Ivan Medenica

Dah theater, wars and memories

Dah theater is the first Serbian independent performing arts company which took a firm pacifist stand at the beginning of the wars in former Yugoslavia. In the year 1991 – when the war started – Dah theater was constituted. In this presentation I will explore both the artistic particularities (the tradition of Barba-alike intercultural theater) and political particularities (a strong and consistent antiwar position) which shaped a very specific identity that Dah theater has in the framework of Serbian theater. I would also focus on their recent exploration of topics such as war traumas, memories, testimonies, reconciliation.


Ivan Medenica (PhD) is from Belgrade, Serbia. He defended his PhD dissertation (Actualization and Deconstruction as Models of Directing Classics) at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. He works at the FDA as an associated professor, teaching The History of World Drama and Theatre, and holds the position of the Head of the Department for Theory and History. He regularly publishes articles in both the national and the international journals. He was the Chairman or Co-Chairman of five international symposiums of theatre critics and scholars organized by Sterijino Pozorje Festival in Novi Sad and the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC). Medenica has participated in a number of international conferences and given guest lectures at Humboldt University (Berlin), Yale School of Drama, University of Cluj (Romania). Medenica is an active theater critic and has received five times the national award for the best theatre criticism. He was the Artistic Director of Sterijino Pozorje in Novi Sad, the leading national theater festival in Serbia (2003-2007), to which he brought some important structural changes, especially in the domain of internationalization. From 2001 to 2012, Medenica was one of the main editors of the journal Teatron which than became the prestigious theater publication in Serbia and was awarded by an international prize. He was a fellow in the International Research Center „Interweaving Performance Cultures“ at the Freie Universität in Berlin (2011-2013). He is a member of the International Association of Theater Critics’ Executive Committee and the Director of its international conferences. He is also member of the editorial board of Critical Stages, the web journal of the Association. From October 2015, Medenica is the artistic director of Bitef festival.