National Theatre Tuzla

narodno pozoriste tuzla

As a successor of the centuries old theatrical tradition in Bosnia and Herzegovina, The National Theatre Tuzla emerged from the living theater amateurism and a number of performances given by the traveling theaters in Tuzla. Before the establishment of the National Theatre, the performing art in Tuzla was not unknown. Even before the Crnogorcevic’s first National Theatre in 1898 which after eight months was closed, Tuzla had the contact with the theatre arts: in 1894, when Serbian Singing Society of Donja Tuzla performed the first amateur play, or even earlier, at the end of the Ottoman rule, when first traveling theaters visited Tuzla.

In some periods, such as the period between the two World Wars, we can talk about more significant developments and impact of the amateur theaters in Tuzla that lacked enthusiasm of the local authorities to surpass theatrical professionalism. The example is the Sokolsko Theater with 60 amateurs – enthusiasts (including Mesa Selimovic) – and a puppet scene which illustrates the theater life in Tuzla. In addition to this Theater, there were a great number of amateur sections within different cultural societies in the period between the two Wars.

The link between the theater life of Tuzla until the Second World War and after it is not only important so that we can mention that Tuzla had the active theater life even before the establishment of the National Theatre Tuzla, but also to establish the link between that fruitful cultural environment and the initiative to establish the Institution of the National Theatre Tuzla. The fact that a number of well known amateurs were employed in the first professional ensemble and that the repertoire consisted of the plays already performed on the amateur stages also witnesses that the National Theatre Tuzla was established and based on the Tuzla amateur theater experience and creative potentials.

Since then the theater life of Tuzla has continuity and operates on the cultural and political influences as well as the efforts to be a contemporary of the closer and wider cultural environment.

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