The roots of the Serbian National Theatre reach back to 1861, when the decision to found the Serbian National Theatre was made. Novi Sad became the cradle of Serbian theatre, and was with good reason named the “Serbian Athens. The theatre’s actors were also cultural missionaries, who had a fundamental influence on the cultural identity and conscience of the nation. The principal aims of the Serbian National Theatre are to promote and preserve the national and international theatrical and cultural heritage, and to present the most valuable contemporary creative practice. It therefore stages large, ambitious productions. The Serbian National Theatre has represented Serbian culture throughout the country – having played in more than 300 venues with around a thousand performances – and abroad. The theatre has presented its work – and gained many awards at the main festivals in Serbia, and also at many European festivals. The Serbian National Theatre is a member of the European Theatre Convention, a theatrical association of 32 European theatres. At the same time, it is one of the initiators and co-founders of the international theatre festival Theatre Without Frontiers.