Panel with Ivan Medenica, Sasho Ognenovski, Dubravka Vrgoč, coordinated by Natasha Tripney

Natasha Tripney is a writer, editor and critic based in London and Belgrade. She is the international editor for “The Stage”, the newspaper of the UK theatre industry. She is also the editor of “SEEstage”, the platform for theatre criticism in South East Europe. In 2011, she co-founded “Exeunt”, the online theatre magazine, which she edited until 2016. She is a regular contributor to “the Guardian”, “Evening Standard”, the “BBC” and “Kosovo 2.0” among other publications.

Ivan Medenica defended his PhD dissertation at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. He works at the FDA as a professor of The History of World Drama and Theatre. 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 6 times the national award for the best theatre criticism. He is now a theater critic in weekly “NIN”. His book The tragedy of initiation or the inconstant prince was also awarded as the best book on theater published in Serbia (2017) and was translated into Slovenian and Macedonian. 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. 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 artistic residency Academie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart) and 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. He is also member of the editorial board of “Critical Stages”, the web journal of the Association. Medenica was the artistic director of Bitef (Belgrade International theater festival) in the period 2015-2022. He was honored by the French Medal as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Sasho Ognenovski is Macedonian writer, theater critic and communicologist. His creative list includes five poetry books (Avalanche, 1995; The Fruits of Hell, 2014; Desert flower, 2015, Forrest, 2018, Changing of the Past, 2019), two books of children plays (A Simple Tale, 2001; The Magic Compass, 2011) , two plays for adults (Grief, 2012; Citadel, 2016) and two novels (The Grey Square 2019, The Tour 2020) and also papers in the field of Communications, Semiotic, Multiculturalism, Theater printed in various journals and presented in the conferences around the world (Gothenburg, Oslo, Milan, London, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sofia, Brussels, Venice, Zagreb). His latest play Citadel was published on English language by Lulu Publishing House from Northern Carolina, USA. He also writes theater and literary reviews, essays and columns for for Macedonian, Serbian and European magazines and internet portals and for Plays International and Europe. For his work he received the award IWA BOGDANI from Kosovo, the annual award from the Montenegro translating association and the award Literary Feather from the Croatian Literary Association. His works are translated on Albanian, English, Indian, Slovenian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Arabic language. He’s editor in chief of the literary magazine “Literary elements” and of the web magazine “Elements”. He is a member of IACT (International Theater Critic Association), Macedonian Scientific Association and Macedonian Writers Association. He is a president of Perun Artis Association for Art and Multiculturalism. Also, he attended to a few theater festivals in Slovenia: Mladninsko Theater Showcase 2019, 2022 and in A Week of Slovenian Drama (Teden Slovenske Drame) in Kranj, 2021, 2022 as a theater critic writing about the festival and particular theater shows.

Dubravka Vrgoč holds a degree in dramaturgy from the Academy of Dramatic Arts and a master’s degree from the Department of Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. She worked as a theatre critic and culture editor at Croatian main daily newspaper “Vjesnik” and wrote for cultural magazines in the country and abroad. She was a Fulbright Scholar at City University New York and New York University. She established and has been artistic director of the World Theatre Festival since 2003. From 2004 to 2014 she was the director of the Zagreb Youth Theatre. In that period, the Zagreb Youth Theatre realized more than twenty international and domestic co-productions and numerous guest appearances at prestigious international festivals and European and world theatre. From 2014 till 2022 she was the general manager and artistic director of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. She was president of the European Theatre Convention for three terms. She is in the board of directors of European Theatre Convention and Opera Europa. Since 2015 she has been leading the European Theatre Academy for young European producers at Festival d’ Avignon. She recently participate in the European Theatre Forum 2020 European Performing Arts in Focus organized by the European Commission, in Sustainable Theatre Forum organized by National Theatre & Concert Hall Tapei, in ETC conference – Sustainable Development and Theatre in Europe: It’s Already Happening – Festival d’Avignon and in many theatre conferences, forums workshops, research groups. She actively participated in the design and implementation of various European theatre projects. She received the City of Zagreb Award for exceptional international presentation of Croatian theatre and the Order of Croatian president for special merits in culture and its promotion in the of Croatia and around the world. She was awarded the Order of the Star of Italy, which is awarded by the republic of Italy for outstanding contribution to the promotion friendship and cooperation and expansion of theatrical cultural exchange between Italy and Croatia.