By combining the theater for children with ecology, the first “Can Theater Fest” was created and held in Novi Sad, Serbia, from July 24 to July 28 at the Eđšeg Cultural Station. The festival’s purpose was to raise awareness among the youngest about environmental protection in a creative and fun way. Limenka Theater Fest is part of the “Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture” program, and nine plays from Serbia and the region will be performed during the festival, for children from 2 to 12 years old.
In cooperation with Ball packaging Europe Belgrade, UG Eko Art, Children’s Theater “Charapa” and School Plus, our initiative in Serbia participated in this unique event that was visited by over 70.000 children and parents, and collected more than half a million aluminium cans that have been recycled. Tickets for the festival couldn’t be bought, because they did not exist: the ticket is an “ecological currency”, alu-coin, the first of its kind registered in the world. This is how it works: every spectator who brings empty cans, uses them to “pay” the entrance to all performances within the festival.
To get one alu-coin, visitors needed to bring five empty drink cans. After handing in the cans at the entrance, the children received a ticket to the festival, and the can started its new life path though recycling, turning into a new can in the next 60 days or into any other object made of aluminum, perhaps a detail on a children’s bicycle, jewelry, etc.
The performers came from Belgrade, Kovina, Zrenjanin and Niš, but also from the regions: Croatia (Osijek), North Macedonia (Bitolj) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Gradiška). This festival is an ecology theater project, which was born from the event “Can – ticket” that has been teaching children and young people, through the theater art, about recycling and the importance of environmental protection for 13 years.
“The theater as a place of supreme creativity of the spirit is also there to remind us of what we have become convinced of in the past two and a half pandemic years: that it is important to take care of each other, to protect the planet and all beings on it – to respect life each other’s spaces and not to steal – neither from humans, nor from animals, water, or trees, on Fruška Gora or in distant Amazonia,” said the organizers of the event.
The festival was supported by the “Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture” Foundation, which includes”Danube Sea” in its programme.