Born on August 29, 1978, I should have been named Rene or Bruno, but fate had different plans. Igor it is!
My upbringing was a delightful cocktail of my mother, father, a bunch of kindergarten and elementary school hooligans, rock music that rocked my world, and theatrical masterpieces like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. Oh, and let's not forget the bunch of great books firing my imagination, but not helping my socialization at all. I finished high school in my hometown, with beautiful marks and the conclusion that I would never become a professor of physics or Latin. At the same time my experimenting with literary work and theatrical attempts were in full swing.
Next stop: Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb. There, I meticulously, studiously, and slowly (oh, so slowly) studied and pursued my degree. And, in the end, I proudly obtained that master’s degree in journalism. I’m an associate lecturer at that very faculty today. I used to say that it was ironic, but I’m totally cool with it now. And not just there, I work as an associate lecturer at VERN' University as well.
Therefore, today, besides being a journalist and a lecturer, as a playwright I am a member of the Croatian Association of Dramatic Artists (HDDU) and Croatian Screenwriters and Playwrights Guild (SPID). Fancy titles, right? Well, they let me hang out with other theater nerds, so I'm quite content.
But the place you can find me, in the office or behind the stage, is KNAP Theatre in Zagreb, where I work as an artistic director. The show must go on!
I began my theater career with amateur plays (ARS Cafe, a musical, T.R.N., a rock opera, and Balls, a play), where enthusiasm and a continuous curve of trial and error played a significant role in my learning process.
My first professional project was a musical called The Asphalt Rose, co-authored by Ladislav Prežigalo, Darko Hajsek, and myself. It was performed at the Komedija theatre as part of their repertoire.
In February 2013, I served as a dramaturge for the original musical Crna kuća – mjuzikl u boji (Black House – musical in color), created by Ladislav Prežigalo (librettist), Darko Hajsek (composer), and Igor Barberić (director and choreographer). The spectacle was produced independently by B GLAD Production and became a regional hit. Our successful collaboration continued on numerous projects thereafter.
In 2016 with the same production I staged my play Balls. In the same year I wrote and put on How an Elf Saved Christmas, a play for children.
In 2017, I worked as a dramaturge and director for the mono-comedy The Polititian, a mono-comedy. Additionally, I collaborated on Patients as a dramaturge. It’s a hit musical whose authors are Miro Gavran and Vjekoslava and Tonči Huljić together with Igor Barberić as a director. Patients filled the prestigious Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall ten times over, representing a major success.
The beginning of 2019 brought several of my works to the stage, including Speak of the Wolf, a musical for children with Robert Bošković as a director, that got great reviews. Who the fu*k is Biba?, my theatre play, also met great audience and critics feedback. Both of the plays are packing Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall with tours all over the country and the region.
In a co-production of Medley Theatre and B GLAD Production and also in partnership with Trpimir Jerković, a composer, a concept musical Microphones – The Story About a Singer came to light. The musical connects a theatre and a club scene in an unconventional way.
In 2020 as a dramaturge I adopted the famous operetta The Merry Widow for Madlenianum Opera & Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, receiving rave reviews. For Madlenianum, in 2021 I wrote a script for their evening gala The Lights of the Stage, which became a regular part of their repertoire due to popular demand.
In 2021 I wrote a libretto for musical for children Mother, I Have Become Green, which turned out to be an instant hit in Croatia's main theatre for children, Zagreb's theater Žar ptica. I have also written a comedy play 4 Positions & A Happy Ending, which opened on Split on a big festival Theatre By The Sea, and was sold out ever since. Also, I have made a text and lyrics translation and adaptation for a famous Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate, which opened in Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka.
In 2022 I also made an adaptation, as well as text and lyrics translation for operetta La Vie Parisienne, for Madlenianum Opera & Theatre in Belgrade. In Zagreb, I created an original play All Inclusive, directed by Tihana Strmečki, which became an instant hit. At the end of 2022 I wrote a sequel of an 2016 play - How an Elf Saved Christmas 2: The Case of The lost Snowflake, which was sold out more than a month before opening.
In 2023. I wrote a dark comedy Straight To The Head (A Comedy To Die For), which also became a big hit, receiving great feedback and reviews from audiences in Zagreb, and on tour. The same year, I wrote a musical Beneath The Surface, for younger generations, with important educational topic on mental health and coping with depression (production was recognized and supported by EU). I also had an honor to write a script for gala concert In The Rhythm of Broadway. In collaboration with an actress Petra Kraljev, I worked as a dramaturge on the comedy When The South Wind Hits, directed by Nevena Vukes.
At the moment I’m working on new projects together with many established artists.
Did I mention that I work as an artistic director at KNAP Theatre in Zagreb, starting from 2023. That is the place where I begun as an amateur all those years ago. The circle is closed. Only creativity remains.
Journalism has been my professional occupation since my student days, starting with my involvement in Vijenac. Soon after, I joined Vjesnik, a national daily newspaper. Initially, I covered topics on road holes and traffic, but eventually, I became a desk editor, handling some of the most demanding editorial tasks.
At one point, despite being one of the oldest national media institutions, Vjesnik was shut down. Subsequently, I continued my work on a somewhat 'lighter' note, contributing to Jet Set Magazine and the Croatian edition of Playboy. Through these publications, I conducted many remarkable interviews and covered various engaging topics.
Following my time at Vjesnik, I ventured into the world of PR, gaining experience at an agency. However, I eventually chose a different path, transitioning into freelance work where I am my own boss. Copywriting has become my strongest skill in the PR world, as I generate ideas for media publications and branding, particularly for my plays.
Additionally, I serve as an associate at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. As the editor-in-chief, I am actively involved in creating a newspaper and a portal named Global, a renowned publication that defies the notion that high-quality journalism is facing its end. Many new and prominent names in the world of professional journalism have emerged from its ranks.
I am an associate lecturer at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb. My courses are Introduction to Print Media, Press Newsroom, Short Journalistic Forms, Writing for Print Media. Additionally, I am also a lecturer at VERN' University in Zagreb, where I hold courses: Editing in practice, Introduction to Journalism and The Skill of Writing for Media.
Not infrequently I give lectures on the basics of journalism and media literacy.
Furthermore, I occasionally give lectures on creative writing and creating musicals.
Original title: ISPOD POVRŠINE
Number of characters: 2
Duration: 55 minutes
Theme: A dynamic educational play delving into depression and the increasingly pressing issues of mental health among young individuals, with a focus on the younger population. The play incorporates original musical numbers.
The story follows the journey of Marko, a young boy navigating the challenging transition from elementary to high school. With the shift comes a wave of new hurdles and difficulties, and these changes don't escape the notice of Marko's closest friend, Dea. When a young person grapples with depression, resurfacing isn't a simple task. Yet, this production underscores the significance of a supportive environment, emphasizing the need for those around to recognize and assist individuals wrestling with the increasingly prevalent challenges of modern society.
From laughter to tears, with outstanding performances by the cast and infectious musical compositions, "Beneath the Surface" presents a contemporary play tailored for the modern audience, touching hearts and minds alike.
Original title: DIREKT U GLAVU (KOMEDIJA ZA KREPAT)
Number of characters: 2
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Theme: A dark comedy about an actor's afterlife events and existential crisis. It includes many improvised moments and audience participation.
What's a deceased actor to do with his life, or rather, death, when he finds himself facing a theater audience and an enigmatic figure who poses provocative questions but offers no answers? "Straight to the Head" is a dark comedy where two actors quite literally leave their souls on the stage, engaging in a profound exploration of all things living and dead. Amidst waves of laughter, audiences are in for a unique theatrical experience. But what peculiar and tragicomic circumstance has brought them to these boards where life holds no meaning this time around?
The renowned actor, Borna, is dead. He's not been cremated, and now he's furious. Confused by the situation and bewildered by his appearance before an audience and the enigmatic figure named Franjo, Borna grapples with the circumstances of his death. What troubles him most is how he died and why. In fact, why did he live at all? What's the purpose of everything? Will his fate be determined by the audience or a higher force?
Prepare for "Straight to the Head," a comedy to die for - a fusion of classical theatrical comedy and an interactive show that promises an unforgettable experience!
Original title: PUNI PANSION
Number of characters: 1
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Theme: An emotional slice-of-life comedy about part time hotel reception worker and all the challenges she faces before the end of her shift
What's the connection between vibrators, a funeral, and firemen? How does the arrival of a renowned actor stir up a hornet's nest at an upscale hotel, placing an intrepid part-time receptionist in the crosshairs of chaos? And how do a prominent politician entangled with his lover and a frazzled tax inspector fit into the picture? Look no further for the answers than the scorching comedy – "PUNI PANSION (ALL INCLUSIVE)!"
Meet Tina, a seasonal worker navigating her role at the half-empty hotel "All Inclusive." Life hasn't been kind to her – she's juggling college pursuits, enduring a lengthy separation from her mother, and wrestling with the consequences of an old school friend who landed her this temporary gig at the reception, and did her a disservice in the process.
Brace yourself for a comedy that dances along the edge of drama, capable of evoking both laughter and tears. This narrative zooms in on a pivotal moment in Tina's journey at the hotel reception. It's a day when the threads she holds threaten to slip through her fingers, besieged by vexing guests, the owner, and even the owner's daughter.
As Tina finds herself juggling three 'inconvenient' incidents within the hotel, her phones relentlessly ring in the background, and this courageous young woman hasn't savored a moment of respite in hours. Can Tina's life be poised for transformation? Will it be for better or worse? And will salvation come from her loyal best friend or emerge from her very own resilience?
Within this comedy, the audience will uncover the answers to these pressing questions. Each viewer is likely to recognize fragments of themselves in this tale, and astonishingly, over 20 roles are brought to life by a single actress. Get ready to be amused, moved, and astounded!
Original title: KAKO JE VILENJAK SPASIO BOŽIĆ 2 - SLUČAJ: IZGUBLJENA PAHULJA
Number of characters: 3
Duration: 35 minutes
Theme: A Christmas play for children emphasizing the importance of imagination, also bringing focus on the topic of global warming
Christmas is once again under threat as Santa Claus finds himself in unprecedented peril! The North Pole is growing warmer by the day, and this year, the magic Snowflake is notably absent. What's the significance of this Snowflake? It marks the commencement of the snowy season, essential for the unhindered operation of the elves' toy factory and the smooth passage for reindeer-pulled sleds carrying gifts to homes across the globe. Only one person can aid Santa Claus – a girl named Dunja, who has grasped the essence of Christmas spirit and the boundless power of imagination. Yet, Dunja has gradually become entranced by her mobile phone screen, losing touch with her imaginative world.
However, the determined elf Zvonko is ready for a new mission and a fresh adventure. Though Dunja may not see him anymore, her younger cousin Petra certainly can. Zvonko must reach Dunja and all the children who can still perceive him, assisting in the recovery of this lost Snowflake. It's imperative for the sleds, Santa Claus, and the presents to reach every household on time. Can Zvonko, with the aid of Dunja, Petra, and the children who catch a glimpse of him, save Christmas once more? Will they be able to solve the mystery of the missing Snowflake?
Prepare for a heartwarming journey filled with magic, friendship, and the enduring enchantment of the holiday season!
Original title: 4 POZE, SRETAN SVRŠETAK
Number of characters: 4
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
Theme: A humorous omnibus of five overlapping stories with a theme of male-female relations
Can a woman named Juliet weave her charm around a former Yugoslav army commissar to secure his permission for a rendezvous with her beloved Romeo? Will a 'simple' pregnancy and a handful of pills disrupt the trajectory of a young TV hostess's career? What mysterious threads connect a torso, a gay affair, and a potential engagement? Lastly, what fate awaits Her and Him, whose journey began with passion and silly tunes, only to lead to sipping mint tea?
In this omnibus of interconnected tales, five narratives unfurl in a dynamic and humorous manner, holding the audience in suspense. At its heart lies the eternal question of love. The compilation promises an engaging slice of entertainment, spiced with amusement and punctuated by infectious laughter. Simultaneously, it delves into profound reflections on the intricacies of human relationships, brought to life through a blend of realistic and fantastical scenarios.
Original title: MAMA, JA SAM POZELENIO
Number of characters: 5
Duration: 50 minutes
Theme: An educational musical that shines a new light on fast food style of life, without much exercise. Can love and support from true friends help us change unhealthy life or do we need to find some inner motivation. Musical is suited for elementary school children, but is also educational for parents. Musical was endorsed by Croatian Institute of Public Health.
Meet Bojan, an entirely average boy navigating the corridors of an entirely average school, leading an entirely average life. He spends most of his time with his friends Robert and Zoran, and together, they revel in the fine art of evading physical education classes. Their motive? A nearby, alluring bakery tempting them with an array of unhealthy fast food delights.
Despite his routine, Bojan secretly yearns for a glimpse of a healthier lifestyle. Especially since his friend Sanja exemplifies a regimen of nutritious eating and regular exercise. But Bojan finds himself unable to emulate Sanja, and this discrepancy takes a toll on his well-being, prompting him to seek guidance from an unorthodox, humorously quirky doctor.
Amidst his confusion, Bojan grapples with questions about how to overhaul the unhealthy habits he shares with his friends and parents. Simultaneously, he seeks a way to capture not just Sanja's attention, but her heart as well...
Original title: WHO THE FU*K IS BIBA?
Number of characters: 2
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Theme: A drama with the elements of a comedy. Male-female relationships and the pressure of society and traditional and urban values on individuals who are in love.
Is it a comic drama or a dramatic comedy? The labels fade away as Sara and Ante find themselves in the office of a marriage counselor a mere two weeks after exchanging vows. Yes, they're facing problems.
But what kind of problems? These issues are significant enough to forgo their Palma de Mallorca honeymoon. As they strive to revive their fledgling marital status, they're forced to delve into the depths of their intimacy, the 'sins' of their maid of honor and best man, encounters with exes, and a seemingly endless guest list. Amid these challenges, the young couple must revisit and reinterpret their wedding moments, along with their shared intimacy and communication.
At what juncture did the young couple cease to harmonize? The answer to this question becomes the focus of this seamless, heartwarming, and humorous theatrical production where anyone can find a piece of themselves.
Original title: MI O VUKU
Number of characters: 2
Duration: 50 minutes
Theme: A musical for children with Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf as main characters and with an educational topic about the importance of friendship and trust in a world of fake news and a need of more intense media literacy
Have you ever wondered if the Big Bad Wolf truly devoured Granny, the three little pigs, and seven little goats? Or could it be that Little Red Riding Hood's perception has been swayed a tad too much by the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and television? The genuine truth behind all the wolf-related tales is poised to unveil itself when Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf finally come face to face. Brace for laughter, catchy musical numbers, and enlightening moments as their encounter unfolds.
This unique children's musical takes a fresh and creative approach to renowned fairy tales, embedding them in a modern framework where both children and adults find themselves inundated with a barrage of information from commercials and social networks. Amidst the currents of contemporary technology, a crucial yet often overlooked skill emerges: critical thinking.
With two dynamic actors at its core, this musical delivers countless memorable moments. A comedic masterpiece that casts a new and illuminating perspective on familiar stories, it kindles creativity in children, fosters tolerance, and nurtures a sense of justice. The original music for this production is composed by Bojan Jambrošić.
Original title: MIKROFONI – Priča o pjevaču
Number of characters: 5 + small rock orchestra/band
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
Theme: A contemporary satirical concept musical about an unaccomplished singer, based on the motives of 'The Chairs' and 'The Bald Soprano', the plays written by Eugène Ionesco (also possible to perform in the atmosphere of the rock clubs)
Is it possible to make a living from music or is it just survival? Is the society making us walk on the edge and the only way to save ourselves is jumping into the unknown?
Old Man came to perform a concert for The Manager. Old Woman organized everything. After decades of waiting they are convinced that their music is finally going to be recognized and success is inevitable. But what will happen when Old Man starts thinking over his life decisions in front of the audience?
Is our life nothing but a rock concert conducted by someone else and what is necessary for our voice to be finally heard too? This ‘musical of the absurd’ in a unique music and theatre atmosphere of MICROPHONES, with Trpimir Jerković as a composer of the original music, has the answer.
Original title: KAKO JE VILENJAK SPASIO BOŽIĆ
Number of characters: 3
Duration: 35 minutes
Theme: A Christmas play for children emphasizing the importance of imagination in today's society
The play revolves around the adventures of a young girl named Dunja, accompanied by an elf named Zvonko, who sneaks into her room seeking assistance. The storyline is built upon the notion that in these challenging times, fewer adults and children believe in Santa Claus, the significance of giving, and the joy of holidays. This threat even reaches the distant North Pole, endangering Santa Claus's ability to visit children's homes and deliver gifts. Consequently, Santa Claus dispatches his elves to children's homes to gauge their belief in the Christmas spirit, playfulness, and imagination. Of greater significance, the play explores whether parents also hold these beliefs or if they have forgotten the essence of childhood.
The play narrates the tale of the potency of children's imagination and their faith in the holiday spirit in an engaging and interactive manner.