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Serbia: Drama director replaced after criticising National Theatre budget

25 October 2018
The director of drama at the National Theatre in Belgrade was given the boot two days after complaining about budget allocations in a media interview.
Photo: National Theatre in Belgrade

 

Željko Hubač, the director of drama at the National Theatre in Belgrade, was replaced two days after complaining about budget allocations in a news interview, reported N1 TV on 15 October 2018.

In the interview with Politika, Hubač said the drama production budget had been unexpectedly slashed by almost 30 per cent by the steering committee in the middle of 2018.

“Although Drama is the only sector in the National Theatre that earns more than the expenses for maintaining the repertoire, we are ‘rewarded’ by receiving the lowest production budget in the last four years this year,” he told Politika on 13 October.

Jug Radivojević, a theatre and film director who is also a vice president of the Social Democratic Party of Seriba, was announced as the new director of drama.

But on 18 October he refused to accept the appointment because the situation had become complex and politicised.

In an open letter to the theatre’s board of directors, Radivojević said the change of drama directors had “caused a sharp polarisation in the ensemble” and “completely disrupted the atmosphere in it”, according to Politika.

At the same time, a group of actors at the theatre called for government appointed director of the National Theatre, Dejan Savić, to be replaced.

Savić responded by revealing Hubač had tried to resign three times during his four-year tenure.

But Hubač rejected this, saying he only offered his written resignation once, in April 2017, because he was asked to do so by Savić.

Hubač is due to return to the role of playwright at the National Theatre on 26 October 2018.

At the same time but with less political fuss, opera director Janko Sinadinović was also replaced. Opera singer Jasmina Trumbetaš Petrović, who expressed public support to the president of Serbia during the last election campaign, is set to take over the role.

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