photography: Jelena Janković
photography: Jelena Janković

- Why have you chosen this particular text and what has motivated you to tackle this topic?

I think that this play tells a story about external refugees and internal refugees. There aren’t only external but also internal ones, which means: someone who is lonely. That woman isn’t just old, she has a family, but she is lonely. And then someone comes from abroad and starts talking to her like a human being. I think it’s a story about heroes, except that these heroes aren’t kings or queens but ordinary people. I think that Emi, the main character, is an extraordinary queen, a heroine, in small things. She listens to herself and does things most people wouldn’t. All of us talk about how we should follow our hearts, how we should display solidarity and be humane, but those grand words and grand theories, grand politics, in fact, aren’t helping us. It’s a story about ordinary people. I’m a bit sick of watching all the Ophelias, Gertrudes, Hamlets, Phaedras, all those people who we don’t have much in common with. Let’s find the queens and princes among us, some common people who are, actually, heroes.


- What is the position of the community today?

Huh, I don’t think there’s any difference. If we have a higher average salary, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who can barely make ends meet. I think we’ve lost the war, and I don’t mean the stupid nationalistic one, but the economic one. We have reached the point of no return, the rich are getting richer, and everyone is helping them, even the ones who don’t have any money. I’m a huge pessimist, but I think we should fight till the end, and remain human.


- What is the position of theatre in such a community?

Those questions were relevant throughout the 20th century, and they still are. Everyone says theatre will die, that its role isn’t big. But the role of theatre has never been big, and especially today, when you have the Internet, when you have all the media… In a way, I think, theatre is where it has been. It does have some role, it does get some funding, it does get some space in the media, they let you come up on TV and say what you stand for, what should be changed, and that’s worth it. If a performance changes an attitude, if it sets things in motion in at least one person, it’s great. I love theatre, and I can see that it does have some influence and some sense. I think it’s the matter of culture, that we should believe in culture, in art, because without art, we’ll reach the end of civilisation, the end of humanity.


- Are artists a part of community or a separate community?

I teach Theatre Directing at the Academy, I keep telling students that they have to have contact with people, because we are turning into a closed circle. You don’t know what’s happening outside the circle. We who make theatre, who create art, we should live a little. We should understand the class struggle, because more and more people have no money, and they’d like to work, and so on. I think a lot must be done in that respect. I think that theatre is not a bourgeois art, theatre shouldn’t be closed into a circle, theatre is for people. Which doesn’t mean we should lower the criteria and make pop crap. We should believe in people, they are living beings.


- What is your advice to young colleagues and students?

What you should do is not to get to know directors or read books, but live. And not only in theatre circles, but live, get in touch with life, be out there, feel what people think and to get to know them.


- How do you like this year’s slogan?

I like it! That’s our performance! Redefining love, what love is. If an older man loves a young woman, that’s acceptable, and if an older woman loves a young man, then it can’t be good. For me, love is a revolution, love breaks with the old and introduces the readiness to be something new. We don’t know what, how or why, but we should. Love cannot be predicted. There’s no more love, everything is a calculation, I don’t like that.