A dog stands alone in the middle of a big stage. Around him remote-controlled cars directed by boys in the audience are buzzing. In spite of the “traffic jam” around him, the dog is concentrating on a single point in the full audience: the place where his trainer sits, who will guide him with orders through the performance. Unnoticeable and in the audience, there is an actor who will lend his voice to the dog.


Originating from the namesake template by Paul Auster, TIMBUKTU is an engaged play for youth, which directly discusses the issue of social exclusion through a story about the relationship between a homeless man and his dog. In the project TIMBUKTU the dog is not represented by the actor, the actor just lends his voice to him. The stage remains completely empty for 45 minutes, and the only activities are carefully planned motions of a trained dog, melding with the actor’s voice from the audience. In this monologue for the dog on stage, spoken by an actor in the audience, arises a mythical place, Timbuktu, in which all, including dogs and men, are equal, in direct juxtaposition to all today’s neoliberal order consists of.

The play, which was literally remote-controlled from the audience, reaches its culmination with the descent of an iron cage and the on-stage appearance of twelve dogs from a shelter for abandoned animals. The infusion of the real is rounded off by the appearance of real homeless people on stairs in the audience, who represented themselves in this play. This play discussed sensitive contemporary issues: abandoned dogs, as well as abandoned people, the care and neglect for those living close and among us, from whom we turn our eyes away, and the role of responsibility played by each of us. Along with that, TIMBUKTU was an organizationally extremely demanding and complex project that demanded a common platform and coordination of various institutions, associations and volunteers. Even though the story did not have a classic happy-end, the play offered the possibility of a completely new happy ending – the possibility to adopt twelve dogs from the Center for Care of Abandoned Animals. Three homeless canines were adopted after this play, proving that the theater can have a direct influence on the environment we live in.


Concept and direction: Borut Šeparović / Dramaturgy: Jasna Žmak / Text adaptation: Jasna Žmak and Borut Šeparović / Performers: Actor: Sven Medvešek; Dog Kosta (Mr Bones): Cap; Dog handler: Alen Mareković; Abandoned dogs: Rox, Bel, Blacky, Floki, Leda, Linda I, Linda II, Mate, Meli, Miffy, Nera, Azra; Guests: Radovan Aleksić, Matijas Behetić, Alen Crncan, Boris Davidović, Zdravko Erdelja, Ivan Gustović, Marija Ivšić, Ivan Jurišić, Miljenko Knez, Mario Kovač, Filip Kovačić popov, Vili Matula, Ivan Mašina, Čedo Mileusnić, Bojan Navojec, Srećko Novak, Maja Orešković Igrić, Sandra Krsnik, Branimir Kušen, Mate Lukić, Jasminka Pandžić, Boris Sorić, Siniša Stećuk, Silvija Špiljak, Vedran Štuka, Renato Vukoja, Morana Zajec, Vedran Zelko, Ivan Živković, Tomislav Živković, Darko Žnidarec / Music choice: Borut Šeparović / Sound design: Damir Šimunović / Lighting desing: Slaven Delalle and Borut Šeparović / Stage design: Slaven Delalle / Lighting technicians: Saša Fistrić and Livio Marečić / Sound technician: Nenad Brkić / Stage technicians: Denis Jelić, Grga Mišić, Juraj Rendulić / Casting of abandoned dogs: Tatjana Zajec / Graphic design: Ira Payer / Photography: Damir Žižić / Internet support: Netipični d.o.o. / Public relations, coordination and executive production: Dinka Bujas / Project financed by: DasArts (NL), City Office for Culture, Education and Sports (ZG), City Office for Agriculture and Forestry (ZG), City Office for Work, Healthcare, Social Protection and Veterans (ZG) / Project supported by: Friends of Animals, Center for Care of Abandoned Animals, Society of Students of Socialwork, CRC DRIFT, City Homeless Shelter in Heinzelova St. / Sponsors: Računa Končar, Coca Cola, Dalekovod, Presscut, Ekoel (Usluge čišćenja), VBZ / Media coverage: Radio 101, Jutarnji list, tportal.hr / Production: MONTAЖ$TROJ in cooperation with the Zagreb Puppet Theatre Scene Travno