Theater Directing Department
When the Belgrade Theater Academy was founded in 1948/49, it only included acting and directing departments. The first teachers at these departments were artists whose names we say with awe even today. Those were the persons who stood at the very top of our knowledge and skills in the field of theater arts at the time. Even though usually without formal university education in theater, because it had not been available in our country up to that point, they carried huge artistic experience, wide personal general education, undisputable artistic authority, and charisma. Also, it must be admitted that these exquisite professors were persons with different backgrounds and ideas, and diverse esthetic preferences. However, this did not prevent the classes from being performed in some kind of coexistence of diversities, where mutual constants were found, which was a characteristic of the entire subsequent development of the Academy and the Faculty of Dramatic Arts.
What united all the nuances in the approach to theater education was the focus on the conscious approach to the structure of an artistic play and the process of its creation, i.e. the courses of analysis and synthesis of a practical artistic act. Understanding the structure and its conscious application became the foundation of the Belgrade school of theatre directing. This description may, above all, be attributed to its founders - professors Hugo Klajn, Ph.D., and Josip Kulundžić.
Although there was an assumption, after the Film College was joined to the Theater Academy,
that film classes would find their place by already established theater courses, this never occurred. Directing, as a main course or major, did include theater dimension, which was predominant in the beginning, and later became the only one. The continuous classes of film courses were re-established in 1961. At that time, a system where directing classes targeted all four media - theater, film, radio and television, while in the third year, students could choose between the theatre or film-television module, was created. This system was preserved until 1967 when study groups and departments separated; and this is when the Theater and Radio Directing Department came to being, with a teaching approach which, except for minor modifications and modernization, remained to this day.
After the Academy was established in 1948, the first directing professors were Hugo Klajn, Ph.D. (until 1970) and Bojan Stupica, who spend only a year teaching. The next directing class was taken over by Josip Kulundžić (who taught directing until 1957), who was later teaching Acting and afterwards formed and outlined classes for Dramaturgy Department (until 1968). After the merger with the Film College in 1952, Vjekoslav Afrić joined them (until 1973). Scenography, as one of the most important courses within the directing study program, was taught by Milenko Šerban (until 1972).
The awareness of the structure and the system of interaction was a guideline which transferred to the second generation of teachers of the Theater Directing: Miroslav Belović (Acting Department 1948-1956, Theatre Directing Department 1970-1993), Borjana Prodanović (1961-1994), Dimitrije Đurković (1969-1991), and Dejan Mijač (1974-1998). Ljubomir Draškić ended his artistic career as a professor of Theatre Directing (1996-2002). Theatre Directing as a major was taught by Emeritus Professor Svetozar Rapajić (at the FDA since 1971), and professors Slavenko Saletović (1974 - 2016), and Nikola Jevtić (1980-2013).
The classes of Introduction to Theater Directing, as a non-basic course in Dramaturgy and Organization departments, were originally led by Hugo Klajn, Ph.D., and afterwards Sergije Harašić (1960-2000), Svetozar Rapajić (2000-2009), and Slavenko Saletović (2009-2012) for the Management, Dramaturgy, Acting, and Sound Recording and Design departments.
Radio Directing was introduced in 1964 and soon became the second major of the department. The classes were led by Mira Trailović (until 1976) and then by Darko Tatić (1976-2001).
After professor Milenko Šerban, the classes of Scenography were taken over by Živorad Kukić (1972-1977); afterwards, the classes of Scenography and Costumography were led by professor Miodrag Tabački (from 1978 to 2014). In 2015, the classes on this course were taught by a freelancer Milica Bajić Đurov, Associate Professor.
Vida Ognjenović (1975-1979), Jagoš Marković (1994-2002), Stevan Bodroža (2003-2011), Ana Đorđević (2011-2014), and Igor Vuk Torbica (2014-2017) were also Teaching Assistants for the course Theatre Directing.
Theater directing classes, as a major, have been divided into several units, corresponding to the year of study. The first year of studying includes mastering basic elements of directing and a theater act, based on the structure of action and confrontation, and the interaction of all elements. The phenomena are examined within small stage units, with basic stage requirements.
The second year focuses on the directing analysis of a play and the study of the stage character within the realistic facture. The third year is devoted to forming a genre and style, on a one-act play or a single act of a larger drama, while the fourth year synthesizes all previous experiences by exploring the problem of directing composition through the structure of a full-length play.
Studies at the Master level are directed towards research and realization of complex, genre-specific forms of theatre and sound directing, with a variety of elective courses, depending on the subject of the Master/Final Paper. During enrollment, students also choose the mentor for their major.
Exam plays of Theatre Directing students are performed at the FDA, Mata Milošević Stage, but also many professional theatres in Belgrade and Serbia, and outside Serbia, while sometimes the alternative, non-institutional, stages are used.
The Department today:
Svetozar Rapajić, Emeritus Professor, (since 1971 at the FDA) holds the course Theatre Directing on Doctoral Art Studies.
Theatre directing as a major within our department is taught on undergraduate and Master studies by:
Full Professors: Egon Savin (since 1979), Ivana Vujić (since 1990), Alisa Stojanović (since 1994), and Dušan Petrović (since 1994).
Associate Professors: Darijan Mihalović (since 2001). and Kokan Mladenović (since 2020.)
Assistant Professors: Snežana Trišić (since 2015), and Ana Tomović (since 2019).
Expert Associate: Tara Manić (since 2017)
Radio Directing, as a second major at our department, is taught by Branislav Stefanović, Full Professor, since 1999.
Classes of Scenography and Costumography are taught by Aleksandar Denić, Associate Professor, since 2021.
The course Basics of Radio Directing, for the students of Sound Recording and Design, is taught by Branislava Stefanović, Full Professor.
The course Basics of Theater Directing, for the students of Dramaturgy, is taught by Darijan Mihajlović, Associate Professor.
Ivana Vujić, Full Professor teaches the elective course Directing Systems in the 20th and 21st Century on M.A. studies.