Sumnjiva lica (Persons of Interest) is a professional development programme for young theatre critics organised by the Serbian Association of Theatre Critics and Theorists. The project aims to develop a new generation of theatre critics and provide them with opportunities to work professionally, while at the same time creating new platforms for critical considerations of theatre, its societal and political role, and the relationship between audiences and theatre makers.
The first stage of the project took place in May this year, with nine young critics participating. The programme consisted of daily workshops and theatre visits, and the critics had a chance to write about subsidised and independently produced performances, those based on national and European classics, and created by both emerging and established artists.
The same group of critics has been invited to Bitef where they will, as part of the festival’s side programme write about the festival performances daily and publish their texts on the festival blog, as part of the ancillary programme. The accompanying workshops will focus on the specificities of embedded criticism and consider the cultural, societal, and political implications of international festivals as they relate to criticism. The young critics will also gain the experience of writing about durational performances and to tight deadlines, typical of many professional contexts.
The young critics gathered around the project are: Ivona Janjić, Đorđe Kosić, Borisav Matić, Marija Milovanović, Milica Petrović, Irena Plaović, Mina Stanikić, and Andrej Čanji. The programme is led by Bojana Janković.
Bojana Janković graduated from BA Theatre Directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade and MA Performance Making at Goldsmiths, University of London. As a critic, she wrote for the Serbian publication Teatron between 2005 and 2013. In the UK, she co-initiated Critical Interruptions, a project on performance and live art criticism, and she continues to write for online and print publications. She is also one half of performance company There There, whose work has been shown around the UK including at the Museum of London and Tate Modern/Tate Exchange. She is a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
Programme Persons of Interest organised by the Association of Theatre Critics and Theatrologists of Serbia is a part of the Critics Caravan Project supported by the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia.