The fourth part
Memorie.al publishes some archival documents extracted from the Central State Archive in Tirana (fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP), where there is a record of the meeting of the Secretariat of the Central Committee held on May 25, 1978 , on the topic: “On a situation and on some problems that arise to increase the ideo-artistic level of professional theater and variety shows”, which was directed by Enver Hoxha, which was also attended by Ramiz Alia, secretary of the Central Committee covering propaganda , art and culture, Pilo Persiteri, candidate of the Politburo and Director of the Tractor Factory, “Enver Hoxha”, Deputy Minister of Education and Culture, Anastas Kondo and President of the League of Writers and Artists of Albania, Dritëro Agolli. The full minutes of that meeting led by Enver Hoxha, where the famous actor and director of the Albanian theater and cinematography, Pirro Manit, the well-known actress of the National Theater, Violeta Manushi, the professional pop actor were also invited and participated. of the city of Shkodra, Tano Banushi, etc.
“Our theater has a great experience in collaboration with actors – playwrights. Whenever this work was done well, there was a harmony between the author and the theater director, always the results were positive. From this warm cooperation, concrete and not in general, we have left or will remain many dignified works in its golden fund of our scene, starting from the first works such as “Our Land”, “Family of fisherman ”,“ Cuca e maleve ”, etc. I mentioned some of these works which are quite serious. This cooperation, especially recently, has become even stronger, more concrete. In our theater we have a lot of staff who do not work in the theater, but deal with writing and are writers. They not only help us with their works, but they also come to the theater, got acquainted with the process of staging, get acquainted with the laws of the stage, which is more than necessary for the author. We trusted our young people with courage, we felt very close to the whole team, the organization, we old directors and there really were results. For example, Dhimitër Pecani, not himself, m who successfully deputy on our stage, but he also went to Fier where he gave a beautiful play for the theater of Fier. In addition, there are a large number of television directors, such as Albert Minga who has emerged from the bosom of television, the People’s Theater, as well as Vladimir Prifti and Agim Qirjaqi. So we have to trust the “conductor’s stick” of the director, the young boys to come forward and show talents, because our people are very talented”
This is what the well-known theater director Pirro Mani said in his discussion, in one of the meetings of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the ALP held on May 25, 1978, which was chaired by Enver Hoxha, where they participated also Ramiz Alia, Pilo Peristeri, Anastas Kondo and Dritëro Agolli. In that meeting with the topic: “On a situation and on some problems that arise to increase the ideo-artistic level of the creativity of theater and professional variety”, in addition to Pirro Mani, participated the well-known actress of the People’s Theater, Violeta Manushi, actor of the professional stage of the city of Shkodra, Tano Banushi, etc.
For more than what was spoken and discussed in that meeting by Enver Hoxha, Ramiz Alia, Anastas Kondo and Dritëro Agolli, as well as by the guests: Pirro Mani, Violeta Manushi and Tano Banushi, the archival document in question introduces us with the minutes of that meeting of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the ALP, which Memorie.al publishes for the first time and in full in some issues of the dossier section.
Continues from the previous number
Minutes of the meeting of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the ALP, May 25, 1978
“ON THE SITUATION AND ON SOME PROBLEMS THAT ARISE FOR THE INCREASE OF THE IDEOARTISTIC LEVEL OF THE PROFESSIONAL THEATER AND POETRY CREATIVITY”
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: We will do it.
COMRADE VIOLETA MANUSHI: Yes, comrade Enver, we will do them, we will try them with courage and we will help them. Would you like me to send them to the People’s Theater? True, the People’s Theater has a great collective, but I think they should move forward with courage as we are.
COMRADE PIRRO MANI: Our Theater has a very rich experience in actor-playwright collaboration. Whenever this work is done well, there has been a harmony between the author and the theater director; always the results have been positive. From this warm, concrete and not in general cooperation, we have left, or will remain, many dignified theatrical works in the golden fund of our stage, starting from the first works, such as: “Our Land”, ” The fisherman’s family “,” Cuca e maleve “, etc.
I mentioned some of these works which are quite serious. This cooperation, especially lately, has always been becoming stronger, more concrete. In our theater we have a lot of staffs who do not work in the theater, but who deal with writing and are writers. They not only help us with their works, but they go to the theater and get acquainted with the process of staging, they get acquainted with the laws of the stage, which is more than necessary for the author. There are some shortcomings in this matter that we can correct.
In the material we read, it is said that a weakness in our works of dramaturgy, is that in them the living life, the real life does not come out completely. This comes; it seems to me, for several reasons: Indeed in our ranks from directors, actors and authors work for the ideological formation of our artists, but I think that in this regard we still have opportunities and paths to do this work even better.
So we must delve deeper into the materials of the Party and into your works, Comrade Enver, that they will help us to raise issues correctly in dramaturgy, to resolve conflicts correctly, which is the basis of a theatrical play, and to thus we get rid of schematism, or as Comrade Dritëro said, declarativeism, the outer side of the problem, without entering the living and real life, paving it straight with strong emotions full of light and optimism. This is one of the first reasons. Another problem that the Party has posed and it is a valuable issue, is the deep knowledge of the artist with the life of the people and the great work of our workers, which you, Comrade Enver, emphasized on December 20, 1974 at the meeting of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party.
Our collectives strive to realize this essential need of our writers and artists. Despite our efforts, we have done little in this regard and this work leaves much to be desired. I think that in this issue in the first place, it is important to organize the work to solve this problem. For example, a writer or a painter, connects with a work center, goes for example, to Fier or to the Metallurgical Plant, stays there for a while, gets to know, lives, works with them, to write a work and to see this great liveliness of life, you must definitely know this life.
For my part, I can give a simple example: I staged a part of Fatmir Gjata, the novel “Këneta”. This work reflects the broad mass of volunteers. In my youth I was a volunteer in various actions, such as the construction of the railway: Durrës – Tirana, the Textile Factory “Stalin” in Tirana and I knew that life, it was easier to embody it, to bring it this on stage, that I had lived myself, I knew those people, I was myself a young participant in these actions.
Knowing life cannot be done with just one month of physical work we do during a year, it must be continuous. The artist, the actor, the director, the scenographer, everywhere must be acquainted with the living life of our people. This problem has not yet been solved for our collectives, that we cannot be detached from work as detached for example, the painter, or the musician, that after all, he has a picture and will only work there. For artistic bodies this is an issue that requires resolution. I think in the future we will solve this as well.
Another problem that I wanted to add, it was said here by my friends, is the perspective for the future of our theater. We have in my opinion, a very good theater. We have a very warm theater, a theater that excites you. This is proven by the shows we give to our public and the ones we give abroad. I remember, for example, when we did a tour with the drama “Cuca e maleve”, at that moment, when the villagers sang “Thank you to the Party, who gave us land and gave us freedom”, the mass of Kosovars who were there were taken to standing and cheering for the Party.
Our theater is a theater to thrill with the great ideas it has, with the national sole. Recently when we were in Kosovo, an actor there in the theater was crying. A friend of mine and I asked him why he cried and he cried for our theater, he said these words: This is the real theater, this smells like Albania, because everyone is Albanian, while we do not have such a theater, for any reason that we have foreign influences, different rules, we have not yet managed to have a new theatrical play, with a national meaning”.
Our theater has a great value, that it is based on the national sole, on popular psychology, and our artists are very picky, very good in this regard, they try to know their roles, to know the characters that interpret, get acquainted with many similar roles, in order to represent what they will play. You, comrade Enver, give an example of Sander Prosi, in the role of “Jaho lab”. So it is and there are such examples in our theater. These are very positive phenomena.
Regarding the issue of perspective of both the acting and directing staff, I wanted to say that we receive these staff from the Higher Institute of Arts. It is true that we get talented boys and girls, but I think that their choice should be made more critically. We do not say that a student, after completing three years of the Higher Institute of Arts, should not become a film or theater actor, but we want him to be a promising actor. To marry a young girl and replace her with the greatest dignity, for example, Violeta, such actors we want, who are very talented, but are insufficient. Therefore more is needed in this regard.
The school is now doing a very good job, the Higher Institute of Arts, dramatic branch, is working seriously and I think it should be, more connected to the theater. Students should live in the rehearsals of the People’s Theater, because there we have very good actors, with great experience and great talents. Students will benefit greatly.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: That is the practice.
COMRADE PIRRO MANI: Yes, Comrade Enver, there is practice, there is experience. For example, we have a postgraduate course in directing. The Ministry of Education and Culture has acted very rightly in setting up this course, that directors are really playing a very big role, not only in theater, for dramatic art, but the director is also participating in the ‘May Concerts’ ‘, in the final concerts at the Folklore Festival of Gjirokastra, in the concerts for the VIII Congress of Professional Unions in Korça, in the VII Congress of BRPSH in Elbasan.
The group of directors has made a valuable contribution to the greatness of these important national activities. It is very true what Mrs. Violeta said, that in our theater we will not take the directors from the sky, they will come out of the bosom of our collectives. Even with us as directors, there has probably been a bad phenomenon, to appoint a weak member in the director course, who does not have the ability to be such. This issue should not be treated like this. A good director should definitely be a good actor, maybe he himself cannot play, but inside the soul, he should be without question a very good actor. We have done so.
We have bravely trusted our young people, we have stayed very close to the whole team, organizations, we old directors and we have really had results. For example, Dhimitër Pecani not only successfully deputy on our stage, but he also went to Fier where he gave a beautiful show with the Fier Theater. This is a cadre from the People’s Theater, in addition to a large number of cadres, Television directors, such as Albert Minga, who has emerged from the People’s Theater, as well as Vladimir Prifti and Agim Qirjaqi. So we have to bravely entrust the “conductor’s stick” of the director to the young boys to come forward and show talent, because our people are very talented. This has been told to us by foreigners who have seen our theater performances. “Intersant”, they told us, “you Albanians are very talented”.
In the directing course, it seems to me that it is proceeding correctly, even in a course that we have opened in our theater. This is very positive, the process of proving that it is taught by experienced actors is constantly increasing, but it should be activated more, they should be trusted more, i.e. this director has to be practically put to work. So we will walk unquestionably and the prospects are very big. Recently, valuable dramatic works have been presented to us in the theater. This quality hop will become indisputable in the future. He is very good.
COMRADE TANO BANUSHI: I am just quite like the representative of the pop in this meeting, but I feel very warm. I will raise an issue that we have not had very well before, but that we have recently improved and it has given us good results. I think such a thing is simply not for obstacles, but we should all think about the stage as well. I am talking about informing the pop music through the leadership of the Party in the districts and its basic organization.
Not just for the problems of the day, but also for the problems of perspective and the future. Let me give you an example: Some time ago we decided to do a show entitled: “Prohibition of circulation of foreign waste.” We had gathered the material and started the work. We thought the show would be good for us. But we were informed, that in the near future, a great discussion would begin, as I actually begin, the popular discussion of austerity problems.
We thought that based on the demands of the Party and the government in the district, to make a general in order to shift what we had started and deal with the problems of savings, to respond flame to the problem posed by the Party in that moment. But we did not do this job well, because we were not previously informed about this problem. At the time we were informed, we borrowed “flour” from another show, which we moved when we patched, but it did not work out well. We improved it and it became a good show, it was coming out at the time when the popular discussion had erupted and we were not able to anticipate it and play a vanguard role close to the thought of the lessons.
It happened differently in the next show when we were informed in advance that the issue of technical-scientific revolution would be addressed. We prepared the show with this theme in time. The party around us has kept us informed, but this was something that went beyond the boundaries of the district. We were informed, we learned that the Party would raise the issue of technical-scientific revolution and we came forward with this work. We assured you, your word, Comrade Enver, came and the brochure with the word of Comrade Hekuran.
We gathered scientists, collaborators; we did this work long ago. So when this problem started to spread through the collectives, we had taken the show out and were anticipating this campaign, we were really performing the role that belonged to us to anticipate through art, thus helping the problems posed by the Party. I say this because we are called the Party’s artistic talking newspaper. In this way we better accomplished the task we had.
I said this, not because we did it well, but I think that our pop shows could have helped better if they had been informed in advance, given the fact that all newspapers and the press take the orientation forward for the problems that will be addressed by the Party, so I think that a way should be found to inform, perhaps not directly the variety shows, but through the Party committees to inform them about the issues that will be addressed in the future. Now we have some experience, both through art and through art, to fight against foreign performances, as well as for the savings, but it would be good to raise in art exactly those problems that the Party will raise. /Memorie.al
Continues in the next issue