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Joakim Vujic (1772-1847), writer, translator, foreign languages teacher, most esteemed universal theater creator, Director of Knjazesko Srbski Teatar, First Serbian Court Theater Director in Kragujevac 1835/36


Established in the period of the awakening of the nations and in the midst of liberation wars when the foundation of culture in Serbia was laid, theater in Kragujevac shared the destiny of its people, trying to keep up the continuity with the help of various theatrical formations and groups.

It is renewed after World War II, and turned to be most open cultural institution of the City that spread its influences around. The stage of this theater gave rise to the plead of extremely good artists who marked the history of theater in the country.

Theater in Kragujevac that bears the name of the father of first Serbian theater Joakim Vujic has developed its repertoire and staged performances and turned into modern contemporary theater.


By Hatisherif (kinds of Sultan's decrees) in 1830 and 1833 Serbian state was established since it was granted autonomy and the right to erect cultural, educational and health institutions.

Due to the fact that Kragujevac was a capital City of the newly established Serbian state Grand Duke Milos built his castle there with other administrative and ruling apparatus.
It was then that the first military music band Knjazesko-srbska banda was founded along with typography, The First Grammar School, Knjazesko Srbski Teatar, first high school -Lycee, the first Pharmacy, hospital and the first printing press. Kragujevac gave rise to many international scholars, professors, academics, scientists, artists and statesmen.

The town began to prosper and many Serbian scholars from Vojvodina came to Kragujevac to serve it as intellectuals - pioneers in the field of culture and education.

First theater performances are staged in 1825 by the teacher Djordje Evgenijevic and his pupils. During his second visit to Kragujevac Joakim Vujic worked together with them.

In the autumn of 1834 at the invitation of Grand Duke Milos, Joakim Vujic, best known and highly esteemed person for his theater work, came to Kragujevac with large experience and repertoire. He was very soon appointed Director of the Theater with the task to organize theater work.

Knjazesko Srbski Teatar - First Serbian Court Theater was placed within the adapted premises of typography and it was a building with the stage, boxes and ground floor. The repertoire of the theater consisted mainly of his plays while the theater ensemble beside Vujic as a leading actor and director consisted of secondary school pupils and adult amateurs.

First performances were staged in the period of February 2 - 4, 1835 when the so called Sretenje (the Visitation of the Virgin) Assembly sessions were held. These were mostly Vujic's plays performed for the Grand Duke and his family and the representatives of the people i.e. members of Assembly; the music was composed by Jozef Slezinger. For three days they performed four plays Fernando and Jarika, La Perouse, Poor Versifier and Fugitive.

In 1836 when the Theater seized to work. Atanasije Nikolic who renewed it in 1840 continued the theatrical tradition. Theater staged the plays he wrote, directed and was a leading actor of.

When Belgrade was proclaimed the capital City in 1841, a considerable number of this company with him came to Belgrade where they took part in the work of the Theater at Djumruk.

In the middle of the 19th century Voluntary Theater Company was established and attracted beside the Readers, intellectuals, young generation, craftsmen and tradesmen giving impetus to cultural-educational life in Kragujevac on the long run.

His activity coincides with the period of social and economic prosperity of Kragujevac caused by the establishment of the Cannon Foundry that brought to the town numerous domestic and foreign experts and craftsmen.

This Company was most active during the 60ies of the 19th century in the period of Youth movement and when it performed in Belgrade in honor of the General Assembly of the United Serbian Youth. The Company has its building where it staged different performances with the repertoire of the then popular writers.

In the 80ies the work of the Company declined and other theater companies took the advantage of it giving their performances in Kragujevac. Among the first who came here was the group of Paja Stepic then Nikola Simic, Dimitrije Nislic, Theater Company Sindjelic from Nis, and others.

In the 90ies of last century Voluntary Professional Theater Company was established under the name of Sloga. They staged 240 performances over the period of 3 years at the Hotel Takovo and the company's open stage in summers.

At the beginning of this century Workers Theater - Radnicko pozoriste was established with the first workers movement development in Kragujevac with an aim to cherish and support ideas and class conception of cultural education of working class people.

During the World War I staging patriotic plays on the improvised stages in the exile and army camps supported the moral of the people and the soldiers.

Theater life in Kragujevac between the two wars was very vibrant.

First cultural event in the liberated Kragujevac in 1918 was the establishment of the Theater Gundulic that worked only one season and moved to Belgrade,

Following the model of Academic Theater in Belgrade formation in 1924 at the initiative of Kragujevac scholars Academic Theater was established there, too that supported contemporary ideas, modern approach to stage, live word and repertoire, thus gaining the reputation of a serious art organization.

After the closure of Academic Theater, theatrical tradition was continued by the amateur theatrical Soko organizations that reached the peak of its activities in the period from 30ies to 40ies.
Foto

Programmes with social ideas, engaged on wakening up the class-consciousness are presented on the stages of workers cultural-artistic organizations, especially by Abrasevic, company.

In the year 1930 Theater from Pozarevac became, according to territorial breakdown, privileged to cover the territory of Kragujevac by regular guest performances by 1934.

Numerous local and traveling theaters preformed in Kragujevac, consequently the audience of Kragujevac had a possibility to see all repertoire performed in the country of that time.

Under the occupation from the year 1942 to 1944 under the supervision of the Department for propaganda of the District of Kragujevac Headquarter the Theater was established that in the repertoire had thematic plays of the life of the people. Quislings administration had an idea to use the Theater for mere propaganda, but they did not succeed in it.

Under the canon and shellfire all over the country, members of the ex theater together with the fighters began to implement the cultural programmes. That period marked the new chapter in the history of Kragujevac Theater.

By the Decision of the Culture-Education board of the National Liberation Movement, the Theater of the National Liberation staged its first play in December 1944. Ever since then the Theater records the dynamic development, always in the center of the events, social life and cultural policy, accomplishing its mission.

In the period of after war reconstruction Theater members with great enthusiasm and energy overcame manifold human resources, repertoire, spatial and material problems thus becoming one of the cultural center of the wider area.

In the period of intensive development and self-government Kragujevac Theater, that since 1965 bears the name of Theater Joakim Vujic and since 1970 Theater, records the best repertoire achievements.

The fire in 1969 disabled the work of the Theater over short period, but it was then that the ensemble intensified the performing activities in other places, organizing tours in the country and abroad.

October events are organized with an aim to support the art creation and performances dedicated to Kragujevac October thus giving its tribute to the heritage of the liberation wars and revolution.

The Theatre is constant participant of the professional competitions and the holder of collective and individual awards for its artistic creations and achievements.

On February the 15th, the Theatre day, the oldest Serbian theatre, delivers to the most eminent Serbian theatre writers, actors, directors, scenographers, composers, The Statuette of Joakim Vujic, The Ring with figure of Joakim Vujic and the Annual award of the Knjazevsko-srpski teatar. Nikola Koka Jankovic he is author of The Statuette of Joakim Vujic. He is sculptor born in 1926 in Kragujevac, since 1997 he is an associative member of SANU, Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Winners of the Statuette:
1985 - National Theatre from Belgrade, Ljuba Tadic, Mija Aleksic, Mira Stupica and Bora Glisic
1986 - Mira Banjac and Miroslav Belovic
1987 - Dusan Kovacevic and Milos Zutic
1988 - Mira Trailovic and Ljubomir Kovacevic
1989 - Ljiljana Krstic and Dejan Mijac
1990 - Danilo Bata Stojkovic and Jovan Cirilov
1991 - Aleksandar Popovic and Ljubomir Ubavkic Pendula
1992 - Branko Plesa and Branislav Ciga Jerinic
1993 - Not awarded
1994 - Stevo Zigon and Petar Kralj
1995 - Sava Barackov, Museum of Theatre Arts of Serbia, Serbian National Theatre, Svetlana Bojkovic and Dejan Pencic Poljanski
1996 - Lazar Ristovski and Miloslav Buca Mirkovic
1997 - Bora Todorovic i Festival - Days of Comedy in Jagodina
1998 - Stevan Salajic
1999 - Ruzica Sokic
2000 - Olivera Markovic
2001 - Vida Ognjenovic
2002 - Mileva Zikic
2003 - Belgrade Drama Theatre
2004 - Predrag Ejdus
2005 - Rade Markovic and Egon Savin
2006 - Vojislav Voki Kostic
2007 - Biljana Srbljanovic
2008 - Narodno pozoriste - Nis
2009 - Mirko Babic
2010 - Miodrag Tabacki
2011 - Boro Draskovic
2012 - Vlastimir Djuza Stojiljkovic
2013 - Milena Dravic

Winners of the Ring:
2002 - Ljubomir Ubavkic Pendula
2003 - Marko Nikolic and Miodrag Maric
2004 - Mirko Babic and Jug Radivojevic
2005 - Pierre Walter Politz
2006 - Milos Krstovic
2007 - Vladan Zivkovic
2008 - Nebojsa Bradic
2009 - Sebastian Tudor
2010 - Dragana Boskovic
2011 - Dragan Jakovljevic
2012 - Gorica Popovic
2013 - Nada Jurisic




In 1965 this theatre also initiated Meetings of professional Theatres Joakim Vujic of Serbia (in central Serbia) and they were held every year in May in one of ten different towns, until 2003. Since 2004, the Theatre became the regular host of JoakimFest and since October 2006, also of the JoakimInterFest, The International Small Scene Theatre Festival. JoakimInterFest they are members of two European organizations New European Theatre Action and World Theatre Network InterAct. Being the institution of special significance to Serbian culture and art, the Theatre endeavours to develop other activities besides showing plays. Since 2005 the Theatre started grandiose publishing business with the Journal Joakim, founded the Gallery Joakim, ordered monographies of all the winners of the Statuette of Joakim Vujic, 2009 published the first edition book Premiere, started to research and publish drama heritage of Kragujevac. Plays are shown on Stage Joakim Vujic and Stage Ljuba Tadic, Theatreteque is also active, and from February 2007, will start to work the Stage Mija Aleksic. That is the reason why Kragujevac should bear the name of Teatropolis, which was proclaimed in 2005, on the 170th anniversary of foundation of the oldest theatre in renewed Serbia. Since 2010 Knjazevsko-srpski teatar is a member of the World Theater Network Interact.
On February the 14th 2007, at the proposal of the Managing Board of the Theatre Joakim Vujic, Kragujevac City Assembly brought the decision by which the oldest Serbian theatre is being given back its original name, Knjazevsko-srpski teatar.

Joakim Vujic (1772-1847), writer, translator, foreign languages teacher, most esteemed universal theater creator, Director of Knjazesko Srbski Teatar First Serbian Court Theater Director in Kragujevac 1835/36.

Report on the performance of the first secular play Krestalica in the Theater Rondella in August 1813 in Pest that translated and organized Joakim Vujic. This performance marked the beginning of the Serbian secular theater.

August Kotzebue (1761-1819) one of the most fruitful German writers seemed to be Vujic favorite playwright for he translated seven Kotzebue's plays.

Performance Schedule - Knjaževsko-srpski teatar - Season 2013/2014

  1. STORY ABOUT THE LATE EMPEROR DAUGHTER - Nikolaj Koljada, directed by Bosko Dimitrijevic
    Premiere 22.4.2005.
  2. THE LIAR AND THE ARCHILIAR - J. S. Popovic, director and scene designer Dragan Jakovljevic
    Premiere 27.3.2006.
  3. THE DIARY OF A MADMAN - N. V. Gogol, played by Ivan Vidosavljevic
    Premiere 2.12.2006.
  4. MIGRATIONS - Milos Crnjanski, directed by Pierre Walter Politz
    Premiere 14.5.2007.
  5. PIRATES - Milos Janousek, directed by Jan Cani
    Premiere 9.11.2007.
  6. CABINET MINISTR'S WIFE - Branislav Nusic, directed by Jovan Grujic
    Premiere 17.12.2008.
  7. YAHOO - Featuring stories by Edward Albee, directed by Milos Krstovic
    Premiere - 1.10.2010.
  8. NIGHT IN THE PUB TITANIC - Nebojsa Bradic, directed by Nebojsa Bradic
    Premiere 10.12.2011.
  9. THE BEATY QUEEN OF LEENANE - Martin McDonagh, directed by Milic Jovanovic, supervisor Nebojsa Bradic
    Premiere 29.2.2012.
  10. ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS - Richard Bean, directed by Nebojsa Bradic
    Premiere - 4.5.2012.
  11. TWELVE ANGRY MEN - Reginald Rose, directed by Neil Fleckman
    Premiere - 25.5.2012.
  12. THE FULL MONTY - Featuring stories by Stephen Sinclair and Anthony McCarten, adapted and directed by Pierre Walter Politz
    Premiere - 21.9.2012.
  13. MY ROMANTIC HISTORY - D. C. Jackson, directed by Sladjana Kilibarda
    Premiere - 6.11.2012.
  14. HLADNJAČA ZA SLADOLED - Ruzica Vasic, directed by Primoz Bebler
    Premiere - 15.2.2013.
  15. THE MAN, THE BEAST AND THE VIRTUE - Luigi Pirandello, directed by Marko Misiraca
    Premiere - 30.5.2013.
  16. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Harper Lee, directed by Nebojsa Bradic
    Premiere - 1.11.2013.
  17. THE GREEN RAYS - Goran Markovic, directed by Milica Kralj
    Premiere - 15.02. 2014.
  18. LEADING LADIES - Ken Ludwig, directed by Milic Jovanovic
    Premiere - 28.05. 2014.