The Youth Theater was founded in 1932 as a Puppet Theater, as part of “Sokolsko Drustvo” – public association in Novi Sad. The theater developed from the association’s section of puppeteers, which was founded in 1930, with the great support of Sokol’s Elders Dr Vladimir Belajcic and Dr Ignjat Pavlas.
Dr Lazar Dragic, later the first head of the Puppet Theater, was first sent to Ljubljana, Slovenia for a puppet course. The first big, movable stage, the very first 11 puppets and the play to be performed – all arrived from Ljubljana. The stage was mounted in the building of “Matica srpska”, the rehearsals were held in the rooms of “Sokolsko Drustvo” and the first performance “The Prince from the Underworld” was performed with great excitement.
The Puppet Theatre got its own building in 1936, the memorial house “King Alexander I”, a magnificent and modern building designed by renowned architect Djordje Tabakovic. The hall had 166 seats and a new stage.
During the Second World War, the Theater did not work and suffered great damage – puppets, stage sets and costumes were destroyed or stolen.
It opened under the name of the Vojvodina Puppet Theater immediately after the end of the war, but with great difficulty when Zarko Vasiljevic, the head of Vojvodina’s National Theater at that time, came to aid. There was a change of name to the City Puppet Theater, then the Puppet Theater when finally in 1968 the theater got its present name.
The Youth Theater is the first puppet theater in Serbia and Vojvodina.
Evening stage, later named Drama stage, started to run in 1991. Since then there are two stages at the Youth Theater: Children’s Stage and Drama Stage.
For more than eight decades the Theatre has staged more than 300 titles, performed over 20,000 plays that have been seen by nearly 3 million people.
For its work, the Youth Theater has received numerous awards and prizes in domestic, regional and republic as well as international competitions and festivals.