International theatre festival, one of a kind in Serbia, presents contemporary world productions of William Shakespeare’s plays.
It is held annually, in June / July, in the beautiful setting of a castle on the Danube bank in Čortanovci (a village in Serbia in the Municipality of Indjija, the Province of Vojvodina) – in Villa Stanković, one of the most picturesque summer residencies in Serbia, modelled after medieval castles in Lombardy.
The main idea of the festival is to treasure the work of the world’s preeminent dramatist by presenting attractive theatre programme under the open sky, as it was done in Shakespeare’s times. Besides the main programme, the side programme presents a wide range of multimedia and educational contents.
The festival was founded in 2014, on the initiative of Nikita Milivojević, one of the most important Serbian theatre directors, after the premiere of his performance of „Henry VI” in The Globe theatre in London in May 2012.
The organizer of Itaka Shakespeare Festival in Serbia is Itaka Art Centre in Indjija.
The first Shakespeare festival was a huge success. “Beta” agency listed Shakespeare festival among the top 10 cultural events in 2014.
In 2015, the festival becomes a part of the European Shakespeare Festival Network. In the same year, the festival had its own first production (William Shakespeare, Pericles, directed by Nikita Milivojević) with which he won 15 awards at theater festivals in Serbia and the region.
In 2016, the festival was opened by Shakespeare's Globe from London with the play "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" and a letter from one of the most important directors of the 20th century Peter Brook addressed to the festival.
In 2019, by the decision of an international jury of the European Festival Association, Shakespeare Festival was recongnized as one of the outstanding art festivals of Europe - EFFE Label 2019/2020.
The past seven Shakespeare festivals (2014 - 2020) presented to the public in Serbia many important theaters from all around the world: Shakespeare’s Globe (London, UK), Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre (Tbilisi, Georgia), Ljubljana City Theatre (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Belarus Free Theatre (London, UK), Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio (Hong Kong, China), National Theatre (Belgrade, Serbia), Théâtre National de Nice (Nice, France), Catatonia Theatre Group (Tehran, Iran), Parabolla (London, UK), C for Circus (Athens, Greece), Maria Joao Ogre (Lisbon, Portugal), The Company Theatre (Mumbai, India), Dreams Come True (Genève, Switzerland), Zagreb Youth Theater (Zagreb, Croatia) ...