AWAKENED: 11 ½ Old Women

Intimate and honest confrontation with aging stereotypes.

The play “AWAKENED: 11 ½ Old Women,” directed by Branka Bajić Jovanov, brings together women over 65 who, after a six-month dramatic process and exploration, bravely speak out about the challenges of aging, the stereotypes they face, and the discrimination experienced as older women.

Key parts of this performance showcase the intimate introspection of the performers regarding the aging process, particularly focusing on two significant life transitions: the transition from active working life to retirement and coping with the loss of a loved one.

Using various methods and techniques of applied theater, the performance includes specially designed segments for interaction with the audience, allowing active participation and engagement, thereby fostering a deeper connection with issues concerning the older population.

The innovation and uniqueness of this project and performance lie not only in initiating the first artistically engaged theater process in Serbia specifically designed for older individuals but also in the artistic methodological approach to the themes of old age and aging. It’s a kind of Community Theater for the older persons, with a focus on women who voluntarily joined this process through a public call.

Alongside Branka Bajić Jovanov, the author and director of the play, the collaborator on the text and direction is Lazar Jovanov. The cast includes: Mirjana Milankov, Svetlana Selaković, Stanka Parać Damjanović, Natalija Marinković, Slavica Stracenski, Jasna Kartalović, Milena Marinković, Ljubica Jankov, Milka Dmitrasinovic, Dragica Letić, Vera Erdevik.

The play is Branka Bajić Jovanov’s doctoral artistic work, a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Ivan Pravdić. Branka Bajić Jovanov is an independent drama artist – actress and drama pedagogue. As a theater practitioner and actress, she has created and realized numerous artistic and educational projects for children, youth, older population, as well as a large number of professional theater productions both domestically and internationally during her 20-year career. In recent years, she has been actively developing socially engaged theater practices with the community, and as a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Arts Novi Sad, she primarily researches and writes about the anthropology of aging and old age, using various methods and techniques of applied theater.

The project is supported by the City Administration for Culture of the City of Novi Sad, produced by the Association Artichoke. Special support was provided by the Cultural Center of Novi Sad and the company Medenjak plus NS.”