Serbian puppet theatre director. Marija Kolundžić was associated with theatre since her childhood through her brother Josip, a playwright and major theatre/opera director in Serbia and Yugoslavia of the time. After graduating in German Studies from the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, she taught German at the high school level in Sremski Karlovci until 1950, when she became director and artistic manager of the Belgrade Marionette Theatre, mostly using string puppetry. On April 20, 1986 she launched a successful reconstruction of the 19th century performance Kuku Todore (Alas! Theodore) by a travelling puppeteer Ilija Božić, considered to be the first Serbian puppeteer. The character Todore was a Serbian version of the British Mr Punch and the Russian Petrushka.
Marija Kolundžić directed puppet plays in Zagreb, Novi Sad, Niš, Zrenjanin, Osijek, and Split. She was a recurrent guest artist at the Gulliver Puppet Theatre in Warsaw. Her book, Moj život s lutkom (My Life With the Puppet, 1988) came out at the time of the Biennale of Yugoslav Puppetry in Bugojno, 1988. She also published Uvod u istoriju svetskog lutkarstva (A Review of the History of World Puppetry), Subotica, 1997, as a limited author’s edition. Her extensive collection of puppets and literature on Yugoslav puppetry was lost during the Civil War in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991-1994.
Marija Kolundžić was a distinguished member and representative of Yugoslavia’s UNIMA organization.
- Kolundžić, Marija. Moj život s lutkom [My Life With the Puppet]. Sarajevo: Poslovna zajednica profesionalnih pozorišta Bosne i Hercegovine [Business Community of Professional Theatres of Bosnia and Herzegovina], 1988.
- Kolundžić, Marija. Pogled u istoriju svetskog lutkarstva [A Review of the History of World Puppetry]. Subotica: [Self-published by the author], 1997.
- Kolundžić, Marija. Uvod u istoriju svetskog lutkarstva [Review of the History of World Puppetry]. Subotica, 1997. (A limited author’s edition)