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National Theatre of Kosovo is the largest theatre institution in Kosovo. Up until 2009 the theatre only set up performances for adults. From 2009 one also started to produce theatre performances for children. Since theatre for children and youth was so new in Kosovo at the same time a long-termed platform to educate the theatre workers in Kosovo within theatre for children and youth was planned, to give them a short background and to engage experts from countries with highly developed theatre for children and young people.
On initiative of the artistic leader at National Theatres (Teatri Kombëtar i Kosoves), Jeton Neziraj, a cooperation begun between National Theatre of Kosovo and ASSITEJ Sweden. SI invited Jeton to the Swedish Theatre biennale in Borås, June 2009.
The cooperation between ASSITEJ Sweden and National Theatre of Kosovo went on and three workshops were arranged at National Theatre of Kosovo in Pristina (with support from SI):
- One workshop in directing and acting with Olle Törnqvist as workshop leader.
- One workshop in theatre administration, production and culture politics lead by Felicia Mortiz and Niclas Malmcrona.
- One workshop in writing theatre for children and youth with Christina Gottfridsson as workshop leader.
All those workshops lasted for three days with a first common session as introduction and a last common session as evaluation and with reports from the work that had been performed by every workshop. In those workshops, that took place at the National theatre, in all 24 persons participated; 6 in the workshop for drama, 8 in the workshop for management and 10 in the directing and acting workshop.
It was three very successful and appreciated workshops that later have lead to a continuing contact and cooperation with the National Theatre in Kosovo.

In February 2011 the cooperation between ASSITEJ Sweden and the National Theatre of Kosovo that had started 2009 continued. A cooperation initiated by the artistic leader at National Theatre, Jeton Neziraj. In the new project a Swedish play should be produced by a Swedish director with ensemble and technicians from the National Theatre in Kosovo. The aim of this new project was to create a deeper exchange of knowledge about the characteristics, forms, methods of work and conditions that theatre for children and youth have as an important part of theatre repertoire. Furthermore it should bring out the importance of cultural expressions. The aim was: - to create an 
- exchange of experiences between people who work within some of the different theatre areas in Sweden and Kosovo. - To encourage a good exchange between the cultural life and society and to encourage the access to culture/theatre for children and youth in Kosovo. 

- To supply competence within theatre for children and youth to practisers in Kosovo
- to give competence in directing in the area of theatre for children and youth through the production of a Swedish play at National Theatre of Kosovo

 Together with National Theatre of Kosovo produce a play for children The Sun Monkey that can be played at the regular repertoire. The play The Sun Monkey that was produced was chosen jointly by the artistic leader of National Theatres Jeton Neziraj and the Swedish director Olle Törnqvist. The Sun Monkey is written by Sofia Fredén (photo) and was translated into Albanian by Dritero Kasapi. 

The rehearsals started at February 28th and at April 2nd 2011 it was time for the opening. The actors from the National Theatre were Kushtrim Hoxha, Driada Matoshi and Shpetim Selmani. Director, Olle Törnqvist, stayed in Pristine during the rehearsal time and the play was rehearsed daily at the National Theatre.

Since the economy of the theatre is so poor the resources for stage design and technique were very limited from the theatre. Thanks to his long experience and his great patience, Olle still succeeded to get the performance in the direction he wished; to a performance totally ready to play and that one could also tour with.

Director Olle Törnqvist

The project reached its aim. The play was at the regular repertoire during spring 2011 and played at Saturdays for a family audience. The Sun Monkey was about to have a reopening in September and go on and play. After the summer Jeton Nezirajs appointment as artistic leader was not prolonged and a new leader was appointed, after what looks like an action from the culture department in Kosovo. How it will continue with the long-termed planning of theatre for children in Kosovo we therefore know nothing today. During the ASSITEJ festival and congress i Malmoe and Copenhagen, May 20th - 29th, The Sun Monkey was played at the off-programme. It was a unique opportunity to show an international cooperation between two countries that, from an international view, is rather rare, since Kosovo not has been allowed to become a member of ASSITEJ International. The target group for the performances that were shown in Malmoe were people from the whole world, who work with theatre, for children and youth, who had been gathering at the festival, and a local audience from Malmoe with schools and people with their roots in Kosovo etc. At the festival The National Theatre in Pristine (among others the performing actors) got a unique opportunity to be seen in an international coherence that indirectly made the Theatre and de participants to a target group.


ASSITEJ Sweden, Kaplansbacken 2, S-112 24 Stockholm/ Tel 08-659 86 33/ EMAIL: info@assitej.se