Sonnabend, 23. Januar 2021

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Theatrical Landscape of Serbia

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Theatrical Landscape of Serbia
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Concerning the topics of the new playwrights of both genders, it is hard to define a similarity, although they all deal with the present situation. Like almost every young playwright they devote themselves to the generation conflict, whereby they take account for the display of specific Serbian traits. In several plays the fate of Serbians abroad is an issue, especially the young Serbian intellectuals as a special kind of guest-worker. Perhaps it would be interesting to mention that 47 year-old Nebojša Romčević dealt with this topic that is still present today in his play "Caroline Neuber" by using the example of the famous "Neuberin", the German fighter of non-commercial theatre in the 18th century.

The Serbian festivals
An important part of Serbia's theatrical landscape are the theatre festivals, which take place in every large town, similar to as in Germany. The most well-known on an international level is the Belgrade International Theatre Festival BITEF, and on a national level Sterijino Pozorje, which up until recently only performed Serbian classical and contemporary plays. It is a forum in which new playwrights individuate and new interpretations of Serbian classics are intended to be presented, especially the work of the satirical comedy writer and sharp critic of Serbian chauvinism Jovan Sterija Popović (1806 – 1856). Theatre people from the successor countries of Yugoslavia, who aren't as narrow-minded as hot-headed politicians and evoked the disputes of the nineties in the Balkans, recently enjoy taking part at this festival.

Thanks to BITEF, Belgrade has been one of the most important theatre centres in the world for over four decades in September every year. At this festival the then almost unknown stage directors Grotowski, Barba, Ronconi, Schechner, Wilson, Vasilev presented themselves in Serbia. Due to BITEF the German theatre has been appreciated and loved, for apart from the German stage directors Lietzau, Tabori, Zadek, Besson and Castorf, early productions of Stein, Peymann, Ciulli, Piplits, Flimm, Pina Bausch, Sasha Waltz, Pollesch, Marthaler, Kaegi, Goebbels were also shown in Belgrade.

In connection to this it must be mentioned that not only well-known German-speaking authors like Heiner Müller, Kroetz, Fassbinder und Jelinek are shown in the theatres in Belgrade and the whole of Serbia other, but some representatives of the new generation as well, like Schimmelpfennig (who will be on the panel of jury for this year's BITEF), Marius von Mayenburg, Dea Loher, Albert Ostermaier, Ingrid Lausund et al.

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Read more about Maja Pelevic.

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