Vojvodina Slovaks date the beginings of their theatre life since the year of 1866. That same year the theatricals from Báčsky Petrovec represented their work with a play of the author August Kotzelbu called Starý vozka Petra III. Even thou this date is admitted as the beginning of the Vojvodina Slovaks theater activity, their interest was shown sooner. Since that year when they started to work on the expansion of the theatre life, it became of a great meaning to all Slovaks living in Vojvodina. It has not been only a way of artistic expression, but it had a greater connotation. It arose out of the kontext of romaniticsm Štúrovcov (they established the codification of the Slovak language which is spoken today). Despite of all mentioned, the role of national builder which has done its best to cherish the love for Slovak language and Slovak culture can not be neglected.

Theatre play called "Záveje" 1990

The organizator of the first play was Jozef Viktor Rohoň (1845 – 1923). Back than when the plays were mosty produced by the Slovak authors a new playwriter was discovered, his name was Félix Kutlík (1843 – 1890). He was an evangelistic chaplain, later parson in Silbaš and Kulpín. His play came to life in the year 1872 which was called Stratený syn (The lost son) and it was played by the amateurs from Bačsky Petrovec. For a long time only Báčsky Petrovec was a village which has had systematic rehearsals and plays which were put on an act. Later in the begining of the 20th century the Slovak theatre arose in other Slovak villages in Vojvodina: Boľovce 1900, Báčska Palanka 1902, Stará Pazova 1903, Kulpín 1904, Nový Sad, Kysáč, 1905, Silbaš, Laliť, Pivnica 1906, Selenča 1911, Hložany 1912, Ilok a Kovačica 1914, Aradáč 1918, Padina 1919, later, after the world war one, the theatrical life started with its activity also in Erdevík, Vojlovica, later on in Lug, Biele Blato etc.


In the beginning of the 20th century, Báčsky Petrovec had an evangelistic chaplain who was also a meaningful playwriter, Jozef Hollý (1879 – 1912), whose play called Kubo is still in present day one of the favourites. The era between two world wars was marked by doings of Vladimír Hurban Vladimírov VHV (1884 – 1950) who was the evagelistic priest in Stará Pazova. Hurban was under influence of the Europe modern style (he studied in Wien).

Theatre play called "Červený kríž", VHV

Thanks to his new elements which he used in his drama palys, the theatre scene of Vojvodina Slovaks got tinge with a better collision. This enriched the Slovak theatrical production in Vojvodina in general. This was the time when the theatricals from Kysáč have had their first trip to Slovakia with a drama called Zem (Earth) of the producer Ján Podhradský in the year of 1938, they visited Slovenské národné divadlo in Bratislava and many others. It was the first trip which resulted with many partnerships.

Theatre play of Miroslav Benka, SVD

Between the two world wars many plays written by VHV were staged in Slovakia. Also two librettos called Trenčiansky Matúš a Mataj were set to music by Jozef Rosinský (1897 – 1973) and these operas were played in Bratislava in SND and in Nitra (Slovak Republic).

After the world war two many changes took place. Back in that time many new names were meaningful when it comes to theatrical scene, like Ján Kopčok, Janko Čeman etc. In second half of the 20th century the first aim which became artistic was remarcable. Names which occur in this conception of theatrical works are: Andrej Privratský in Báčsky Petrovec, Peter Lazár and Juraj Ondrík from Stará Pazova.


In the 70's and 80's Slovak theatricals participated nine times on the Festival for theatricals of Yugoslavia which was held in Trebinj. Beside already mentioned festival, Slovak theatricals have been attending many other festivals. The most meaningful names that are of great importance for the professional theatre are Miroslav Benka from Stará Pazova, Ľuboslav Majera and Ján Makan from Báčsky Petrovec and the amateur producer Tomáš Hriešik and the actress Anna Tomanová – Makanová from Kovačica.

Later on there have been many other professional producers for example from Petrovec Ivan Hansman Jesenský, Ján Čáni, Vladislava Feketeová, Miroslav Chlpka, film producers from Kovačica, Stanislav Sládeček, producer and playwriter from Nový Sad Maja Hriešiková, professional actors Gabriela Dudková from Nový Sad, Anna Pixiadesová from Stará Pazova, Miroslav Fábry from Čelárevo, Andrea Vozárová from Kysáč, puppet actresses Miroslava Dudková from Nový Sad and Milina Heverová-Chrťanová from Kysáč, scene artist Mária Havranová from Kovačica etc. Every single person has contributed with their work and talent to the quality level of the theatrical life of Slovakas in Vojvodina.

DIDA 2011 Bulletin

Since the 80's there have been many new amateur producers who were trained and passed many courses which were organized in Serbia and Slovakia. They also brought in their own way a new kind of thinking and practice in the theatrical methods. Their names have a meaning of its own when it comes to progress in the theatre: Alexander Bako from Stará Pazova, Fedor Popov from Padina, Ján Privizer from Kysáč, Ján Kmeťko, Ján Salčák and Zvonimir Pudelka from Pivnica, Ján Chalupka from Kulpín, Ján Hrubík from Aradáč who in nowadays is well known playwriter.

Thanks to the theatrical quality level which is rated highly, there are many competitions like Prehliadka slovenských ochotníckych divadelných súborov Vojvodiny which can air itself with 40 years of tradition. Ofcourse it does not stop there. Because of the rich repertoar many Slovak amateur theatres in Vojvodina there are many other competitions like DIDA which is being held in Pivnica, Competition of children plays, also there are a few which are named after a personalities who with their work made a visible difference. Playwriters that have acomplished a sucess are Ján Kopčok, Janko Čeman, Miroslav Demák, Juraj Ondrík, Juraj Tušiak, Anna Nemogová-Kollárová, Zoroslav Spevák-Jesenský, Juraj Madacký also many others whose plays have been recognized by a meaningful adepts: Ján Hrubík from Aradáč, Michal Cinkotský and Vladimír Marušić from Silbaš, Elena Valentíková from Pivnice etc.

The graduates of professional acting school called "Herecké štúdio"

When it comes to music dramatic arts, there are also many people who have made their way to success. One of them is Rastislav Varga (balet soloist of the Serbian nacional theatre in Nový Sad) and a conductor Juraj Ferík. In the year of 2003, there has been established a Slovak professional theatre called Slovenské vojvodinské divadlo in Báčsky Petrovec. The most talented actors from all over Vojvodina have graduated from a proffesional acting school. After accomplishing many succesful plays the SVD has got an accountable number of prizes like Grand Prix in Teheran, prize for the art component on the festival in Cairo and many others. All achievements that the theatre of Vojvodina Slovaks can be proud of are only a result of its importance in the sphere of Slovak culture in Vojvodina.


                                                                                                                                                                                                            Michal Babiak