On 6 December 2020, the Celje City Theatre will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its professional activity. The theatre was founded on 6 December 1950 with the statute on the foundation of the city theatre, passed by the Celje municipality. On 17 March 1951, the first premiere, Operation by Mira Puc-Mihelič, directed by Tone Zorko, presented by a professional ensemble took place. The first and the only resident ensemble member in the season 1950/51 was Nada Božič.
In the course of nearly seventy creative years, many leading names of Slovenian acting profession have trodden our boards and imprinted indelibly the name of the Celje City Theatre in the Slovenian theatre history. Two recipients of the Borštnik Ring which is the most esteemed Slovenian lifetime achievement award for acting profession, Janez Bermež (1998) and Anica Kumer (2003), were resident ensemble members for their entire careers until their retirement. In 2000, the Borštnik Ring was awarded to Aleksander Krošl who was a resident ensemble member of the Celje City Theatre from the season 1954/55 to the season1975/76 and appeared in his most prominent roles on our boards. In 2011, the Borštnik Ring was presented to Milada Kalezić who began her professional career at the Celje City Theatre in the 1977/78 season and remained a resident member up to the 2002/03 season. In 2015, Ljerka Belak, who was a resident ensemble member of the Celje City Theatre from 1971/72 to 1993/94, received the Borštnik Ring.
Presently, many prominent theatre makers, directors and other artistic staff members regularly join forces in the Celje City Theatre. The in-house artistic section consists of an ensemble of academically trained actors, two dramaturgs, a language consultant and the artistic manager responsible for the repertoire. Invariably, our repertoire is diverse and challenging. We cover all theatre genres and produce plays by Slovenian and international authors, endorsing classical plays as well as fostering new writing.
The Celje City Theatre houses two theatre spaces, the Main Stage which sits 216, and a 70-seat Small Stage which was formally opened in the 2015/16 season on the premises of the former city library.
During the 2019/20 season we completed a thorough makeover of the Main stage venue and both foyers for visitors.
At the Celje City Theatre we pay special attention to the rewards of being the only professional theatre in the Savinjsko-Šaleška region. Presenting a carefully selected and diverse repertoire, we aim to integrate theatre fully into the wider local community. We organize an open-door day, theatre education events, workshops and birthday parties for children and various exhibitions. Our versatile activities are fully committed to the highest professional standards. We deem it of the utmost importance to educate our audiences from a very young age and to be actively involved in a wider local community.
Annually, we present over 220 performances on our domicile stages and on tours in Slovenia and internationally. Our productions and guest performances as well as various other events at the Celje City Theatre attract about 60,000 spectators every year. We remain firmly committed to our mission and artistic policy aimed at meeting and exceeding our audiences’ expectations and creating contemporary theatre of highest quality and artistic excellence.