Kristina works in theatres in Croatia and England. Over the years, she has taken many roles; playwright, dramaturg, theatre-maker, deviser, producer and performer. Her plays were produced in numerous Croatian theatres (including ZKM, Mala scena, Scena Gorica and Puna kuca) published in anthologies, produced by Croatian National Radio and have won many awards. These include Marin Drzic for the best play (Ready), and the Mali Marulic Award for the best play for children on three occasions (A Boy who Sought a Kite, Corruptivitis in Mousetown and Sonata for the Rubbish Bin). In England, Kristina was part of the REP Foundry emerging writers’ program, China Plate’s Optimist and she co-founded the Notnow Collective with director Tina Hofman. Kristina also wrote Pepper and Honey, a play about migration, Brexit, baking traditional biscuits and settling in, which was produced by Notnow Collective and toured 30 venues around the UK.
Here are some of the theatre projects Kristina has been involved in over the years:
Written by Croatian playwright Kristina Gavran, directed by Tilly Branson and performed by Croatian actor Tina Hofman. Pepper & Honey is a poignant, subtle and timely play about the journey of change, cultural differences, trying not to feel like a foreigner in your adopted country, and the conflict between upholding the traditions of the “old country” and embracing those of the new.
So, what’s “home”? That’s the question Ana, a young Croatian woman, poses as she settles in the UK. Ana has been on a journey. Croatian born, she’s arrived in the UK, determined to make it home but haunted by the voice of her Grandma, calling for her to stay true to her national identity and yearning for Ana to come home. As Grandma bakes her traditional Croatian pepper biscuits (believed to bring a loved one back home), will this be enough to reunite them? Where is “home” to Ana now?
A beautifully written story. There was not a dry eye in the house by the end
Flows fantastically from one perspective to the next. A story of new beginnings, loss, and the sharing of cultures
A warm and gentle show, it captures the transient and precarious nature of life as an immigrant in the UK in the current climate
[A] subtle and charming production … Gavran’s writing is alive with sensuous detail
British Theater Guide
With support from Arts Council England, this project, produced by Moving Stories and Watford Palace Theatre, was an 8–week workshop led by director Emma Gersch and writer Kristina Gavran with a group of local mothers from all walks and stages of life. Through a process of creative exploration, Kristina wrote a play called The Parachute that was performed by professional actresses and a chorus of mothers on the main stage at the Watford Palace in May 2022.
BOSA (meaning barefoot in Croatian) is an immersive experience, set in the grandiose and atmospheric Moseley Road Baths. This is a story of migration, working in a care home for the elderly, encountering new worlds and remembering the past. The BOSA project gathered four female Balkan artists, three commissioned young creatives and many of the local community making their home in Birmingham. Together, we explored stories and rituals of moving home and settling into a new community.
The performance is presented using the latest immersive spatial audio technology, giving you the experience of being present with the characters in the story. Notnow Collective have teamed up with Kinicho, who specialise in developing new technologies for spatial audio and bringing to life creative audio experiences in arts and commercial activations. For BOSA, Kinicho will be using their revolutionary Sonic Reality Engine to provide an immersive experience through headphones that track head movements, taking the listener into the world of the story.
One dream. Two mothers. Three small kids. No bedtime routine, and the show must go on. A hilariously funny and brutally honest look at motherhood.
Devised and performed by Tina Hofman and Kristina Gavran. Inspired by Lyn Gardner’s article entitled ‘Parents in the arts need to stage a revolution’. Originally from Croatia, these women have drawn on their own experiences as mums who miss their own mums, mums who are raising bilingual kids and mums who are feeling guilty as they dream about success.
Wonderwoman; The Naked Truth is a physical exploration of the trials and superhero like moments motherhood can stir up and Notnow Collective use their trademark fusion of physical performance and playful new writing.
A Father, Mother, Son and Daughter. A basement full of food…and fear. Fear of the outside. They are prepared for the worst, and the worst will surely come. Just wait. In fear. With guns ready.
First prize Marin Držić awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia in 2012. The play was produced by ZKM Theatre Zagreb (2014) and the Croatian National Theatre in Mostar (2020). It was also showcased in Birmingham Repertory Theatre (2014). Translated into English and Spanish.
RSC Pilot Nights, directed by Jenny Jenkins, 2015
HExperiment season, Mac Birmingham, 2015
Pulse Festival, New Wolsey Theatre, 2015
Home Theatre, Birmingham REP 2014
(U mojim cipelama)
(Dedal i Ikar)
Theatre Mala scena, 2020, directed by Tina Hofman
Mali Marulić Award, 2019
Theatre Mala scena and Theatre Puna kuća, directed by Svetlana Patafta 2017
Mala scena, directed by Nora Krstulović, 2015
Mali Marulić Award, 2014
Scena Gorica, directed by Damir Mađarić, 2014
Mali Marulić award, 2012
Teatar Tirena, directed by Ines Škuflić, 2011