National Theatre in Niš will be hosted in Zvezdara Theatre on the 19th of February with the stage play “Limunation, which is based on the text by Dušan Kovačević and story by Stevan Sremac, directed by Nebojša Bradić, and which points out to the fear of change and unwillingness to change being the biggest problem of a society.

Sremac’s narrative “The Limunation in the Village” was published more than 120 years ago, and Kovačević’s text was written four decades ago. However, this is still a current story about the mentality of people in this region, the attitude toward the power (authorities) and the difficulties that arise when a certain change should occur among the people.

“The story follows teacher Sreta who comes to a village where he wants to initiate changes. In relation to Sremac’s conservative attitude towards new ideas, reflected in the fact that Sreta in his story is full of phrases and slogans, ideas drawn from various ideological trends that do not fit into a possible picture of a society, Dušan Kovačević moves the focus of the story”, says director Nebojša Bradić in the announcement of the show.

The action takes place in the second half of the 19th century, at the time when the advanced ideas of Svetozar Marković and Russian educators appeared.

“On the one hand, there is a conservative environment, and on the other, new ideas. Sremac was quite conservative and nurtured a rigid attitude towards the changes that are present in his ‘Limunation’. In his play, Kovačević points to the fear of change and unwillingness to change, as the greatest problem of every society. In his focus, this is seen as a negative side of our mentality, “Bradić remarks, adding that we recognize that side today and that this comedy is one of those in which Kovačević “denounces on life”, having the audience rushing to the theatre.

Bradić sees the biggest obstacle to the development of a society in the closed environment and the people mainly concerned with the actual profit from support a certain idea.

“In a constant struggle for personal interest, the interest in the future of the entire community is lost. New ideas are nevertheless brought about by individuals. If there were no changes, we would probably be walking in the same duffel trousers Sremac’s heroes walk in. The values that society should cherish are brought about by individuals. Counting on the fact that we have in our society one hundred percent of conscious individuals who make up the nation and who will be a factor of development, is mission impossible. In percentage, it’s much less than fifty percent of people who are really ready to go forward, risk and suffer defeats. Sometimes it seems to me that the number of such people matches the number of fingers on our hands,” says Bradić, who is also the set designer.

16 actors from the Niš Ensemble play in this dynamic play – Dejan Cicmilović, Dragana Jovanović, Danilo Petrović, Aleksandar Marinković, Aleksandar Mihailović, Sanja Krstović, Dragoslav Savić, Miroslav Jović, Stefan Mladenović, Miroljub Nedović, Marko Pavlovski, Marjan Todorović, Katarina Mitić, Katarina Arsić, Uroš Milojević and Dejan Gocić.

The costumes were designed by Marina Vukasović Medenica, Zoran Erić is the composer, and Vera Obradović was in charge of the stage movement.

“Limunation” was premiered on December 1st, 2018, at the National Theatre in Niš, which announced the premiere of Ljubomir Simović’s play “The Travelling Troupe Šopalović”, directed by Tanja Mandić Rigonat.

On that occasion, the National Theatre Niš Day will be marked and the first festival “Theatre at the Crossroads” will be opened. The National Theatre in Niš wants to gather performances by professional theatres operating within the common Balkan cultural space.

The festival is of a competitive type and runs until March 19th. The Program Council consists of prominent theatre producers from Serbia and the region – alongside Nebojsa Bradić, as president, there are theatre critics Aleksandar Milosavljević, theatrologist Dejan Petković and writer Dejan Stojiljković from Serbia, and professor Darko Lukić, Ph.D., theatrologist from Croatia, actor Dejan Lilić from Macedonia and manager of NT Niš, Spasoje Ž. Milovanović, theatrologist, who is also the selector of the festival “Theatre at the Crossroads”.