Year of foundation of the theater2010
Place:Vienna, Austria
Leader of the theater: Simonida Selimović
Main artists:Simonida Selimović - actress, leader of the theater

Sandra Selimović - actress, director
“The power of the theater is evoked: the magic of the performance, which signals: Look here, here I am, a Romni, on a theater stage. Who would have thought that! The voice of the Romni is heard! Let's roll. The beat sloshes into the audience, it throws back waves of applause from the scene.”

- Christian Rakow, theater critic, in Nachtkritik

About the theater

In 2010, Simonida and Sandra Selimović founded a revolutionary Roma theater that addresses the need to be accepted into society instead of being integrated into society. It is a prime example for any minority group. As you grapple with the issues of phobia against the Roma and Sinti, sexism, racism and the fight against prejudice, stereotypes transform into real people and bring the activist heart to the place that is for the world can bring about the necessary change: in mainstream society. 

The two sisters' theater projects question and successfully answer their own path within the traditional and patriarchal structure of the Roma community by honoring and protecting their origins and roots at the same time in an untraditional way.

The group uses plays, rap, performances, "invisible theater" and public performances to empower the Roma and Sinti, women and other minorities wherever they appear.


Roma Armee won nomination for Der Faust Award  

Roma Armee won nomination at Theatertreffen

Main productions

Ibrahim Amir, Simonida Selimović: Bibi Sara Kali (Bibi Sara Kali)
*online premier*
D.: Nina Kusturica

Bibi Sara Kali is the mighty patroness of the Roma, protector, companion, Rome*nja Wonder Woman. Her cult is celebrated by the Roma worldwide in regional variations.
In the Balkans, Bibijako Djive, the “Aunt's Day”, is dedicated to her. Jelena wanted to go to Bibijako Djive one last time, so she got on the bus from Vienna-Erdberg to Boljevac, her hometown in Serbia. She celebrates there and she dies there.

Romano Svato Organization, Werk X-Petersplatz (Romano Svato, Werk X-Petersplatz)
Romflix Stream

Forget-me-not Festival on Occasion of the 80th Anniversary of Austria's Union to Nazi-Germany In 1938 and in Memory of the Victims*
(E Bistarde- Vergissmeinnicht - Festival Anlässlich Des 80. Jahrestages Des Anschlusses Österreichs An Nazi-deutschland 1938 Und Zum Gedenken An Die Opfer)

The annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938 also marks the beginning of the persecution of the Roma and Sinti in Austria. Concentration camps, slave laborers and death marches were part of the districts on the other side of the Danube. During the Nazi regime, all possessions were taken away from those affected. In the 1960s the city of Vienna again expropriated the Roma from property rights.
This festival sees itself, on the one hand, as a temporary memorial, and a step on the way to a permanent memorial. It is also a place of self-representation that creates a basis for political participation and the development of common visions for the future.

Romano Svato Organization (Romano Svato)
Vienna, Austria

Yael Ronen and the Ensemble: Roma Armee (Roma Armee)
D: Yael Ronen

At a time when Europe is at risk of drifting into neo-fascism, a group of actors is calling for a Roma army for the purpose of self-defense. It is a rapid intervention force to fight structural discrimination, racism and anti-ziganism, but also a form of liberation from their internalized role of victims. The actors are Romnija, Roma and Romani travelers from Austria, Serbia, Germany, Kosovo, Romania, England and Sweden. They are also Israeli-German-Turkish-Berlin Gadjé – that means that the Roma Army is supranational, diverse, feminist and queer. Initiated by the sisters Simonida and Sandra Selimović, they are entering the stage at the Gorki in a collective act of self-empowering artistic action with resident director Yael Ronen: through a joint research process, personal experiences, historical contaminations, and contemporary incidents are explored and used to develop a play. Together with visual artists Delaine and Damian Le Bas from England, they sketch out a vision for a Safe European Home in Gypsyland Europe, as Damian Le Bas calls it.

Romano Svato Organization, Maxim Gorki Theater (Romano Svato, Maxim Gorki Theater)
Berlin, Germany

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Guest performances

Mindj Panther (Mindj Panther)
Theater Dortmund (Schauspielhaus Dortmund)
Dortmund, Germany

Romano Svato, Marianne Strauhs: Heroes (Heroes)
Djelem Djelem - the Roma Culture Festival Dortmund
Djelem Djelem - das Roma - Kulturfestival Dortmund)
Dortmund, Germany

Yael Ronen and the Ensemble: Roma Armee
Roma Armee)
Rome, Italy


The Royal Dramatic Theater (Dramaten)
Stockholm, Sweden

photo credits

All rights reserved

 1: ©Marie Zahir_Bibi Sara Kali

2: ©Nihad Nino Pušija_Forever Holiday

3: ©Drago Palavra_ Mindj Panther

4: ©Drago Palavra_ Mindj Panther

5: ©Romano Svato_Heroes