Situated in the south central part of the Balkan Peninsula, the Republic of Macedonia has two million inhabitants (65 % Macedonian, 21 % Albanian, 4 % Turkish, 2 % Serbian, 3 % Romany, 5 % Moslem, Vlach, Montenegrian an Croat). Covering an area of 25,711 square kilometres, its capital is Skopje and its principal towns Bitola, Prilep, Kumanovo, Tetovo, Titov Veles and Shtip.

At the close of the fourteenth century, Macedonia fell under the Ottoman Empire, remaining under Ottoman Turkish rule until the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913. After the Second Balkan War, as a result of the aspirations of the neighbouring states, the territory of Macedonia was divided among Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece an Albania. With minimal alterations, this division was reaffirmed at the close of World War I.

Having fought on the side of the anti-fascist coalition in World War II, the Macedonian people won their national and social freedom in the Vardar part of Macedonia which was constituted as Macedonian national state within the framework of Yugoslavia. At the time of Yugoslavia's dissolution (1991-2), Macedonia was constituted as an independent and sovereign republic.

The proximity of ancient Greece had a crucial influence on the life of the Slavs who settled in ancient Macedonia in the sixth and seventh centuries. Dionysian bacchalia and theatrical performances from this period have left profound traces and are still present today in the ethnic spirit of the Macedonian nation.

After the Hellenic and Illyro_thracian periods, Roman theatrical repertoire was thus added to existing dramatic forms and was performed in amphitheatres. The mingling of the old Slav pagan and the Byzantine Christian worlds signalled the beginnings of a new culture. The adoption of Christianity had its effect on the theatre, but in folk tradition the abandoned Slav pagan inheritance lingered on.

The Theatre retained a presence during the period of Ottoman rule and visiting shadow theatres and medahi, a kind of small oriental chamber theatre, left their mark. The Macedonian cultural reaissance of the nineteenth century saw the first attempts to use the Macedonian vernacular for dramatic purposes.

Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov - Dzinot (1821-1882), a teacher, philanthropist and playwrighter, was one of those who initiated school performances. However, the real founder of the Macedonian theatre was Vojdan Chernodrinski (187501951). Thanks to his work, theatre in Macedonia which had become part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovens, later Yugoslavia. For some thirty years, up to 6 April 1941, the official theatres in Macedonia put on plays from the classical repertoire only in the Serbian language. With the fascist occupation, which lasted until 1944, the national situation deteriorated radically.

Despite these unfavourable circumstances, Macedonians endeavoured to maintain their national identity through culture generally and theatre specifically. Soon, a whole generation of writers began to write in Macedonian. Major figures among them were Marko Cepenkov (1829-1920), Nikola Kirov - Majski (1880-1962), Anton Panov (1905-1968), Risto Krle (1900-1975) and Vasil Iljoski (b. 1902).

The pioneers of acting in modern Macedonia appeared at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century when Chernodrinski formed several theatre companies on a semiprofessional basis. As well as Chernodrinski and his wife and life-long companion Marija Chernodrinska, these included Milka and Vlado Milchinov, Fana Kostova, Rizo Rizov, Ivan Atanasov and Kirche Nikolov.

The first modern professional actor was Dimche Trajkovski (1888-1978) who began his acting career immediatly after World War I at the newly-formed People's Theatre in Skopje. In 1933 Trajkovski formed his own travelling theatre, the Little Skopje Theatre, which continued until 1939. After the end of World War II he became a member of the Macedonian national theatre in Skopje where he worked until his retirement in 1954. The peak of his career was his interpretation of the role of Tasa in Branislav Nushic's Suspicious Character. Petre Prlichko (b.1907) joined Mihajlo Lazic's travelling theatre in 1923. He later formed his own company, called the Blue Bird (later called the Bohemian). The group existed from 1931 to 1939.

Todor Nikolovski (b.1902) made first appearance in the Skopje People's Theatre in 1917. His acting career blossomed in the post-war years and he continued appearing on the stage even after his official retirement at the age of 85.

To meet the lack of trained acting personnel a Theatre High School was opened in Skopje in 1947 and, although its existence was a short one, same of its ex-pupils have been among the leading Macedonian actors.

Since the 70s, the Faculty of Dramatic Art has produced a large body of highly-qualified actors who have gained their reputation in the theatre, in films and on television. Still others graduated from academies in the former Yugoslavia or in neighbouring Bulgaria.

During World War II, known in Macedonia as the National Liberation War (1941-1945), a new and genuinely Macedonian theatre began to appear and, in fact, spread. Performances were given in the liberated territories and in partisan camps in the woods, in prison camps and elsewhere. Immediately after the liberation of Skopje, a Macedonian National Theatre was founded (November 1944). The first full-length performance was of Palton Krechet by the Ukrainian writer Oleksandre Kornijchuk, which had its premiere on 3 April 1945.

A performance of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana marked the founding of the Opera Company of the National Theatre on 9 May 1947, while the company itself began to function officially on 1 January 1949. The first ballet company. Led by Georgi Makedoski (b. 1925), laid the groundwork which led to the formation of the National Ballet, whose first performance was of Grounod's Walpurgisnacht on 30 December 1949.

From the late 40s through 1991, Macedonian theatre grew as part of Yugoslavia (see Yugoslavia for further information). Since 1991, theatre in Macedonia has once more to develop its own clear identity.


Risto Stefanovski, Ivan Ivanovski


All professional theatres in Macedonia are financed through the Ministry of Culture. The number of such theatres was at its peak in the 1950s: The Macedonian National Theatre, the Theatre of the Nationalities (with Albanian and Turkish companies) and the Puppet Theatre in Skopje, and theatres in Bitola, Prilep, Strumica, Kochani, Stip, Gevegelija, Ohrid, Tetovo, Kumanovo and Titov Veles. The Skopje Puppet Theatre grew into the Youth Drama and later the Drama Theatre, while a separate Children's Theatre was founded.

The thetares stage, on average, between five and eight new productions each season and retain about the same number from the previous years in their repertoire. There is annual festival, the Chernodrinski theatre Festival, in Prilep; it is selective and competitive, with awards for performance, script, direction, acting, set design, costume design, music, adaption and dramatization.

There is also the Young Open Theatre (MOT), an International festival organized by the Youth Cultural Centre in Skopje, and the May Opera Evenings, an international festival in Skopje. There are as well indoor and outdoor performances at the annual international Ohrid Summer Festival. Kochani is host to an annual festival of amateur and alternative theatres.

Artistic Profile


The Macedonian National Theatre is the Country's largest group and boasts a theatre company, an opera company, and a ballet troupe along with its stage managers, tehnicians, designers, carpenters and wardrobe staff.

Between 1945 and 1985 the National Theatre staged 415 new productions with 9,200 performers to total audience of over two million. The theatre company put on 232 new productions with 5,144 performances before a total audience of over one million; the opera, 111 new productions with 2,460 performances to an audience of more than half a million; and the ballet, seventy-two new productions with 1,596 performances to 267,000.

Other large theatres include the Drama Theatre in Skopje with over a hundred on staff; the National Theatre in Bitola; the theatre company of the Theatre of the Nationalities in Skopje. This latter, with its Albanian and Turkish companies, also includes in its repertoire plays by Macedonian authors, world classics and contemporary plays. All theatres are required to stage new productions.

Among the smaller groups since World War II, the most important have been Estrada 59 (founded 1959), the Theatre of St. Nicholas the Pauper (founded in the early 70s), the Pralipe Romany Theatre and the alternative Sorrow and Consolation Theatre which both began in the 80s.

In addition to the theatres already mentioned there is also a professional Children's Theatre in Skopje and national theatres in Prilep, Strumica, Stip, Kumanovo and Titov Veles. Their premises, with the exception of the Strumica theatre, are generally old-fashioned and ill-equipped.


Risto Stefanovski


The beginnings of modern Macedonian playwriting are to be found in the mid-nineteenth century. It was then that Jordan Hadji Konstantionov - Dzinot produced for the first time plays - didactic and moralistic - in the vernacular.

The next step was taken by Macedonian emigrants in Bulgaria, where Vojdan Chernodrinski created a national liberation theatre reflecting the uprising against the Ottoman Empire. His most significant works, Macedonian Blood Wedding (1900), The Slave and Angha (1902) and Evil for Evil (1903) are imbued with both national and romantic emotions. He was also the founder of numerous theatre troupes in the period from 1894 to 1943.

Stylized theatrical productions reflecting the life of the people, dominated by folk elements, were developed between two world wars. The most popular of these were Vasil Ilijoski's Eloper (1928) and Teodos the Rich Man (1937), and Anton Panov's Migrant Workers During the 1941-4 anti-fascist war, a theatre of resistance developed, producing plays such as Hitler in His Death-Throes by M. Shulakovski and Gjore of the Five Names by Vlado Maleski.

The rapid development of post-war Macedonian theatre has been connected to the work of a considerable number of gifted playwrithes who have embraced various genres and contemporary styles. One of the most thematically and stylistically innovative is Kole Chashule (b. 1921) who began with psychological realism (A twing in the Wing, 1957) and later explored the harsh fate of the country (Darkness, 1961; Whirlpool, 1968; and Judgement, 1978). But his work also deals with more universal phenomena such as totalitarianism and dictatorship, bureaucracy and alienation (Partiture for a Miron, 1967; and As You Please, 1971).

At about the same time there also appeared the prolific playwright Tome Arsovski (b. 1928), whose works were characterized by their social commitment and diagnosis of social anomalies as they effect the fate of the individual (The Paradox of Diogenes, 1961; Hoops, 1965; and A Step into Autumn, 1969).

In contrast to Arsovski's realism, Branko Pendovski (b.1927) has cultivated tragic farce and the grotesque; the influence of the theatre of the absurd is evident in such works as Flood (1974), Travelling (1978) and Victim of the Pantheon (1985).

The work of Bogomil Gjuzel (b.1939) is marked by a preoccupation with demystifying history, revolution as a destructive social phenomenon (Alexiada, 1978; Apocalypse, 1987) and demythologizing universal myths and legends (Adam and Eve and Job, 1971).

Georgi Stalev (b.1930) has a place in contemporary Macedonian theatre together with numerous other writers who have been inspired by the rich tradition of folklore; he seeks archetypal mythic nuclei while breaking the conventional forms (The Wounded Hero, 1971; and Angelina, 1972).

The most significant contemporary Macedonian playwright is Goran Stefanovski (b.1952) who established his reputation with his very first plays, Yane Zadrogaz (1974), Proud Flesh (1979) and Flight on the Spot (1982). His subject matter is wide-ranging and complex, but he deals mainly with the Macedonian past and present, searching through its existential forms. Among his major works are Hi-fi (1982); False Bottom (1984); Black Hole (1988); and Towe of Babylon (1990).

Another author of note is Jordan Plevnesh (b.1953) who has most often dealt with Macedonia's national past and present, as in Erygon (1982), Mazedonische Zustande (1984) and R (1987).

Among still later platers, on should mention Zanina Mirchevska (b.1967), author of Shuabi Up (1989) and Dies Irae (1990); and Dejan Dukovski (b.1969), author of The Boastful Giant (1992) and The Balkans Are Not Dead (1992).

Aleksandar Aleksiev
Directors, Directing and Production Styles

A number of important theatre directors emerged in Macedonia almost immediately, after World War II, first on the stage of the Macedonian National Theatre i Skopje and the throughout the country and particularly in Bitola. Dimitar Kjostarov (b.1912) is generally regarded as the first of the modern directors. He graduated from the Theatre High School in Sofia - Bulgaria, worked for a period as an actor and in 1942, and during Bulgarian occupation, joined the Bulgarian People's Theatre in Skopje. During this period he become involved in illegal resistance activity, working for a time in agitprop section at the headquarters of the liberation army. After the war, he began lecturing at the Theatre High School (which he helped found) and later as a professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Art in Skopje. A representative of the realist school, he worked through the former Yugoslavia staging productions in Belgrade, Zagreb, Mostar and elsewhere, directing in all over a hundred productions while specializing in Russian classics and comedies by Nushic. Dimitrie Osmanli (b.1926) and Todorka Kondova (b. 1928), two other directors of note, were both trained in Belgrade. Kondova was both and actress and director, as has been the case with many other figures in the Macedonian theatre, notably Ilija Milchin (b.1918) and Krum Stojanov (b.1917). The former began his directing career with The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams; the latter with The Big Knife by Clifford Odets; Kondova with Garcia Lorca's The House Of Bernarda Alba and Osmanli with The Diary of Anne Frank. ALl but Stojanov later became professors at Skopje Faculty of Dramatic Art. Mirko Stefanovski (1921-1981) worked in the theatres in Prilep and Bitola and staged memorable productions such as Othello at the Theatre of the Nationalities in Skopje. In the 1970s, a new wave of directors emerged represented first in the work of Ljubisha Georgievski (b.1937) who, ever searching for new means of stage expression, began his career with Nushic's comedy The Deceased. Like Slobodan Unkovski (b. 1948) and Vladimir Milchin (b.1947) slightly later, Geogievski established his reputation largely on the basis of his productions of native Macedonians plays, such as Jordan Plavnesh's Erygon, Kole Chashule's Darkness and Vladimir Kostov's Mara's Weddinig. Slobodan Unkovski's approach as a director was equally impressive in the folkloric Yane Zadrogaz by Goran Unkovski at the Drama Theatre in Skopje and in his work on Corneille and Lope de Vega at the Yugoslav Drama Theatre in Belgrade, and on Arthur Kopit's Nothing in Skopje. Vladimir Milchin was partly responsible for discovery of new playwriting talents such as Blaze Minevski and Blagoj Ristevski and was a frequent guest at theatres in the Croatian cities of Varazdin, Split and Dubrovnik. Other directors of note include Branko Stavrev (b. 1939), Dimitar Stankovski (b. 1946), Kole Angelovski (b. 1943) and Naum Panovski (b. 1950).
Ivan Ivanovski

Music Theatre is an inheritance from the ancient period when, before the coming of the Slavs to Macedonia, Orphic rituals were practised. This cult, in fact, seems to have had its origins either in Thrace or Macedonia. There is a considerable amount of evidence from archaeological excavations at ancient theatres pointing to numerous Dinoysian and other ritual celebrations with a rich musical accompaniment. We are not in a position to evulate the musical or scenic influence of this in the culture of subsequent periods. Cultural discontinuity unfortunately has been a recurrent feature in Macedonia. In the Medevial period, folklore acted as a diachronic cultural bridge and it has continued to have its influence on individual artistic creativity. Medieval court theatre and musical performances differed from those in other European and non-European centres precisely because their specific folk qualities. During the period of Ottoman rule, culture developed along oral lines and song cycles were created. This process continued into the nineteenth century, the century of the Macedonian revival. A pioneering role was played here too by Jordan Hadji Konstantinov Dzinot with his school theatres incorporating patriotic songs, and also by Vojdan Chernodrinski whose dramatic texts were frequently interspersed with folk music. In the inter-war period of the twentieth century attempts to stage operas and operettas were made both by professional and amateur enthusiasts at the Skopje Theatre and through the Society of Friends of Music. There were similar endeavours elsewhere, notably in Stip where Sergei Mikhailov staged opera performances with local talent and a piano accompaniment in the absence of an orchestra. The real growth of a professional music theatre began with the formation of the Republic of Macedonia after World War II. On the initiative of Petre Bogdanov Kochko (191301988) and Todor Skalovski (b. 1909), who organized professional music groups and soloists, Cavalleria Rusticana was performed in 1994. The opera company within the Macedonian National Theatre became a state institution in 1948. The initial successes of the Skopje were linked to the name of one of the great conductors of the period, Lovro Matachic (189901985), who lived and worked in Skopje from 1948 to 1952, establishing sound foundations for the future development of music theatre and staging works by Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Gluck, Mozart and Verdi. There soon followed opera scores by local composers. The first was the opera Goce by Kiril Makedonski (1925-1984), premiered in 1954. Makedonski went on to compose the operas Czar Samoil and Ilinden while Trajko Prokopiev (1909-1979) wrote Parting and Kuzman Kapidan, and Toma Proshev (b.1931) Spider's Web and The Little Prince. The opera company has continued to enrich its repertoire which now includes most of the best-known Italian and European works, performing not merely in Skopje but also in nieghbouring cultural centres and even in smaller towns. The May Opera Evenings festival has taken place annually since 1972 with participation by local and foreign soloists, conductors and directors.

Dragoslav Ortakov

In 1948 a ballet troupe was formed in Skopje in order to meet the needs of the newly-formed opera at the National theatre and a ballet studio was opened under the leadership of Georgi Makedonski who was the first solo ballet dancer, leader of the ballet troupe, choreographer and teacher. Among those recruited to the troupe were members of the folk group at the Karposh Pioneer Centre in Skopje. They - Janka Atanasova (1935-1980), Emilija Dzipunova (b. 1936), Magdalena Janeva (b.1934), Svetlana Mavrovska, Olga Milosavleva (b. 1934), Elpida Pakovska (b.1936) and Smilka Siljanova - subsequently played a major part in the growth and development of Macedonian Ballet. In 1948 the ballet sequence from the third act of verdi's La Traviata was performed and in 1949 Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci and the Walpurgisnacht ballet from Gounod's Faust. In the course of the 1949-50 season full-lenght ballets by Asafiev, Tchaikovsky and Ravel, all choreographed by Georgi Makedonski entered the repertoire. The positive result pointed to a need for systematic training for the younger members of the troupe and in 1950 the ballet studio was transformed into a ballet high school, which is today a part of the Ilija Nikolovski - Luj Music and Ballet Teaching Centre, staffed by ballet artists and graduate teachers, most from the State Institute of Theatre Art in Moscow, Russia. The names of several distinguished ballet dancers - among them Aleksandar Dobrohotov (1903-1983), ballet-master, choreographer and teacher; and Dimitrije Parlic (1919-1986) - are also linked to the early stages of Macedonian ballet. A particular place was occupied by the eminent Russian and Yugoslav ballerina Nina Vasilieva Kirsanova (1899-1989). The first Macedonian ballet, Macedonian Tales by Gligor Smokvarski (1914-1974), was staged at the Macedonian National Theatre in 1953. Its inspiration lay in the pastoral melodies of Macedonian folk songs and dances and it was choreographed by Parlic. There followed ballets by Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart, Weber, Delibes and others. From 1956 onward larger-scale ballets such as Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, Adam's Giselle and Choin's Les Sylphides were performed. In 1958, a second Macedonian ballet received its premiere Labin and Dojrana, composed by Trajko Prokopiev with choreography by Dobrohtov and Olga Milosavleva, latter to become one of the most outstanding choreographers in Macedonia. Macedonian ballet has always been open to experts from other centres and outstanding among the names of the numerous teachers and choreographers echo have left their marks is that of Yuri Myachin, a well-known teacher from St. Petersburg, who brought the wealth of his experience to the country between 1968 and 1973. In addition to classical ballet there has also been interest i other forms of balletic expression including neo-classical, contemporary, modern and post-modern approaches. Among such have been ballets by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, de Falla and Bizet, with choreography by Vera Kostic (b.1925), Parlic and others. There have also been numerous performances of works by local composers such as Toma Proshev, Tomislav Zografski (b.1934), branko Ivankovski (b.1921), Aleksandar Lekovski (b.1933), Kiril Makedonski, Ljubomir Brabgjolica (b.1932), and Dimitrie Buzarovski (b.1952). There have also been multi-media projects such as Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with choreography by D. Boldin (b.1930) who also choreographed Pink Floyd; To the Unknown with music by Vabgekis, choreographed by Dushka Gradishki (b.1966) and directed by Vladimir Milchin; and Mansard, music by Zlatko Orgijanski, choreographed by Jagoda Slaneva (b.1949) and directed by Branko Brezovec (b.1955)
Emilija Dzipunova

The first modern performance of a puppet play in Macedonia was Siljan the Stork in 1946, based on a story by Marko Cepenkov (1829-1920) and dramatized by Petre Prlichko. Written in Macedonian, it owned much to work of Svetlana Malahova (b.1919) who together with Prlichko founded the first professional puppet theatre in the country. The fact is, most professional theatres in Macedonia have at some time or other in their development experimented with puppet stages. One such theatre in Skopje developed into the Youth Drama Theatre (later the Drama Theatre ) and gave puppet performance on a regular basis. In 1990, The Monsters from Our Town by Rusomir Bogdanovski (b. 1948) and directed by Nikola Angelovski marked the opening of the Children's Theatre in Skopje. The Opera and ballet have also included productions with young audience in mind such as Benjamin Britten's The Little Sweep and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. There are also children's drama departments attached to both radio and television stations.

Risto Stefanovski

In plays, operas and ballet performances immediately after World War II, illustrative or narrative set design was dominant. Stage sets by Vasilije Popovic- Cico (1914-1962) and Tomo Vladimirski (1904-1971) were characteristic of this period and gave and obvious "realism" to the actors' performances. The appearances of designer Branko Kostovski (b. 1924) introduced a more profound significance to Macedonian design. Kostovski used predominantly natural materials, giving them maximum functionality. Using semiotics, he writes his own plays in space, as illustrated in his designs for The Wall, the Water and Kagaroo Jump. In the 80s, designs have become more complex both notionally and aesthetically while incorporating experience from the other arts. The material used continues to be primarily natural. The designs by Krste Dzidrov and Vladimir Georgievski have been the most significant of these. Macedonian costume design is a relatively young branch of applied art. It began on a professional level in the mid-1950s when the first trained personnel began to appear, including Rada Petrova (b.1930) and Jelena Patrnogic (b.1932). This circle has widened to include Georgi Zdravev (b.1941), Elena Doncheva (b.1942), Lira Grabul and Meri Georgievska-Jovanovska. Before them, personnel from other theatres in Yugoslavia we regularly engaged for productions at the Macedonian National Theatre. The first costume designer in Macedonia was Sotir Naumovski (1919-1987), who worked for more than thirty years in the Bitola theatre and in theatres througout Macedonia. His first major project was Risto Krle's Antica in 1950.

Vladimir Georgievski, Ivan Ivanovski

The most architecturally significant theatres in Macedonia are modern in style and date from end of the 1970s. These include the Macedonian National Theatre, the Drama Theatre and the Theatre of Nationalities in Skopje. All three are proscenium stages. The main auditorium of the National theatre has seating for 860 and stage of 2,000 square meters with a proscenium 16 by 22 meters and with a rear and two lateral stages. The main stage is composed of four "wagon" platforms 5 by 15 meters each. The first can be lowered below stage level. The National theatre also contains a studio theatre with a seating capacity of about 200 . There are as well dressing rooms for more than 200 performers, large workshops and ballet studios. The Drama Theatre is a prefabricated building donated by the former German Democratic Republic after the catastrophic earthquake of 1963. It has fixed lighting banks and scene changes are made by classical flies. Other theatres in Macedonia are part of cultural centres build at various times since the end of World War II. The theatres in Kumanovo, Stip, Strumica, Prilep and Bitola thus have multi-purpose concepts. A number of theatre performances are given in the open air. Historic cities are used for this purpose: Samuil's Fortress in Ohrid and ancient theatres Heraclea, Stobi and Ohrid. Performances have also been given in the cout yards of old churches such as the cathedral of St. Sofia in Ohrid. New spaces in non-theatrical venues exist as well, while some alternative theatres are even making use of basements in new buildings.

Vladimir Georgievski

Because of the lack of national educational establishments and independence after World War II, the training of theatre personal was done on a personal and individual basis. As well, certain theatrical troupes attempted to train people to meet company needs. In this way, as early as 1904, Vojdan Chernodrinski, one of the key figures in the modern Macedonian theatre, began to pay for training of talented young Macedonians in institutions in Bulgaria where his own Macedonian theatre was then active. In the inter-war period several Macedonians studied acting and directing in Sofia. The main source of new artists, however, continued to be the numerous amateur or travelling companies which gave their members mastery of the craft through practical experience. Of particular importance was the contribution of the Bohemian travelling theatre, formed by Petre Prlichko, the doyen of Macedonian acting, in 1932. The situation was radically altered with the formation of a Theatre High School in Skopje in 1947. When it began the school had only a single department - acting. As professional theatres began to bestablished in virtually all the major Macedonian towns, though, the need for trained actors increased, while directors, playwrights and others specialists were educated in Yugoslav universities. In 1969, a Faculty of Dramatic Arts was established as a part of Skopje University. Tiday it has departments of acting, theatre and film direction, playwriting, camera work, montage and management. The teaching staff consists of some of the most eminent Macedonian directors, playwrights, theatre historians and other specialists. Costume design is studied at the Faculty of Fine Art and stage design at the Faculty of Architecture. There are about eighty students a year at the Drama Faculty. Graduate students frequently organize alternative theatre events which add enormously to the theatrical life of Macedonia, and many go on to find work in professional theatres, film, radio and television.
Aleksandar Aleksiev

Theatre criticism appeared in a rudimentary form at the beginning of the twentieth century in the pages of the Macedonian emigrant presides in Bulgaria, linked to the activities of Vojdan Chernodrinski's original Sorrow and Consolation Theatre as well as his Macedonian Capital and Ilinden Theatres. Also written about were Hristov's Freedom Theatre and Petrov's Macedonian Revolutionary Theatre. Between the two world wars the most important theatre critic was Jovan Kostovski (1907-1981) who, from 1937, regularly followed theatre life in Macedonia in the pages of the Vardar newspaper which was published in Skopje. His critical writings have been collected in the volume Works and Performances (Kultura, Skopje -1973). Since World War II the most significant critics and reviewers have been Jovan Boshkovski (1920-1968), Ivan Mazov(1923-1977), Mateja Matevski(b.1929), Aleksandar Aleksiev (b.1929), Ivan Ivanovski (b.1930) and Petre Bakevski (b.1947). Their criticism has been published in the Nova Makedonija and Vecer daily newspapers and in the journals Razgledi (Views), Kulturen zivot (Cultural life) and Sovremenost (Contemporary). Some theatre criticism immediately after the war, typified by Dimitar Mitrev (1919-1976), was based on the ideas of socialist-realism as imported from the Sovie Union, while after the 50s Macedonian theatre criticism was characterized by an aesthetic pluralism which went with an abandonment of the Stanislavski system in theatre education and production. Theatre studies have developed in Macedonia hand in hand with critical writing. Their first task has been to reconstruct the beginnings and subsequent development of the theatre in Macedonia, to reveal and evulate the dramatic works and activity of the past and to establish a vital and direct contact between tradition and the present moment. In so doing they have uncovered the paradox that while Macedonian theatre developed under extremely unfavourable conditions, it has been a dominant cultural form in the country since the end of the nineteenth century. Major studies include Aleksandar Aleksiev's Founders of Macedonian Drama (1972); Ljubisha Georgievski's World Dream (1979) and Ontology of the Theatre (1985); Blagoja Ivanov's Contemporary Drama and Theatre in Macedonia, a collection of writings in Serbian (1982); Ivan Ivanovski's On Its Own Soil (1983); Rade Silijan's Macedonian Drama, the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, a collection of writings (1900); and 100 Years of Macedonian Drama, an anthology of plays (1992) and Risto Stefanovski's The Theatre in Macedonia (1990). The first specialized periodical, Teatar (Theatre), appeared in 1952, published by the Macedonian National theatre. The journal Teatarski glasnik (Theatre Courier) edited by Risto Stefanovski, has been appearing since 1977. Theatre criticism is regularly published in the magazines Sovremenost and Kulturen zivot. Plays are published by a variety of publishers as there is no specialist drama publishing house.
Aleksandar Aleksiev
Translated by Margaret Reid and Graham W. Reid
Further Reading

Aleksiev, Aleksandar - Founders of Macedonian Drama - Skopje: Misla, 1972

Georgievski, Ljubisha - World Dream - Skopje: Studentski zbor, 1979

Georgievski, Ljubisha- Ontology of the Theatre - Skopje: Misla, 1985

Hecimovic, Branko - Suvremene makedonske drame [Contemporary Macedonian Drama ] - Zagreb: Znanje, 1982

Ivanov, Blagoja - Savremena drama i pozoriste u Makedoniji [ Contemporary drama and theatre in Macedonia] - Novi Sad: Sterijino pozoriste, 1982

Ivanovski, Ivan - On Its Own Soil - Skopje: Kultura, 1983

Siljan, Rade - Macedonian Drama: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Skopje: Makedonska kniga, 1990

Siljan, Rade - 100 Years of Macedonian Drama - Skopje: Matica Makedonska,1992

Stefanovski, Risto - The Theatre in Macedonia - Skopje : Misla ,1990