2022 In search for meaning

A time of epidemic and war has brought many hardships to light. Everywhere we turn, people are exhausted, tired, and unable to keep up the pace. Many are burnt out, without a moment to themselves. There are crises in the business and private spheres. However, such crisis periods have occurred before in history. Following the example of Viktor Frankl and his works The Will to Meaning and others, we have created an event that allows visitors to confront questions of meaning in the context of different regimes and situations of the last century. The event puts the spectator as a seeker and tester of selected approaches to making sense of the nonsense. The event is an immersive, multi-sensory narrative composed of fragments of documentary insights into possible meanings of existence.



Even if the youth is foolish, is it also capable of wisdom? Is the apple of the knowledge of good and evil the sin that darkens the skies of the old rider of life?

Oscar Wild says we are all standing in the mud, except that some of us are looking at the stars. Viktor Frankl also looked far and deep into the infinite beauties of the spirit that feed our wells of memories, hopes, visions, beauty and art.

The event mirrors a search, questioning and reflection on the surface of the sensual, with the story continually morphing into a multi-sensory experience that addresses and touches the fine line between the spiritual, the dreamlike, the imaginary and the documentary, spiced with insights into meaning. The latter is sought throughout our lives in recurring cycles, uncovering them repeatedly from the multi-layered dark matter of the past sediments. The direction of experience is not singular; it is a shared consciousness that triggers sensory perceptions and mental insights in different physical contexts.

This is not an event that challenges the visitor and raises his adrenaline level; it is not an event that wants to shock and scream. It is an event that is tailor-made for humans and from the human. It offers moments of being, both on a sensory and narrative level, where we can hear our response to what is happening. Art can also cure the woundedness of the soul; it is a refuge wrapped in veils of mysticism, beauty, and even transcendence.


Searchers for Meaning: Jurij Dovič, Amika Zoja Jelič, Mija Kramar, Lovro Mirtič, Lana Traven

The scenes are based on the young people’s reflections and insights into the initial themes

Concept/direction/multi-sensory environments: Barbara Pia Jenic

Sound effects: Peter Penko

Costume consultant: Tina Kolenik

Narrative consultant: Ana Duša

Cover photography: Anastasiya Lobanovskaya

Security and technical execution: Bat*man

Inspired by:

  • Viktor Frankl: Yes to Life, Man’s search for ulitmate meaning and others
  • Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine (book and Documentary)
  • Margarethe von Trotta: Hannah Arendt (Movie)
  • Hannah Arendt: The Origins of Totalitarianism, Eichmann in Jerusalem


“In Search of Meaning is an engaging, holistic and enjoyable experience that comforts and encourages the visitor that behind us are growing up thinking individuals who care not only for themselves but also for those around them.” In Worlds of Search, critique by Kaja Novosel, Kritika Portal Sigledal, 2 December 2022


“Our desires are more important than the urgent needs of others. This neoliberalism, this self-promotion and self-fulfilment, this self-obsession… it has gone beyond all limits. Instead of a fireplace there is a TV, instead of a family there is a job, instead of friends there are therapists or the internet. Instead of playgrounds and trees, there are shopping centres and luxury flats, empty. I think art is the last place of freedom, where you can open up your views and questions, where you can touch those hidden and invisible layers of anxiety that lie on top of us and seep into the pores of our minds. /…/ Without art and culture, society is, in my opinion, as meaningless as the individual without love.” Me,  Me,  Me, have gone beyond all limits, Barbara Pia Jenič, asking Urša Krišelj Grubar Jana Magazine, 29 November 2022


Mija Kramar: The moment when you have to let go, Pia Prezelj, Delo, Young Pen, 29 November 2022

Senzorium offers a search for meaning, event announcement Dnevnik 21 November

In Search of Meaning, Cultural Bazaar, announcement

In Search of Meaning, Sigledal portal, event announcements



  • I am not alone in my feelings in this dehumanised society. We don’t talk about it. I don’t know my neighbours, what is the community they reminded me of today. Nice, this will resonate for a long time.
  • It’s the first time I’ve been to a show like this, and I must admit that the feelings are incredible. Your stories make one think how much the world has changed in a short time – for the worse. Values like respect, solidarity, and love are disappearing from the world. Unless something ground-breaking happens, nothing good is happening to our civilisation.
  • The most relatable show I have ever watched. A link between the past, the future and the present, combined with nostalgia and concern. Lovro: Indifference, in my opinion, turns evil when the mind realises that your feelings can be harmed by your actions and you consciously withdraw them from work.
  • Am I living fully and completely? Have I found my purpose? What can I possibly change to make the world a better place? Is it necessary to take action as soon as a problem arises and establish a dialogue to solve it? I will spend the night thinking.
  • After the first scene, I knew I would be thinking about the show that night.
  • The performance sensitised me. These young people’s stories were so sincere and authentic that they opened our hearts and minds. The themes are human, and I was on the verge of tears at the end, as if I had gone through some internal process of opening up. This feeling is not only missing in the world, which they all, each in their way, emphasised and opened up. That feeling is also missing in theatre. Thank you for this theatrical, human experience. V.
  • Thank you for the gift of an evening, for contacting the depth of the soul and the heart. For a sense of connectedness with the community, I felt.
  • Genuine, thin-skinned, heartfelt, warm, loving. A touch of humanity and of the human that opens the heart. A flight of the soul into the vastness of freedom. Thank you for the precious and rare experience of authentic coexistence. Good luck to all.
  • I appreciate the elements of humanity and inclusiveness in the stories and in the scenes. It all works together very humanly because it is based on an exchange of opinions and impressions about the world and society; maybe that is why it touched me differently than most theatre shows.
  • I wonder every day about precisely the things you have said today. I hope that many others around me are thinking about them.
  • As a member of the older generation, I can say that I am happy because today I realised that there is hope for this world of ours. All the topics raised by young people today show that they are thinking a lot about this and looking for solutions.
  • Thank you, wonderful creators, of this show, for this wormhole in time and space that has taken me to where it seems (or perhaps I imagine) we all want to be to ourselves, where relationships are honest, where we feel safe and accepted.
  • The performance showed an emotional deficiency in each of us that encouraged us to search for meaning. Whether it is memories of beautiful moments, the past, the search for beauty in art or the community, in each case, this emotional deficiency touches us, precisely through sensory theatre. To get in touch with ourselves and what makes us meaningful on an unconscious level.
  • The performance made me think that in my life, I often miss those small moments, which at first seem trivial, but in reality, these moments build the foundation of my life and give meaning to my story. I admit that I don’t appreciate these moments enough, and too often, I don’t even realise how important they are.
  • I enjoyed every step of the show immensely. I was touched by the honesty and directness of the young actors, and I found it easy to empathise with each story and compare it to my memories. The “home” atmosphere was also delightful – I never had the impression of being in an “institution”…
  • Each of you held a mirror up and asked important questions I will think about for a long time. You were like a vast warm, intimate hug that comforted me and gave me hope that “people” still exist and that I am not alone… I was overwhelmed by various emotions, including melancholy, and I will leave here a changed person. Thank you for being part of my development, part of my life, and part of learning about myself. After your performance, I want to emphasise community, people, relationships, intimacy, honesty, and humanity. I want to set myself more essential values than I have now. I want you to know that what you are doing is very important.
  • It has opened up new questions for me, what I can do, what I can change, and where I can contribute more to society. Thank you for making the show so genuine and sincere. Something like this is very much needed in today’s society. It is necessary to open the doors we are sometimes afraid to go through, to be encouraged and to take a step.

Number of visitors is limited. Tickets on sale at mojekarte.si and points of sale in the system


The project was made possible with the financial support of the Municipality of Ljubljana and the Oton Novo Mesto Youth Centre

Premiere: 26 November 2022, Trubar House of Literature Ljubljana

Repeatitions in Ljubljana: 27 November of 11h and 19h

Novo Mesto: 2023


“Sensory forms of theatre open up to the unfamiliar viewer frontiers of perception, but at the same time compelling and highly inspiring. Suppose the contemporary theatre theorist Susan Broadhurst describes this type of art as a fertile chaos and a fertile nothing, a storehouse of possibilities. In that case, we understand this as a theatrical experience which, through the phenomenon of the sense of smell, produces new, liminal entities that are neither here nor there, caught between positions, emphasizing the corporeal and the chthonic, experimenting. /… / If Barbara Pie Jenič’s sensorial theatre emerged as a continuation of the method of the magician of this theatre, the Colombian director Enrique Vargas and his Teatro de los Sentidos, a joint theatre based in Barcelona, it has evolved into a theatre over the last two decades, a theatre that offers audiences incredible, unframed, authentic perception and pleasures, that, in a special, inimitable experience for both the audience and the performers, causes a change in their perception and perception of reality, of themselves and others. It counts on triggering a change in the spectator’s perception of reality through the aesthetics of the senses. But this aestheticized language also speaks of the here and now, our present looking back at the past.” Tomaž Toporišič on sensorial language for the performance Scented Secrets 2021