How Oscar became a detective

genre: theatre play
targeted audience: preschool children and school levels 1–6
length: 35 min.
author, director, and performer: Andrej Rozman Roza
costume designer: Marija Mojca Pungerčar
prop designer: Marko Kovačič
lighting designer: Matjaž Štirn
produced by: Rozinteater and SNG Drama Ljubljana

The play premiered in Slovene as Kako je Oskar postal detektiv on 11 December 2009 at SNG Drama Ljubljana (on the Mala Drama stage).

When the dustman – who is actually a detective pretending to be an actor – was a child, he was afraid he wasn’t smart enough to become a detective because of his difficulties with reading. He thought that the philosopher’s stone might be able to help him. But as he searched for it, it turned out that, despite his reading difficulties, he was just as smart as he needed to be.

In the performance, the basic element of theatre is brought to the fore – acting, which instantly transforms the narrator into a child, a jeweller, a thief, or a policeman, and in this way gently encourages young viewers to think about the function and work of theatre. This is done not only by the actor’s transformation into different characters but also by the way everyday objects change their meaning as they become props in the events on the stage.

The play is based on a story from the book of the same name, for which the Slovene Writers’ Association awarded Andrej Rozman Roza the 2008 Desetnica Prize for Best Slovene Young Adult or Children’s Book of the Year.