Association of Drama Writers Serbia
20.00 Draga – monodrama
Author: Zorica Simovic
Cast: Dusica Novakovic
Director, set design, costumes, choice of music: Zorica Simovic
The voice of King Aleksandar Obrenovic: Andrija Danicic
Voices: Vojislav Savic
Harpsichord: Smiljka Isakovic
Vocals: Svetlana Stevic
Sound design: Vojislav Savic
Photography: Vesna Shojic
Tailor: Zorica Serdar, Zorica Ilic
Decorator: Milan Bogicic
Poster: Zorica Simovic, Milenko Slishkovic
Executive producer: Zorica Simovic
Premier: January 15th, 2018
Guarnerius – Art Center founded by the Maestro Jovan Kolundzija, Belgrade
A Rose for the Tragic Queen
Two years ago, a century and a half since the birth of Draga Obrenovic was marked. She was our most gossiped-about historical figure. Since everyone deserves to be defended, I wanted to be her lawyer in the court of history.
A lot was written about her, but, to my knowledge, nothing from her perspective. Having studied the context in which she lived for years, I tried to imagine how she must have felt at the time. I tried to view her fate from her personal point of view, from the bottom of a woman’s soul.
For such a task on scene I chose the dazzling, young actress Dusica Novakovic, and the screenplay was written for her from the start.
The tragic fate of the royal couple and the Lunjevica brothers was brought on by many political reasons, but as time passed a lot of the blame for the May Coup was placed on Draga.
Based on evidence, she did make mistakes and my aim is to justify those mistakes. I tried to bring to light the context in which everything unfolded and to understand why she made certain moves which brought on the tragic consequences. I hope that, watching this piece, every contemporary viewer will understand her actions better.
Draga was exceptionally ahead of her time. She was from a wealthy family in Gornji Milanovac, which showed a great thirst for education. At the age of nine she started school in Belgrade. She reached the European aristocratic circles, but she was also acquainted with poverty and lack of social prestige.
She spoke several languages, was an author, translator and she played the piano. Also, she was very beautiful which caused people to be cautious of her and inspired people to ascribe to her moral decline.
The heir, who was ten years her junior, fell in love with her. She resisted him for a while, but she eventually started a relationship many people were against. The two of them were each other’s world.
She knew the rules of the dynasty but she wanted to break that pattern. She didn’t have enough sense for reality. Sitting in the castle garden, it was as if she never heard the sound of the changing times that were approaching. Finally, during those three years of marriage, she lived more in apprehension and in a sort of house arrest than in actual freedom. With this play, Dusica and I wish to lower one rose into the grave of the tragic queen.
Dusica Novakovic, got a degree in acting, studying under the professor Nebojsha Dugalic, at the Academy of Arts “Karic Brothers” 2009. She performed in most Belgrade theatrical pieces and television series “The scent of rain on the Balkans” („Miris kise na Balkanu“), “The Village's On Fire, and The Old Woman's Combing Her Hair” (“Selo gori, a baba se ceslja”), and others. She also starred in plays such as Chicago, Grease, Mamma Mia, Gypsies Fly to the Sky, Hair, Rebecca, Angel Sonata, Tesla and the battle on the magnetic field, Mister Dollar… She was the voice actress for many cartoon characters. She is a member of the Terazije Theater, Belgrade.
Zorica Simovic, dramaturge, graduated from the department of drama and screenplay at the University of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade in 1976. She worked as an editor of the productions of the Children’s Cultural Center Belgrade, as a theater critic of the Third program of Radio Belgrade, and as an associate screenplay writer for TV Belgrade.
She is the author of multiple radio-dramas and theater compositions: Brand, Gift, Angel sonata, The Building of Skadar, Wine Cabaret, The Puppet Bible, Magisonihari and Princess Bo, The Fairytale of the Silver Forest, Tumba, Anastas… Her works have been translated into Norwegian, Spanish, Greek, and Macedonian. She is the founder and leader of the Drama studio Fairytale in New Belgrade. She is a member of the Association of Serbian Drama Writers.
The monodrama Draga is about the fate of the Serbian leader that was most gossiped about – Draga Mashin Obrenovic. The monodrama was premiered in the Guarneus Art Center. The piece was especially written to be performed by Dusica Novakovic, a theater actress from the Terazije Theater, who is this year’s winner of the award given by her theater for her role in the musical Mister Dollar.
Politika, January 16th 2018
The piece Draga is based on historical facts, and was prepared for four years. (…) Judging by the applause and flowers, the sinner has been redeemed or at least understood, which was the goal of the director Zorica Simovic. She defended herself with honesty.
Sladjana Simic Jakus, RTS Morning programme, January 16th 2018
… Primarily because of the excellent screenplay, lively and energetic performance, Draga, Dusica and Zorica were escorted of the scene with ovations.
Marija Marjanovic, Novine Takovo, 25.01.2018.