Miracle Play of Life of St. Laurence The Martyr, stylization of traditional martyrdom of St. Lawrence, dramaturgically adapted and directed by Marin Carić, 47 years staged by the members of the Hvar Popular Theatre, represents one of the two longest-running Croatian theatre productions (the first, of course, being the legendary Exercises in Style). Certainly this is one of the most award-winning amateur plays. Born on the Island of Hvar, Carić staged Miracle Play of Life of St. Laurence The Martyr when he was Drama Academy freshman, in order to prove that good theatre can and should be close and understandable to everyone, starting with his fellow islanders. Success of his intention is measured by the fact that in June it was the 250th performance of Miracle Play of Life of St. Laurence The Martyr. Milan Lakoš, Manager and guardian spirit of the Hvar Popular Theatre is the only one who has played – different roles – in every single performance ever since its première in 1970 while casts have been changing together with the generations of Hvar amateur actors. The Hvar Ensemble has some 20 actors we can thus conclude that a great number of Hvar families have been related to this traditional and important story in one phase or another. This story which in its very root carries the answers to universal questions of sacrifice for the ideals and the preservation of moral principles and faith in real values in times of difficulties.
"There are various definitions of popular theatre. There are not enough of them for the Hvar PopularTheatre. For the inhabitants of the Island of Hvar theatre is a simple notion: life! The inhabitants of the Island of Hvar have reached the culmination of art: they have brought Simplicity, Truth, Life to the open-air theatre or under the church vault. Orchestral fusion of past and present: “… they recite simple, resonant verses in archaic dialect of the Island of Hvar convincingly and with enthusiasm inherent to genuine theatre and heritage lovers.” (Mira Muhoberac, Vijenac)