Comment 09 Jun 17

Serbian Theatre Prize ‘Scandal’ Damages Wrong Target

The wrong-headed political scandal sparked by the jury’s decision not to award any prizes at Serbia’s most prestigious theatre festival has damaged us all.

Biljana Srbljanovic

Biljana Srbljanovic is a Serbian playwright. Photo: Belgrade Media Centre

Sterijino Pozorje, or Sterija's Theatre, is the most important theatre festival of the former Yugoslavia.

Founded in 1956 as an annual review of the best theatre performances, it has survived the Balkan wars of the 90s and the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. While the festival has been through several incarnations its importance and relevance have never diminished.

At the end of every festival, the Sterijino Pozorje jury selects from the previous season’s productions and 11 awards are given for best play, contemporary text, director, set design, costume design, stage music, acting performances (four awards) and finally a special award.

Winning awards at Sterijino Pozorje has launched high-profile careers for new Serbian talent working across the theatre arts and this year’s festival - held in Novi Sad in northern Serbia from May 23 to June 3 – was expected to be no different.

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