In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Aleksandar Lukac: Theatre Offensives from Belgrade to Toronto
  • Judith Rudakoff (bio)

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Figure 1.

Program detail from Lukac’s production of The Class Enemy featuring a rat-like version of the familiar American cartoon mouse as part of the show’s promotional material. (Photo courtesy of Aleksandar Lukac)


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Figure 2.

The Class Enemy in Lukac’s adaptation at Theatre Plexus Boris Pilnjak in Belgrade, 1988. (Photo by Vlada Radojicic; courtesy of Aleksandar Lukac)


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Figure 3.

Poster designed by Goran Dimic for Aleksandar Lukac’s production of Nigel Williams’s The Class Enemy at Theatre Plexus Boris Pilnjak in Belgrade, 1988. (Courtesy of Aleksandar Lukac)


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Figure 4.

Brecht’s Baal directed by Aleksandar Lukac at York University, Toronto, 1994. (Photo by Jeff Logue)


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Figure 5.

Lukac’s director’s notes for his production of Swine Song by Mirjana Vulovic, which was commissioned by Amsterdam’s Stalhouderij Theatre Company in 1993. (Photo courtesy of Aleksandar Lukac)

Swine Song was commissioned by the Stalhouderij’s a artistic director Helen Richardson lost summer, during my visit to Amsterdam. Her Initial idea was to create a comedy in the tradition the Marx Brothers, about Yugoslavia, that would help clarify the present Eastern European turmoil to Western audiences.

As it happened, I returned to Yugoslavia in September, only to find that the war had progressed beyond the limits of anyone’s expectations—a fact which did not lend itself to comedy, neither ethically or aesthetically. So I put it off. Even as I was toying with different ideas about the play, the situation grew more and more critical, making my potential return to Amsterdam seem doubtful. So, I put off thinking about the ploy too. Somehow, I was superstitious about dressing up and having no place to go. Some time in December, however, it became obvious that we could be leaving the country after all, and I realized the time for dressing up was growing short.


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Figure 6.

Flyer for My Yugoslavia Includes Quebec, a cabaret evening cocreated by Aleksandar Lukac and Mirjana Vulovic. The illustration is by their son, Ilja Lukac. (Photo courtesy of Aleksandar Lukac)


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Figure 7.

David Yeh in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by Aleksandar Lukac at the George Brown Theatre, Toronto, 1995. (Photo by Andrew Oxenham)


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Figure 8.

Mirjana Vulovic, Michael Achtman, Tedde Moore, and Wayne Boldy in Black Magic by Mirjana Vulovic, a collaboration of Company of Sirens and University of Toronto, 1998. (Photo by Terry Nichols)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

15 July 1997

RUDAKOFF:

Tell me a little about your early introduction to theatre in Yugoslavia.

LUKAC:

I was born in Sarajevo in 1957 and lived there until I was 13, with a brief two-year stint in New York as a two-year-old while my father worked as a foreign correspondent for a Sarajevo newspaper. I learned English, then I forgot English. This has happened several times in my life and is an important parallel to what’s happening right now to my nine-year-old son. He’s in Belgrade for the summer, with his grandparents, relearning Yugoslav, or rather remembering it.

I grew up attending MES (Male Experimental Scenes/Small Experimental Plays), an international theatre festival in Sarajevo. In 1968, I saw Hair [1968], when I was eleven years old, and the Living Theatre production of The Brig [1963] when I was nine. I attended high school in Montreal in the 1970s and after the Montreal Olympics I went back to Yugoslavia where I studied theatre at the Belgrade Academy/Faculty of Dramatic Arts.

Students received free passes to all the shows at the BITEF [Belgrade International Theatre Festival] Festival, every September, at the beginning of the school year. In my first year at the Academy [1976–77] I saw Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach [1976], Pina Bausch’s Bluebeard [1977], and Samuel Beckett’s production...

Additional Information

ISSN
1531-4715
Print ISSN
1054-2043
Pages
pp. 95-112
Launched on MUSE
1999-12-01
Open Access
No
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