DIS Theater: Where Dreams Are Born

Cover photo, DIS Theater

DIS Theater for young actors was founded in Banja Luka 32 years ago. Today, they have more than 40 active members, and their premieres and first reruns are almost always sold out.

The most common themes of their plays are love, rebellion, and society from a young person’s perspective. The theater strives for its performances to also have a comedic character. They rarely deal with original works, preferring instead to find inspiration in them.

Anja Banjac is a young actress at the DIS Theater. Every play in which she has performed or watched is special to her in its own way, carrying its own charm and message, while often being  filled with anecdotes. DIS primarily produces plays for children.  It involves them in the story, acquaints them with the main characters, and provides them with the opportunity to help find a solution to the plays’ dilemmas.  On such occasions, the young audience receives answers and solutions, and after the performances, as Anja emphasizes, all these ‘gems’ become internal jokes that they fondly recall.

Anja explains the creative process from conceptual idea to premiere, including what happens if, initially, there is not a concrete idea.  “It starts with a meeting if the idea doesn’t exist yet, and with auditions if the idea is already developed. After that, there are reading rehearsals and role assignments, discussions about the script, resolving uncertainties, and fantasizing, followed by work on the stage,“ says  Anja. The last phase is the technical rehearsal, then the dress rehearsal, and the product of the entire process is the premiere performance.

Dis Youth Theater is an independent theater located in the Banja Luka Youth Center. It was founded in 1991. Photo: DIS theater

The DIS Theater has established collaboration with almost all youth theaters in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as beyond. They have co-produced plays with theater houses from Slovenia and Serbia, and have successfully collaborated with the youth theater in Zagreb. They also collaborate with the Vitez Youth Theater (Bosnia), as a result of which its actors performed a play titled “Comedy about Growing Up” at the Youth Academy “State of Peace”, which was  organized by the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Post-Conflict Research Center in Sarajevo. They also organize the Youth Festival of Amateur Theaters with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republika Srpska.

“In the Balkans, the DIS Youth Theater ranks among the top three youth theaters,” adds Anja.

In comparison to other forms of artistic expression, Anja believes that the advantage of theater is that it is a “living thing” and as such offers the freedom to express opinions, ideas, and emotions in an interactive manner. “It allows direct contact with the audience and creates a collective feeling,” emphasizes the young actress.

Since the establishment of this theater, more than 100 premiere performances of plays have been held. Photo: DIS theater

Describing the theatrical dynamics among its members, she depicts a great wave of emotion and energy that carries the entire performance, while mutual understanding, acceptance, and support enable a successful collaboration.

Anja finishes by inviting all those who have a love for theatrical art to join the DIS Theater.  For her, the theater is a magical place where dreams are born, imagination comes to life, and where dedication leads to discovering something new every day.

“Start living, listening, and understanding yourself and the world around you because once you become part of the theatrical magic, it forever becomes a part of you,” concludes Anja.

Dunja Rujević is a trained Balkan Diskurs youth correspondent from Banja Luka. She graduated from the Medical High School. She gained her first journalistic experience at eTrafika, where she worked as a volunteer journalist.

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Winner of the Intercultural Achievement Recognition Award by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs

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