TRY theatre Staff

Coming from a variety of continents, backgrounds and ages, the TRY theatre teaching staff is joined by the sacred mission of stuffing innocent children with tons of uncut drama. Selected on the basis of their ability to read the plays in children and turn them into workshops, these are the regular teachers and guest lecturers that make TRY theatre worth the try.

Ivan Verunica

Co-founder & Director

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A native of Croatia, Ivan finished high school in the United States before completing his undergraduate studies (English and Acting) at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and his Master’s degree (Directing and Dramaturgy) at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

After working in the theatre around Great Britain as a freelance actor and director, Ivan took a job in the public sector, combining it with his passions: travel and playwriting. After extensively travelling around Europe and South America, he worked in New York City for a year before moving back to Croatia to start TRY theatre.

At TRY theatre, Ivan has worked with hundreds of children and wrote and directed several full plays. “Without Hamlet” and “The Six Sisters” received international attention and several awards. Ivan absolutely loves his job and finds working with young actors invigorating.

He is married to Sierra Christianson-Verunica with whom he has two children.

Frano Barunčić

Drama Teacher

Born in Novi Sad, raised in Lovran, and currently living in Rijeka, Frano is a bachelor of arts from the University of Rijeka. He is currently on his last year of master degree program in Acting by the mentorship of professor and actor Rade Šerbedžija.

During his studies, Frano gained a lot of professional experience at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Pl. Zajc in Rijeka and independent theatres. He is a winner of Zlatna liska, Theatre festival in Mostar, in the category of Best male actor. However, his main field of interest is film acting – Frano currently collaborates with both national and international film production companies. He played in Croatian drama series „Novine“, independent movie „Govornica“, and was a director, screenwriter and leading-role actor of independent feature-length movie “Kameleon”. He is always up to new projects and enjoys sharing knowledge, experience and ideas with young people.

Frano is also a proud friend of Alaskan malamute named Bonoslav, with whom he spends his spare time.

Dora Colquhoun

Drama Teacher

Dora was born in Shoreham by sea in England she studied contemporary theatre at Dartington College of arts in the beautiful Devonshire countryside. Since graduating she has worked professionally as a theatre maker, actor and teacher.

Dora loves to travel and has worked in America, South Africa, Nepal and most recently has toured across Italy performing and teaching in schools. Dora loves working with children and believes helping children creatively express themselves is a vital tool for their confidence and wellbeing. Dora is really excited to be working at Try theatre and is looking forward to getting to know all her classes and find the joy, laughter and play.

Lucy Pollock

Drama Teacher

Lucy was born in the South of England and from a very early age she has been passionate about being involved in theatre.
She was a member of a youth theatre from the age of 4-19 and performed in countless shows over the years, including Peter Pan, James and the Giant Peach, 1984 and Animal Farm. She has taken two productions to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014 and 2015 and intends to take her own show up next year. She is also a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, and performed with them in a production of Twelfth Night in June.

She began assisting and then leading youth theatre classes at age 16 and has led workshops with children of all ages across the UK in touring productions to schools and colleges. These include workshops based around issues such as safety on the railway, the environment, relationships and text based workshops such as The Firework Maker’s Daughter.

Lucy recently completed a one year course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and is keenly pursuing a career in the performing arts. She is very passionate about nurturing young creative talent and encouraging personal and social growth through Drama.

In her spare time she enjoys writing and travelling, as well as photographing her favourite animal: pugs!

Kristina Lekić

Chief Administrator

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A native of Rijeka, Croatia, Kristina is a PhD student at University of Rijeka Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She majored Croatian language and literature and philosophy. Her research interests include philosophy of art, aesthetics of applied arts and performance studies.

Kristina is a passionate fan of literature, especially poetry and drama. She has organized and hosted several poetry and literary events through student organizations. She is a simple, easy-going and straightforward human being who enjoys working within creative environment. Kristina has always been keenly in tune with the interwoven relations between philosophy, exploration of life, and acting. On a pragmatic level, she sees acres of space for TRY to grow further and inspire more and more children and youth with its creative classes and approach.

When not in college or working, Kristina likes to travel with her fiancé Frano who is also a member of TRY.

Sierra Christianson

Co-founder & Chief of Design

A native of Seattle, Washington, Sierra got her degree in applied design and international politics from New York University before traveling to Bolivia to volunteer with local NGOs. After traveling around South America, Sierra worked in New York City before moving to Croatia to co-found TRY theatre.

Having actively worked in the rehearsal room for a year and half, she decided to move into the field of design allowing her to spend more time with her children. Sierra has developed the TRY theatre website and works on costume design, set design and make-up.

Sierra is married to Ivan Verunica and is a mother to their children Zelen Tien and Zori Blu.