Vukotić already won the first prize at the first Montenegrin Theatre festival in 2007 for her direction of Deadly Sins by Felix Mitterer. Deadly Sins won the prize for best play and also for the best female and supporting male role together with the prize for visual impact.
The jury of the Užice festival, headed by theatre director Dejan Mijač, said that “the trump card of Ana Vukotić’s direction is its joyfulness, imagination and the precision with which she dealt with some aspects of the play that in turn led to clarity and a sense of humour in dramatic situations.”
Ana Vukotić spoke to South East Europe: People and Culture about her approach to theatre.
What is the crucial point that makes your Don Juan different from all the others?
My intention, and the way that Dragan Mičanović played him, was to make the quest for freedom the focus for Don Juan. With his talent and personal charm, Dragan managed to infuse the whole team with energy, providing at the same time a release for this same energy. So we turned the whole thing into a comedy while maintaining everything that Molière was writing about.
When interpreting the play, how crucial is Don Juan’s relationship with women?
I wanted to open up the relationship he has with women, but not to any greater extent than his relationship with men or with his father. I wanted all of us to wonder what our freedoms are and where they end. Do we ponder things deeply enough and are we curious enough?
The setting is rather minimalistic, almost as everything else. In such a concept, how important is your work with the actors?
The actors are extremely important in my working process and in the kind of theatre that I try to do. It is terribly important for me that the actor to be content and to help them do what they can. Many times have I wanted something more or something different, but I have learned that in this line of work things cannot be forced.
The special jury in Užice has spoken, but how happy are you with the way the audience received the play?
At the Užice festival, right after the play, I was extremely happy because in an auditorium that can seat 560 people there were 700. From the very beginning the play has communicated with the audiences wherever we performed it.