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Jelena Bogavac – a theatre director, dramaturge, writer and a performer – was born in Belgrade in 1973. After studies of diplomacy at the faculty of Political Sciences, she started her studies of theatre and radio directing at Faculty of Drama Arts. Among the performances she staged as a student are:
“SERENATA A TRE” *with B. Djordjev and D. Knežević, CZKD)
“ALCESTIS” – Euripides (BELEF production, staged at the Kalemegdan castle)
“Tenderly Anastasia Passed" (in her own dramatization of D.R. Pospescu’s novel)
This performance was the first one staged at the newly opened stage Mata Milosevic at the faculty of Drama Arts.
Among the performances J. Bogavac directed on the same stage were:
“A Kind of ALASKA” – Harold Pinter
“Family Voices” – Harold Pinter
“Burn This” – Lanford Wilson
“Fingers of Gold” – pavle Ugrinov
“The Little Prince”, based on A. Saint-Exupéry’s novel, was staged in the Department store at the Republic square in Belgrade.
In SKC, she stages Howard Barker’s play “Judith” in her own translation.
In Beton Hala Theatre, as a part of BELEF 1999 programme, she premiered the monodrama “Silence”, based on S. Beckett’s short plays “Eh, Joe” and “Ohio Impromptu”. In the course of the following years, Jelena Bogavac performed the same piece over a hundred times, each time directed in a different way. It was performed in BITEF theatre, in BITEFArtCafe, at Zemun quay – at the Festival of Monodrama and Pantomimes, at Gardoš scene, in numerous Belgrade clubs, as well as at the most renowned international FRINGE festival in Edinburgh, at festivals in London, in Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, etc. The whole process transformed “Silence” into a constant work-in-progress which serves as a showcase of the director’s poetic development, her style and artistic approach.
Upon her graduation, Jelena Bogavac was employed as a BITEF theatre dramaturge.
On 9th September 1999, she staged an event called “PROTIVudar” (COUNTERattack) in Barutana. It was conceived as a night of Harold Pinter, on which occasion the trilogy “Some Other Places” was performed. The performance was based on the plays “A Kind of Alaska”, “Voices” and “Victoria Station”, all directed by J. Bogavac.
Working on “PROTIVudar”, Jelena Bogavac has gathered a group of like-minded young people and founded Drama Mental Studio-DMS troupe as a creative environment in which she produces her following works.
Those are “Silence”, “playflashback@beton”, “Fingers of Gold”, “The Little Prince”, etc.
Some of the performances (multimedia performances “Bezdan”, “Bezdan UPDATE”, “JMBG”, “442”, etc.), made in DMS independent production whereas other performances are made in the conventional theatre production. Some of the most significant performances based on the contemporary plays are:
“NORTH FORCE”, M.Bogavac in BITEF theatre;
“THE RED ONE: SEX AND CONSEQUENCES”, M.Bogavac, BITEF theatre.
“FAKE PORNO” - the first stand-up comedy in Belgrade; an omnibus of five stories written by: Jelena Bogavac, Milena Bogavac, Maja Pelević and Filip Vujošević, staged in BITEF theatre.
“TDž”, M.Bogavac, stage “Mata Milosević” at Faculty of Drama Arts.
“The Duck Variations”, D. Mamet, Dom Omladine Pancevo
“Endgame”, S.Beckett, Zagreb, BIT festival.
“Good Morning, Mr. Bunny”, Milan Marković, “Duško Radović” theatre.
“Tale about Electricity”, a children’s play by M.Bogavac, “Pinocchio” theatre
“ESCAPE”, M.Pelevic, BITEF theatre, and many more.
Jelena Bogavac directed two street events performed at the opening of two BITEF festivals:
“STOP AND GO or YES 2 ART” (36th BITEF)
“BITEF ON AN EXTRA TICKET” (40TH BITEF)
Employed on the position of the BITEF theatre club’s programme coordinator, she organized a series called POCKET FESTIVALS OF FREE CIVIL THOUGHT that has included “Play Porno” (on the topic of pornography) and “Reality Show OFF Festival” ( on the topic of the media voyeurism)
In 2005, Jelena Bogavac organizes summer entertainment festival BEOGRADILISTE COOLTURE on Ada Ciganlija, the head of which she has been since then.
The aforementioned “Silence” is not the only monodrama Jelena Bogavac has directed and performed.
In 2004, in the independent production of DMS, she stages and performs a play “Days and Works of Nun Lavinia” based on the collection of poetry written by Jelena Andrejevna Schwartz. This performance has had various versions as well.
In the role of the text author, director and a performer, Jelena has participated in:
“BEZDAN” and “BEZDAN UPDATE”, which was done for caravan “PEACE IN PROGRESS” organized by the regional network for OBJECTION OF CONSCIENCE and WAR RESISTERS INTERNATIONAL. These performances have been played throughout the Balkan and a slam excess “JMBG” developed in a similar manner: it has been performed over fifty times at festivals: MIMART GODOVI and APRILSKI SUSRETI in SKC; FAKI in Zagreb; EXIT in Novi Sad; EX TEATAR FEST in Pančevo, to name just a few.
Jelena Bogavac directed Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues”, which was staged in Jugoslovensko Dramsko Pozoriste on the occasion of first V-Day in Serbia.
Her first novel, “Batman above Zvezdara”(1996) has had four editions, the fifth is about to be published.
She has published two collections of poetry, “Mom Dad Sun Sister and Me” and “The Death of the Birds’ Hearts”.
Her versatile and committed approach to theatre art has been awarded several times.