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The U.S. premiere of a classic comedy about shocking secrets and small-town corruption by Slovenia's most famous author.

The U.S. premiere of a classic comedy about shocking secrets and small-town corruption by Slovenia's most famous author. Read More
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This project's funding goal was not reached on September 8, 2012.

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Celeste Innocenti
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Celeste Innocenti

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About this project

Chronos Theatre Group presents the U.S. Premiere of Scandal in the St. Florian Valley by Ivan Cankar 

Chronos Theatre Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization, creates opportunities for professional actors to explore works from diverse world cultures and time periods, connecting modern American audiences with performing arts from around the world and through time. 

Right now, we are developing a unique production of the classic Slovenian dark comedy Scandal in the St. Florian Valley by Ivan Cankar, directed by award-winning visiting artist Ivan Rupnik of Slovensko Mladinsko Theatre. 

To get in on the scandal, sneak a peek at our video promo and more scandalous photos

The Chronos Approach 

Chronos Theatre Group strives to make performances interactive with the audience, and endeavors to draw people into the process as well as the event. We have a busy facebook page, as well as a website with lots of photos, videos, and other information about Chronos productions -- past, present, and future. Stay tuned for information, as well as videos, photos, and activities in "St. Florian Valley". 

Our Immediate Funding Need: Renting the Victory Theater 

Our immediate need is $2000 to pay the rent on the performance space, Victory Theater, for three weeks, as well as space for rehearsals. The Victory Theater (2558 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92102) is an old movie theater (built in 1913) which has found new life as a live theater. Now, it is the home of the colorful and unique Technomania Circus and the Center for the Amusing Arts. 

Donations over that amount will help pay the actors and tech crew, as well as any other costs such as costumes and sets. Since we keep our production costs low, the overall budget is not high, and the rent is really quite reasonable. By allowing us to rent the space, we are also helping to keep this historic theater alive. Join the ranks of previous Chronos donors by funding this US Premiere!

Please see our FAQs (below) for more in-depth information on the play and the director!


  • As the Victory Theater was built at the time the play was first produced, we intend to utilize the ambience and history of the theater to create a special event! We plan to involve audiences and volunteers in various creative ways, including an opening night gala which will treat honored donors like VIPS as they arrive at the theater, complete with paparazzi and autographs -- and valet parking. Ushers and concessionaires will be characters who might live in the St. Florian Valley, and everyone is encouraged to become a St. Florianite for the evening!

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  • A special invite-only preview on September 13th

    Opening Night Gala on September 14th, 2012

    Runs Fridays & Saturdays (8:00pm) and Sundays (7:00pm) through September 30th

    Possible additional pay-what-you-can performances

    Tickets $10 seniors/students/service personnel, $15 general admission

    $25 opening night, includes VIPs and paparazzi

    Group rates and class discounts available

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  • Scandal in the St. Florian Valley is a famous Slovenian play by about a seemingly idyllic small town with such dark secrets that even the Devil seems powerless in comparison. When a young "artist" and a beautiful woman arrive in a tent on the outskirts of town, along with The Devil (who is supposedly from France), the prurient interest of the townspeople exposes a history of sex, lies, and corruption -- including the abandonment of a child many years earlier, sent down the river like Moses. Written by Slovenia's most revered playwright, Ivan Cankar, this clever play was considered shocking when it was first performed in 1914. The story still resonates in our world today, and the author's dry humor allows American audiences to get a feel for the Eastern European sensibility -- a world which may not always have a happy ending, but as Ivan says "we must anyway think positive!".

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  • Chronos is thrilled to present the U.S. premiere of a specially-commissioned English translation by, an American expert on Slavic languages and literature who lives in Slovenia and has translated other work by Ivan Cankar. The translation was produced in collaboration with Mladinsko and has been endorsed by the Slovenian Ministry of Culture. Cankar is considered the finest author in Slovenian literature and was especially noted for his use of language, a combination of ordinary speech and sublime poetry in the style of Shakespeare (whom he introduced to Slovenia).

    Interestingly, this play was reportedly translated into English in the 1930s by a Slovenian-American who didn't really speak the language, and it received a community theater production. Over the years, the script disappeared, so this translation is the only existing English one. Chronos is proud to be the first American theater to produce this literary gem.

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  •… has been an actor with Mladinsko Theatre in Ljubljana, Slovenia since 1985, and has won numerous awards and honors in his career. He has performed for television film, and radio, and has toured all over the world. Ivan has worked with top directors and performed in theaters on several continents. His extensive training includes classical as well as modern techniques, and he is extremely versatile, from the tragic focus of Heinrich von Kleist in his Correspondence to the cartoon voiceover of one of the Smurfs.… Ivan as the doctor in Mladinsko's Clockwork Orange and in his… in Scheherezade.

    How Ivan became involved with Chronos

    In addition to a full-time career in Slovenia, Ivan lives part-time in Encinitas with his wife, Marija, a chemist who works in San Francisco. While in San Diego in the summer of 2006, he decided to take a pronunciation class at UCSD, where he met Chronos Artistic Director Celeste Innocenti, who was teaching the class. Ivan advised and taught theatrical technique for Chronos productions such as "The Coffee Shop" by Carlo Goldoni, making use of his years of training and theatrical skills in commedia dell'arte and Meyerhold, among others. He proposed directing Yelizaveta Bam last year, and now in directing Scandal in the St. Florian Valley he is fulfilling his vision of directing through Chronos, a dream he has had for many years.

    Ivan’s Directing Style

    Last year, Ivan's direction of ""; by Daniil Kharms for Chronos gained plaudits and The production was the U.S. premiere of a long-hidden work by Russian Absurdist playwright Kharms, who ended his days in a Soviet gulag. Ivan's creative yet minimalist staging and "linguistic approach" and his years growing up in an emerging Communist country provided humor as well as profound insight in interpreting this abstract, intricate play.

    A 110-Year-Old Play With a Modern European Approach

    Ivan believes that the core of great theater, from the ancient Greeks to modern times, is about relationship, and in this play he examines the various relationships within a small town as well as the larger issue raised by the author, of the artist's relationship to society. Ivan's approach to this 100-year-old classic is to make it fresh and new, accessible to modern American audiences yet universal in the symbolic code of theater. Ivan reminds us that theater is a mirror in which we can see ourselves and recognize our human nature; through the lessons of the characters, we can learn something about ourselves and emerge a little bit better from the experience.

    Click here for a video with Ivan's explanation of why he wants to do this play.

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  • We have assembled an excellent of some of San Diego's best and most creative actors. Our crew members, including Assistant Director Justine Hince, are also part of the production, playing St. Florianites in the house during the show.

    The Devil: David Radford

    Krištof Kobar (Peter): Bryant Hernandez

    Jacinta: Krista Bell

    The Mayor: John Anderson

    The Mayor’s Wife: Celeste Innocenti

    The Tax Collector: Doug Hoehn

    The Tax Collector’s Wife: Gail West

    The Postmistress: Carla Navarro

    The Schoolmaster: George Weinberg-Harter

    The Shopkeeper: Josef Duich

    The Shopkeeper’s Wife: Bonnie Stone

    The Sexton: tba

    The Vagabond: Josh Freeman

    The Fat Man: Kevin Kornburger


    The Director/Set and Costume Designer: Ivan Rupnik

    The Assistant Director/St. Florian Ambassador: Justine Hince

    The Tech/Marketing Guy: Kevin Kornburger

    The Photographer: Josh Freeman,

    The Costumers: Gail West/Celeste Innocenti The Videographer: Celeste Innocenti

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  • We are honored to collaborate with director Ivan Rupnik's home theater in Slovenia,, which commissioned the translation by Rawley Grau. In Slovenia, there are few professional theaters, which are all funded by the State. Money is not the focus of a theater, or a reason for artistic choices; if a show is not successful, they do another one. Theaters do not necessarily do plays to please the audience, so often their content or approach is more abstract and symbolic than that of American theater. They also have plenty of time to mount a production, and thus can explore plays in depth.

    Acting in Slovenia is a good life for a professional actor, but there are few opportunities for those who do not make the cut. Theaters only select graduates of theater schools, and all theater is professional. Slovenian actors have a steady career and retirement, vacation, and insurance benefits. Once an actor is accepted into a theater company, he or she never again has to audition, but also must take the roles he is cast in.

    In college, Ivan was originally a pharmacy major, yet discovered that he loved acting. To his surprise, he was accepted into a prestigious theater school and then into Slovensko Mladinsko Theatre, where he has remained as a major part of the ensemble for over a quarter of a century. Plays are done in repertory, so an actor like Ivan may have played the same role countless times over a career. In fact, Ivan has played the Devil twice in other productions of this play.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00 USD

    The Devil: A thank you in our program, facebook page, and website!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    The Wanderer: All of the above + a free bag of popcorn with the purchase of a ticket!

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    1 backer
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    The Postal Clerk: All of the above + a ticket to the show (excluding the opening night gala)!

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    3 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    The Sexton: All of the above + ticket upgrade to 2 tickets with preferred seating (excluding the opening night gala)!

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    1 backer
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    The Schoolmaster: All of the above + upgrade to 2 VIP tickets to the opening night gala (with full red carpet treatment -- including paparrazzi) and a scandalous printed photo signed by the cast!

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    0 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250 USD

    The Retailer: All of the above + corporate sponsorship for a business, with your company name on our website, on facebook, and in the program!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    The Tax Collector: All of the above + a private afternoon of coffee and conversation about the play and theater with director Ivan Rupnik for yourself and a few close friends!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    The Mayor: All of the above + a walk-on part in the show, with your name in the program!

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Funding period

- (35 days)