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Shadows of Three Different Periods in the Albanian Theatre

Driada Dervishi


The year 2004 can be considered as a very successful year for the Albanian theatres due to the reappearance of Albanian drama. Even though it was obviously noticed by the critics that the Albanian drama was gradually becoming eextinct, in 2004 the flow seemed to change. Bylis Theatre put triptych parts on stage of Kristo Floqi’s composition, one of the highest-toned eminent of Albanian’s Renaissance literature with Met Xhelili as a director. “Aleksander Moisiu Theatre” of Durrws puts on stage the drama called “Balkan Hotel”, which was about the occurrences of Kosovo’s war, with Bashkim Hoxha as a playwright, under the direction of Driada Dervishi, whereas the National Theatre puts on stage another work entitled “Shadows of the Night” written by Vedat Kokona and directed by Hervin Çuli, which was taken from the fund of dramaturgy during the period of socialist realism.

The Albanian’s dramaturgy crisis which had started to be felt in the last decade of the communist era, peaked its crisis in the ‘90s. From 50 years composition under the dictatorship rule, even though authors such as Ismail Kadare and Dritero Agolli from other branches of literature survived, Albanian drama was still left vacant almost like in its beginnings. The overwhelming part of dramaturgy production that was written during the years of dictatorship decreased immediately after its collapse. Josif Papagjoni, an art critic raised a question: Should the “frozen” manuscripts be paraphrased historically? Can some of the best dramas of socialist realism period be re-written? (Papagjoni, 2005, 21) In year 2004, one of the best works of socialist realism period returns on stage: “Shadows of the Night” by the great publicist, writer, translator and the lexicologist Vedat Kokona (1913-1998).

Written in 1946, this drama comes in three versions, through different interpretations of the same manuscript, from three well – known directors: Pirro Mani, with the “Andon Zako Çajupi” theatre’s troupe, Zef Bushati with the Folk Theatre troupe, just a year after the death of the dictator Enver Hoxha in year 1986, and returned at the National Theatre after 14 years of the dictatorship’s collapse, under the direction of Hervin Culi. Despite of the other parts being continuously put on, particularly those with propagandistic contents, “Shadows of the Night” was not put on stage for many years in Tirana.

Keywords: dramaturgy, Albanian theatre, socialist realism, stage, actors, directors.


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