Thanks to those years, Drama Theater is still the greatest authority in Macedonian theater culture. It should not be forgotten that there are many cultural events in one night nowadays and other ways need to be looked for to attract the audience in the theater. Drama Theater is not too crowded, on the contrary – there is just enough audience for every play. What matters most is that we offer quality.

Should the artist and art be socially engaged?

MURATOVSKI: Yes. Not at any price, but I do not think there is anything bad in it. I read once that even the king himself would hire jesters to criticize him. There is no such thing as perfect government, no perfect rule, no perfect opposition. That is exactly why the artist showed constantly be poking, fixing things which are not as they should be, at least according to his point of view. That is exactly why both the artist and the art should be socially engaged. There is an anecdote about it: if the artist is not socially engaged, it’s like doing art just for the art. It’s like simit-pogaca, eating bread with bread.

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New actors, fine artists and playwrights have been employed in Drama Theater. What do you expect from them?

MURATOVSKI: There is already new energy in Drama Theater, there are people who are eager to realize their ideas, and time will tell whether they are good or bad. New people bring new energy, much greater willingness to work because they need to prove themselves. It has always been so, the young bring new energy. If my older colleagues did not allow me to take the job, I would not be where I am now. When there are more new, young people, then the pre-conditions for a better end result, and that is a good performance.

It was announced that a private investor will build a new Drama Theater building. The Ministry of Culture has issued a call for a company that will establish a contract for public-private partnership for the construction of the planned facility. How is that advancing?

MURATOVSKI: Director Veljanovski is attending to the matter. From what I know, the first call for public-private partnership has failed, the second is ongoing or before the end. To be honest, I’m sure that no one will apply. So far I have not met a man in our country, who has a lot of money and who is much interested in art. They are interested in other things where they can return the invested money. The theater, unfortunately, is not a profitable business, said in their vocabulary. I do not think anyone will apply, and, to be honest, I do not want anyone to apply

What is like to be an actor in Macedonia today?

MURATOVSKI: Everyone is the architect of their own destiny, everyone chooses their own way, to take a stand, whether to criticize or not to criticize someone. Still there are many things that need to be made. But believe me, now the position of the actor is much better than fifteen years ago. I speak from my point of view because I have 10-15 years of experience, I might have done better roles. The most important thing that we, the actors, must not forget is that, regardless of who is for which party, tomorrow will stand on the same stage, where we work exclusively. We will have to be partners again, no matter if we love or hate, if we are brother and sister, father and son… None of us, the actors, should allow what is offstage to affect our basic work, and that is the stage. The actors are most powerful when they are on stage. I mostly can contribute to my country when I’m on stage. I do not understand much the other things.

What is Drama Theater preparing for the observation of  World Theater Day?

MURATOVSKI: Last year we had reduced prices during the whole month, we had a theater marathon, four plays were performed. This time we will have a theater month. We will mark a very significant date, March 4, or 50 years since the construction of the Drama Theatre building. On March 4 we will screen  a documentary dedicated to Drama Theater, there will be a formal academy, and in the evening a play will be preformed in honor of those 50 years. Next year Drama Theater celebrates a significant anniversary, 70 years of existence, on April 21, and that date will be marked accordingly.

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By: Aleksandra M. Bundalevska

Photo: Aleksandar Ivanovski