‘For people without an address, a shelter is found on stage’ by Marijana Zrinjski (Večernji list, daily newspaper)

Homeless people and stray dogs as extras in a play: The director Borut Šeparović claims that the play “Timbuktu” achieved success because the homeless worked willingly and filled with positive energy.

For people without an address, a shelter is found on stage

The play achieved success due to the people without a permanent address who expressed their will to participate. I did not invite them out of pity; I wanted them to be equal to others in the play – said the director of the theater play “Timbuktu”, Borut Šeparović, which was made according to the novel of Paul Auster, an American cult writer, performed last night on the Scene of the Zagreb Puppet Theater in Travno.

Bench No. 8, bush No. 4
To be more specific, 12 homeless extras from Zagreb’s shelter in Heinzelova Street appear in the play. One of them is Ivan Mašina, a 65-year old who came to rehearsals regularly for months. “What, they invited us, why wouldn’t I? It’s nothing difficult, and it entertains me”, says the becoming Ivan, a locksmith by vocation with 26 years of past service. He recently submitted a retirement demand, and he’s been at Heinzelova Street several months now. “Before this I loitered in park Maksimir, bench No. 8, bush No. 4” – he laughs to himself and adds that even dogs have guardians while he lives with other hobos. Boris Davidović, previously homeless, liked the play so much that he came to rehearsals even after he found a job and an apartment this summer. “The play is excellent, so I don’t find it difficult to come and rehears after work. I really enjoy it.”, says a 48-year old who spent almost four years in the shelter. Šeparović says that the homeless make sure everything in the play goes well. “As soon as they get here, they ask for Sven. I find that very sweet, because then I know they care.”

Adopters, come forward
Aside from the interesting participants, this play is intriguing because there is just a dog on stage almost the entire time (Mr. bones aka Kosta) performing a monologue (spoken by the actor Sven Medvešek in the background). To put it more accurately, he tells us of his life remembering, among other things, the good times with his first owner Willy who died and left him alone. At the end of the play, dogs from the pound come on stage. Anyone from the audience, who wanted to adopt them after the performance, could get in touch with the director, the actors or the dogs themselves.

“The shelter wasn’t great. Still, I found some friends, but everyone should have their peace. I was happy when we started rehearsing.”
Boris Davidović

“The director is not bad! I don’t think I was ever a part of a theater play. Although, we are only extras and come in at the very end.”
Ivan Mašina

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