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Serbian National Theatre
Inspired by the novel by Ivo Andrić who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961, The Bridge on the Drina is a visual, musical, dramatic and epic spectacle with a plot stretching through several centuries to depict the bloody Bosnian history. The director Kokan Mladenović delicately presents the topic of continuous and hopeless tragic history for about 400 years with live music, simple stage and symbols of different cultures.
Director Kokan Mladenović with dramaturge Svetislav Jovanov brings the main elements of the novel such as no main character, developed action or developed dialogues. The Bridge on the Drina is mainly formed with monologue structure dramatization adding dialogue replicas, songs, authentic prayers, introducing speech in Turkish, German, Hungarian as well as episodes of the Second World war and the war of the nineties, when the “the Yugoslav empire” broke up.
A young Bosnian boy is taken from his mother by the Ottomans. The boy rises through the Ottoman military ranks and around the age of 60 becomes the prime minister of the Ottoman sultan. He remains haunted by the memory of being forcibly taken from his mother and orders the construction of a bridge in the area of the river where the two became separated. Every important moment in the lives of the local residents comes to revolve around the bridge, with Christian children crossing it to be baptized on the opposite bank, and children of all religions playing around it. The story spans about four centuries and covers several occupations of the region, with a particular emphasis on the lives, destinies and relations of the local inhabitants.
Born 1970 in Niš, Kokan Mladenović graduated from the Department of Theater and Radio Directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, in the class of Miroslav Belović and Nikola Jevtić (1993). He directed a diverse repertoire by a wide range of authors, from ancient times, the Renaissance, Baroque and modern times to contemporary ones: Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Tirso de Molina, Beaumarchais, Marin Držić, Ibsen, Bulgakov, Harms, Enda Walsh, Agota Kristof, Goran Stefanovski... He also directed works by almost all significant Serbian authors from different generations: Aleksandar Popović, Velimir Lukić, Slobodan Selenić, Vida Ognjenovićc, Dušan Kovačević, Ljubomir Simović, Slobodan Vujanović, Ivan M. Lalić, Maja Pelević... Dramatized or adapted work by Tolkien, Goran Petrović, Slobodan Selenić, Mirjana Novaković. Meanwhile, he directed musicals Chicago, Hair and Zona Zamfirova. Often, he not only directed but also dramatized and adapted works. In 2007 and 2008 he was the director of the Drama of NT Belgrade, and in the period 2009-2012, the manager of Atelier 212. He was awarded with the “Bojan Stupica” award, Sterija’s awards for adaptation - Affair of Innocent Annabelle (1998) and Scolding Nation in Two Parts (2000) and for dramatization - Siege of the Church of the Holy Savior (2002), the awards of “New Fortress Theater” (Dogville, 2015) as well as other important awards at festivals in Serbia and its region.
Directed and written by ｜ Kokan Mladenović
Dramaturge ｜ Svetislav Jovanov
Choreography ｜ Andreja Kulešević
Composer ｜ Irena Popović
Set design ｜ Marija Kalabić
Costume design ｜ Tatjana Radišić
Cast ｜ Jelena Antonijević, Strahinja Bojović, Danica Grubački, Gordana Đurđević Dimić, Grigorije Jakišić, Dušan Jakišić, Milan Kovačević, Jugoslav Krajnov, Tijana Maksimović, Marija Medenica, Sanja Mikitišin, Višnja Obradović, Igor Pavlović, Aleksandra Pleskonjić, Nina Rukavina, Marko Savić, Olivera Stamenković, Miroslav Fabri, Milovan Filipović, Radoje Čupić
The Serbian National Theatre was founded in 1861, strongly influencing the cultural identity of the nation. Novi Sad soon became the cradle of Serbian Theatre and was referred to as the ‘Serbian Athens’. Seven years after its foundation, the management of the theatre was requested to establish the National Theatre in Belgrade. Precisely 120 years after its inception, SNT moved to the current location on March 28, 1981 and this date became SNT’s founding day. This is the day when achievements from the previous year are summarised, and meritorious members are awarded. The most prestigious award presented is the “Jovan Đorđević Award”. Being one of the most important institutions of culture in the country, SNT initiated the establishment of other cultural institutions such as Sterijino pozorje in 1956, the Academy of Arts in 1970, and the Theatre Museum of Vojvodina in 1982.
The Serbian National Theatre mostly stages large, ambitious and challenging productions so as to promote and preserve the national and international theatrical and cultural heritage, and support the most valuable contemporary creative practice. Its numerous awards and more than a hundred performances abroad confirm the theatre’s pivotal role in the European theatre scene.