The Šopalović Travelling Troupe

Atelje 212, Belgrade, Serbia, 2009
Author: Ljubomir Simović
Directed by Tomi Janezič

about the production

Production of The Travelling Troupe Šopalović by the legendary Belgrade Atelje 212, which was a hatchery of the most accomplished personalities of the Yugoslavian and later the Serbian theatre of the second part of the 20th century, is precious by the connection of brilliant text, outstanding actors and a fresh, brave directing vision.

The production is based on the classical story of one travelling troupe which on a Summer day visits one provincial Serbian town in order to give performance of Schiller´s The Robbers despite the fact that the town is occupied by the enemy and is full of gallows, shooting and war refugees. Slovenian director Tomi Janežić constructs this play about the meaning of art during the war time and the idealism of committed art, written twenty years ago, as a contemporary, radiantly coloured picture of reality, designed as a seeming work in progress but which is, paradoxically, thought-out to the last detail. In this picture, he uncovers all the stages of the development and the particles the piece is composed of – the actors´ absolute informal approach normally seen only at the rehearsals, stage managers, the playing space itself and, eventually, the audience. It is not a shallow experiment, the director thoroughly reads the original text and fulfils the objectives of the author – to emphasize the reflection over the role and responsibility of theatre (art) in times when all values are drowning and lose their meaning. Janežić adds to this basic theme the issue of honesty and truthfulness between the creator and the audience in present times when the reality of war can be equally illusive and misleading like any Hollywood movie blockbuster.

The principle to nourish in the audience the uncertainty whether what they see is Verism or mere fantasy, has already started to be known as the Janežić´s system. It is characteristic for its working tint of the resulting form, discontinuing and aposiopesis of particular actions which are presented to the audience only in minimum hints and minimum acting endeavour, but with maximum understanding. The audience and the actors merge in the space and by outer signs, same like in wars – in certain situation the observing may be considered the guilty.
Maja Hriešik


director, space and light design: Tomi Janezić
assistant to director: Boris Li ešević, Špela Trošt
dramaturgy: Milan Mađarev
choreography: Deneš Debrei
music and sound design: Tomaž Grom
video design: Gregor Božič
assistant to the set designer: Duško Ačković
stage speech: Liljana Mrkić-Popović
characters and cast: Majcen: Miroslav Žužić, Milun: Nenad Ćirić, Drobac: Boris Isaković, BBlagoye Babic: Branislav Zeremski, Gina: Dara Džokić, Simka: Isidora Minić, Dara: Renata Ulmanski,  Vasiliye Shopalovic: Vlastimir-Đuza Stojiljković, JYelisaveta Protic: Jasna Đuričić, Sofiya Subotic: Nada Šargin, Filip Trnavac: Svetozar Cvetković


Tomi Janežić (1972) studied directing at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. He works as a theatre director, researcher in the field of acting techniques, teacher and TV and film actor. He is one of the founders of the Studio for Research of Art of Acting in Ljubljana. Since 2002 he has been a member of the professional ensemble of the Slovenian Mladinsko Gledališče and a member of the expert commission of Foundation of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities. He took part in numerous theatre seminars and workshops in Slovenia and abroad, dealing with theatrical techniques; he also led number of seminars on acting and composed the International Research Programme: The Potentials of Acting.

The most important directions: Sophocles: Oedipus the King, 1998, A. P. Chekhov: The Seagull, 1999, A. P. Chekhov: Three Sisters, 2001, C. McPherson: Dublin Carol, 2004, No Acting Please!, 2004. In his productions, apart from directing, he also participates in stage design, lightings, sound arrangements, costumes, dramaturgy, texts of plays, adaptation and dramatization. He has visited many festivals in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and the Netherlands. In many productions and films he also participated as an actor.

Materials available

Script of the production: SK titulky, EN, RS

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