I joined TRY theatre back in 2012, then left for a brief period and finally rejoined last year. I really enjoy acting at TRY theatre and I think it's a great way to connect with friends, practice your English and do lots of fun activities. I feel like there are lots and lots of good times in front of me, and I can't wait for next year to start. Peace out!

- Juraj Kolmanić


The Rijeka Youth Theatre is the first international drama school for children and youth in Croatia. Working in classes of 8-10 students, the focus is placed on each individual allowing them to discover and materialize their talents. Our curriculum encourages the development of creativity and confidence by exploring different modes of expression. The ability to publicly perform in English is an essential trait in modern society and a gateway to international careers.


With their identities not yet fully formed, children are in an excellent position to explore the manifold viewpoints on life that the dramatic art presents. Our approach purposefully guides students through a selection of roles and scenes catered for their individual talents and systematically develops their understanding of acting and its foundation—life. Typically the challenge with children is teaching that people do not do acting, rather, acting is presenting what other people do. Making sure that the young student grasps this is very rewarding for the teacher and an excellent indication of the student’s future success.


Beyond the superficial representation of acting- and the fame associated with actors- in media worldwide, acting is an unparalleled tool in developing children’s psychology and inducing a comprehensive understanding of life. Children are asked to not only see everyday situations from multiple perspectives, but to assume different roles and live them out. Being “in someone else’s skin,” if only for a little while, broadens a person’s understanding of various situations and positions thus encouraging empathy and open-mindedness as his or his individual personality develops.


In an increasingly unified world, English is the primary language of social interaction. Learning how to publicly perform in English at an early age empowers children to proactively step into the future and assume the role that is destined for them. It introduces practical, idiomatic English to all students, leading them to them feel confident when addressing international audiences. Additionally, this knowledge serves as a foundation for potential opportunities and careers around the world.


When I joined TRY two years ago I already had quite a lot of acting experience and was excited to expand upon it. Little did I know, that was going to be only a small part of what TRY would teach me. I learned how to let loose and overcome my fears, while having fun with a wonderful, diverse and non-judgmental group of people

-Morana Mladić

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.


Co-founder & Director

Email Ivan: ivan@trytheatre.org

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.


Vice-Director & Drama Teacher

Email Enea: try@trytheatre.org

Having recently graduated from the Trieste School of International and Diplomatic Studies, Enea decided it was time to come back to his home city and once again get involved with TRY theatre. A member of the troop since TRY’s inception in 2010, starring in several plays and taking part in various projects abroad, he loved the idea of approaching the stage from a different angle and found TRY theatre to be the perfect platform to do so.

Strongly believing that all drama starts from inside the actor, he sees theatre as a great tool for emotional exploration and personal growth. Since acting allows individuals to try-on new characters and get out of their comfort zones, while simultaneously remaining in a safe environment, Enea likes to emphasize the self-development aspect of theatre when working with young people.

While continuing his studies in Italy and working at TRY theatre, Enea keeps himself busy by acting in semi-professional plays and volunteering for local NGOs. However, he still finds time to relax and read a good, complex book every once in a while (his favourite being Vicevi o Muji i Hasi – knjiga treća).


Director of Operations

Email Daniela: try@trytheatre.org

Daniela is a student at the Department of Cultural Studies of the University of Rijeka, and is currently focused on writing her thesis.

She considers herself a dynamic, ambitious and well organised individual, although her friends would probably just call her busy – always working on two or three different projects at the same time, she is trying to find her place under the sun. Due to her wide range of interests, Daniela tried her hand in different activities – dancing, writing, and even acting. However, most of her free time so far has been spent playing volleyball.

On the list of things she appreciates, a good sense of humor is very highly rated, so she is never too serious, and communicative as she is, she loves meeting new people – a perfect addition to the TRY theatre team.


Head of Design

Ivan is a barely-90s kid born and studying in Rijeka to become a tech wiz and a successful visual artist. With a passion for fashion and an eye for design, he is the go-to guy at TRY theatre for everything related to the visual sphere: costumes, graphics, social media and web page content.

What he absolutely loves doing is web design. With a bit of coding, mixed with user experience and some visual content creator software, he is able to create an attractive piece of imagery for any occasion.

Adding to everything above, he has been honing his camerawork skills for a long time and both photography and cinematography are deeply intertwined in his work. So, when première season comes along and rehearsal pictures start popping up on your Facebook and Instagram feeds, it’s gonna be a pretty safe bet that Ivan was the man behind the camera.


Drama Teacher

Being a freshman at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka, Lucia spends her precious few non-study moments by getting easily engrossed in all kinds of art forms. Throughout her adolescence, she found herself relishing music, public speaking, and even debate before finding her life muse in the form of stage lights and standing ovations.

Having started acting at the young age of nine, Lucia already appeared in a documentary, a couple of amateur movies, and even a few professional plays. One of her proudest moments will always be when she joined the cast of Alexandra Zec, an award-winning play that shook the audiences of several European capitals. Being a part of that ensemble meant she was able to learn the tips & tricks of the craft from professional actors, as well as discover the importance of the emotional maturity and empathy that develop from within drama.

Lucia now feels ready to open a new chapter in her life by becoming a teacher and passing her experience forward to young aspiring thespians. When in class, she likes to point-out that the stage is the only place in our universe where fate does not play a role.

Sara Lucasi

Visual Designer

Rijeka born, Sara Lucasi received her Master’s degree at the Rijeka Academy of Applied Arts and currently works as a painter.

She became more active as a visual designer for Try Theatre in 2018 and she loves being a part of a unique organization that assists young people to creatively express themselves. She enjoys immensely the company of creative people in environments prone to the development of ideas and inspiring works of art.

At present, in addition to painting, her life revolves around web and graphic design along with silk painting.

When she isn’t working or painting, she spends her time in studious seclusion, with friends and exploring nature and its wonders.

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.

Shana Bestock

Guest Lecturer

Shana is from Seattle, Washington, where she grew up working as a professional actor and has been directing for over 25 years.

Shana’s career includes work with many reputable theatres and she has helped to launch many continuing programs, including the School Partnership Program at the University of Chicago, Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Short Shakes educational program and drama programs at elementary and middle schools around the Pacific Northwest.

From 2001-2016 Shana served as Seattle Public Theater’s Artistic and Education Director, a position she founded and during which she saw oversaw the growth of the organization from amatuer obscurity to national professional artistic recognition and fiscal stability. Shana annually directed over ten productions with student ensembles and two mainstage productions.

She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Penguin Productions, engaging, empowering, and creating artists. Through theater, Penguin Productions nurtures creativity, passion, and empathy.


As in any other profession, the most important thing for a young theatre professional is to get sound fundamental knowledge of the dramatic art.

Being an actor is a tough job. There are no machines, contraptions or technological inventions that can help you tackle a role or deliver a speech. The only thing an actor has is him/herself. The body, the voice, the mind. That is why it is extremely important to teach young actors the aspects of the dramatic art that make the difference between schooled actors and accidental actors. Our curriculum is thorough and comprehensive, focusing on three main categories:

The Body

Movement. Probably the subtlest part of an act, a performer’s movement can be the most natural or the most awkward element on the stage. From nervous pacing across the planks to the subtlest twitch of the eye, all movements need to be in tune with the play and perfectly logical considering the character’s state of mind. In order to achieve this, a young performer must be patient, focused and relaxed.

Body Control. Tom Cruise’s success with the trilogy Mission Impossible largely depended on his ability to move or stop his body with almost surgical precision and timeliness. Learning how to be in complete control of your bodily motions is a physical and mental process that can be trained through a series of relevant exercises.

Make-up, Costumes and Scenography. Getting ready for the show is sometimes more important than delivering the lines. Making sure that everybody and everything looks the part helps everybody to feel the part and have a great performance. Efficiently using make-up, wigs, costumes and the scene helps any production immensely and undeniably pushes the performers to act, move and speak in the desired way.

The Voice

Diction. There is an old maxim that says: “It is not WHAT you say; it is HOW you say it”, and this is particularly true of acting. Learning how to read, pronounce and interpret written words is one of the key qualities that a young performer must assume, and it is also very useful for any other future career or task. Each word is beautiful, and best dramatists know how to string them into wonderful plays. It is an actor’s duty to do these words justice and deliver them beautifully.

Singing. Singing, rhythm and musicality are all an integral part of the dramatic art. Actors are of course not professional singers, but they all need to feel comfortable singing – however badly – if the script asks them to do so. Although not a key part of the course, all performers are asked to participate in informal exercises.

Articulation. English is a specific language, especially for non-native speakers. There are many words that come from various sources, and it is sometimes difficult to know exactly how to articulate them. Working in a dynamic, non-classroom environment brings English to an everyday level where all words are pronounced fully and fluently.

The Mind

Understanding Texts and Characters. “Getting into the role” is the prerequisite for a successful performance, and in order for performers to “get into” their characters, they need to understand the role they are given. Looking for the best angle to approach a role and trying to get into someone else’s shoes and mind is the key to becoming a good actor who will be ready to assume a number of different roles.

Writing and Directing. All dramatic works begin with a pen and a piece of paper. Learning how to see things from multiple points of view, how to feel interpersonal and social dynamics, and developing an instinct for what people say or don’t say is just as valuable as interpreting and delivering it in the correct way. All participants are invited to develop their creativity and ideas by writing scenes of their own, then helping others to understand the meaning behind their work.

Improvisation. Not all theatre is scripted. Perhaps the most creative (and often most humorous) part of drama is improvisation – the celebration of the liveness and unpredictability of people on stage. Catching someone else’s drift and seeing where the atmosphere takes you can create powerful scenes and real drama, and we encourage young performers to develop their own style and art through non-scripted, instinctive art.