Maja Milatovic-Ovadia, BA, MA | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Maja Milatovic-Ovadia, BA, MA

Project Title

The affective potential of the dramatic genre of comedy in applied theatre practice to support the process of reconciliation in a post-war society.


Dr Duška Radosavljević and Dr Amanda Stuart-Fisher


This practice-as-research explores new points of departure in using comedy in applied theatre practice in the sites that suffer crises and conflict. I am focusing on the social use of performance as a possible tool in the process of reconciliation in Bosnia & Herzegovina and exploring how using comedy in the creative process could be beneficial, especially in the society where there is a strong disagreement over the conflict’s narrative. By combining insight from social science and theatre studies, this research will address the issues of memory and cultural taboos, within the context of global theatrical discourse and with a focus on the contemporary post-war Balkan situation. Discourse on humour, applied theatre and reconciliation as well as ethics of care will form a theoretical framework for this exploration.


I am a freelance theatre director, drama lecturer and PhD researcher at Royal School of Speech and Drama. My research interest includes the use of humour and comedy within applied theatre practice in post war societies.

I studied Directing at the University of Belgrade (BA) and Royal School of Speech and Drama (MA) and further trained at the Nationl Theatre Studio in London, Directors Lab West in Los Angeles and with Riminy Protocol at the International Festival of Alternative Theatre in Riga.

I’ve directed and devised over thirty productions for the principal national theatres of Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia as well as for various fringe venues in the UK. My practice as a director is wide-ranging and has included devised work, opera, new writing and adaptations of classical texts.

Previously I was associate director of NADA (New Writing Project) at the National Theatre in Belgrade for five years and associate director at Blue Elephant Theatre for the Balkan Art Season. I was invited to participate at National-International workshops, at the National Theatre Studio, London; a program of workshops with directors and playwrights from the UK and Serbia. From 2009 I work as advisor, facilitator and director for Most Mira charity organization that is using art to support the process of reconciliation in Bosnia and Hercegovina.

Since 2014 I have thought and convened courses in theatre-making and directing at University of Kent and Central.

I was recipient of A. G. Leventis Foundation Scholarship for MA and Hugo Klajn Award. 


2012- current, Advisor, Theatre Projects, Most Mira, Bosnia & Herzegovina/UK.
2017, Facilitator/Director, Moustaches, Prijedor Theatre & tour, Bosnia & Herzegovina
2017, Director, Found in Translation, Dot Collective, UK tour of care homes.
2016, Facilitator/Director, Day of and Unlucky Man, Prijedor Theatre &tour, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
2015, Director, (Un)Decorated, SCC, RSCCD, London.
2014, Facilitator/Director, Foul’s Stories, Prejdor theatre & tour of primary schools, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
2013, Facilitator/Director, Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Prijedor theatre & tour of primary schools.
2012, Director, Insaine, Boii Theatre, Tête à Tête: Opera Festival, London.
2012, Director, On Misanthrope, First Draft Production, Etcetera Theatre, London.
2011, Facilitator/Director, Hypochondriac, Migrants and Refugee Community Centre -The Forum, London.
2011, Director, Woman Bomb, Just a Must, Tristan Baits, London.
2011, Director, Moonflower, Boii Theatre, Tête à Tête: Opera Festival, London.
2011, Director, Red Black and Ignorant, Edward Bond Season, London. 
2011, Facilitator/Director, Those Three and Me, Green Shoes Art, Dagenham.
2009, Director, Product Medea, The Cock Tavern Theatre & Roundhouse.
2008, Director, Gagarin Way, BITEF theatre, Belgrade.
2007, Director, Fall on Betl, National Thetare, Montenegro.
2007- 2011 Project Coordinator/Director, International Youth Art Festival, Most Mira, Bosnia & Herzegovina/UK



2017, Course Convener, School of Art, University of Kent. 
2014 – Present, Drama Lecturer Assistant, School of Art, University of Kent.
2017, BA Tutor, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.


Conference Presentations

2015. ‘Applied Theatre and reconciliation in the post war Bosnia and Herzegovina’, I too, remember dust’: Peacebuilding, Politics & the Arts Conference at University of Winchester.
2014. ‘Applied Theatre and Comedy’, Comedy and Society Conference, University of Hull.
2014. ‘Hero or Villain? The story of a white t-shirt’, TAPRA Conference, Royal Holloway University.
2014. ‘Questions on engaging performance in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Art, Peace and Conflict Conference, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Liverpool Hope University. 

Key Publications

2016. ‘Theatre and Reconciliation: The Day of an Unlucky Man’ in Journal of Arts & Communities.
2015. ‘Fighting Medusa’ in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.