The Zvezdara Theatre opened its doors for the public on 8th October 1984 with a play Mrešćenje Šarana (Carp Spawning)written by Aleksandar Popović and directed by Dejan Mijač.
Our doors are still open.
The rest is history.
These words have been said about our founding days and on what followed soon after:
It is an open secret that the Zvezdara Theatre owes its popularity and success to the fact that the majority of stars – the best and most popular Belgrade actors and actresses – became part of Zvezdara’s team, making it a national team of ’art performers’, as Zoran Radmilović, who died soon after the theatre was born, used to say. Bata Stojković, Bora Todorović, Mira Stupica, Petar Kralj, Milena Dravić, Dragan Nikolić, Lazar ‘Laza’ Ristovski, Seka Sablić, Branislav Lečić, Bogdan Diklić, Ljilja Dragutinović, Milorad Mandić ‘Manda’, Branimir Brstina, Voja Brajović, Dragan ‘Gagi’ Jovanović, Lane Gutović, and a score of other great and significant actors and actresses, have left their ’indelible mark’ in the life, work, repertoire – existence of this theatre house in Zvezdara. They played the majority of their unforgettable roles in the first performances of dramatic narratives written by Serbian playwrights, in the works of art which have enriched Serbian literature. The secret is that there was no special recipe; it was all achieved thanks to hard work, enthusiasm and creative freedom.
The Zvezdara Theatre is a specific Belgrade phenomenon. It makes Belgrade different from the other cities in the country and abroad. (…) The Zvezdara Theatre is the only theatre where it is not important to be different from someone or something else: it was born in the sign of ostensible impossibility – comedy is performed seriously, in such a way that the audience does not notice that the actors are not trying to be as funny as the audience thinks they are. Experts say that they perform satires, meaning that they mock our faults and weaknesses, while members of the audience enjoying themselves accept those frailties as their own.
The audience that attends the performances at the Zvezdara Theatre does not have a specific profile; it is of an elusive social and intellectual status. The members of its audience that attend the plays are not motivated by some fashion, or craze for the pedigree. Their mission is simply the attendance. They are there because they are, and there is no need for any further interpretation. Whether they arrive by jeep or trolley, be they part of a posh crowd or working class, they come for a little artistic recreation and do not leave without a minimum ten-minute standing ovation.
Considering what lies in wait for our theatres in the future, and based on past experience, the Zvezdara Theatre is a desirable model as a theatre that we can, with a good reason, learn from.