This year, the 45th Festival of Monodrama and Mime will be held under safer working conditions due to COVID-19.
The Festival was found in 1973, in other words, 47 years ago. But, there was a period of closure between 1993 and 1996 during which the Festival was not held at all. The man behind the idea was a theatre connoisseur Ljubisa Ruzic, who was the deputy warden at the National Theatre in Belgrade at the time. In the team of experts who backed up the idea and formed the aesthetical platform were reputable theatrical creators Ognjenka Milicevic, Predrag Perovic, Zivomir Jokovic, Djordje Radisic, Marko Todorovic, Milenko Misailovic, Felix Pasic, as well as the socio-political worker Branko Radivojevic. The very first edition of the Festival showed that such a review of the art of one artist was much needed, while as the complement to monodrama was a discipline that was relatively unknown for us – mime.
During the last 44 years, some of the most distinguished and significant artists from the past times performed on the Festival stages – from legendary actors Ljuba Tadic, Fabian Sovagovic, Maria Kon, Milos Zutic, Mira Banjac, Zijah Sokolovic, Maja Dimitrijevic, Svetlana Bojkovic, Milena Dravic, Dragan Nikolic, Ljiljana Blagojevic, Josip Pejakovic, and Rade Serbedzija , to a plethora of young and aspiring artists who got a chance – and used it well – to shine at the Festival such as Vesna Stankovic, Marta Beres and Nada Sargin. It is also important to note that artists from nearly all continents participated in the Festival. The golden medals, awarded either by the expert jury or by the audience jury, always went straight into the right hands.
It is also worth noting that, besides the Festival, there were always additional activities on the side, from art exhibitions to outstanding plays, from new theatre book editions to socializing with a world-class chess player Alisa Maric. Theatrical friendships that have been lasting for decades were formed and nurtured, and the Festival of Monodrama and Mime earned an excellent reputation in the family of similar theatrical events in Europe.
During the past four and a half decades, the Festival has, like our society, going through – and still does – inevitable changes. However, by changing and adapting to the moment, theatre expression and accepting new aesthetics, the Festival kept its original idea: The Festival supports the artist in his exploratory, creative, and artistic quest. The Festival has undivided support of several generations of viewers for following consistently such a concept.
We believe that the Festival of Monodrama and Mime will remain one of the pillars of theatre art and theatrical life of Serbia. We expect that, just like before, the Festival will remain the meeting place of theatre artists from all parts of the world and that it will, in a few years, celebrate its golden jubilee.