The director of Budva Theatre City says that carefully planned programmes have always been tuned to developments in the tourism market and that events taking place during the festival have always been adjusted accordingly.
This is why he says that, during the first few years, when the guests in Budva were mainly foreigners, the festival programme mainly put on non-verbal theatre performances, ballet, concerts and exhibitions. Later on, when the guests were mainly Yugoslavs, the programme incorporated the most outstanding and high quality theatre productions from well known theatre houses in Yugoslavia. With the return of foreign tourists over the past few years, there has been a mixture of cultural works aimed at local visitors and foreigners including non-verbal spectacles, performed in city squares.
During the course of this year’s jubilee edition, some of the most popular productions will be revived including The Hen directed by Jagoš Marković, Don Krsto, directed by Vida Ognjenović, La Dispute directed by Alexandru Darie, Pippi Longstocking directed by Nikola Vukčević, together with the ballet Othello directed and choreographed by Maša Kolar and Zoran Marković.
Smailagić says that this year’s jubilee has a special importance and that it bears “witness to the times and traditions”. “We have produced enough high quality material to have a festival using only our own productions. The situation is similar in all other segments of the festival: musical, literary, and artistic,” says Smailagić.
During the 25 years the festival has existed, productions were performed in the most exciting parts of the city and its surroundings and welcomed many important names, both locally and worldwide. The festival award Stefan Mitrov Ljubiša has been bestowed on authors such as Ronald Harwood and George Konrád.
“We are proud of the fact that many people come to Budva solely for the festival. It is important to say that the critics come from among the most demanding intellectual audiences. They have shown a great deal of respect for what the Theatre City has had to offer its audiences,” concludes Smailagić.