Vasil Iljoski

Vasil Iljoski
1902 – 1995

Vasil Iljoski (Krusevo, December 20, 1902 – Skopje, November 1, 1995) – Macedonian playwright, essayist, literary critic and historian, a prominent academic and pedagogical worker. After the Ilinden Uprising in 1903, looking for work and better living conditions for his father, he went to Kumanovo. A dozen years later, the family moved to Kumanovo.

He is one of the founders of the Macedonian dramatic literature and is credited as author of the first dramatic work in Macedonian language. He graduated from the Faculty. Vasil Iljoski began writing plays while a high school student and designed his one-act plays. He has written plays in Macedonian, Krusevo and Kumanovo dialect, demonstrating thereby colorful and unique nature of the Macedonian language.

Sometime in the second half of the thirties, Vasil Iljoski began to work on his serious dramatic work entitled “Refugee” (later renamed as “Runaway”). This typical domestic social drama consisted of five acts and premiered June 16, 1928 under the name “Lence Kumanovce.” Staged in Kumanovo dialect, the play provoked great interest among the audience.

However, after the intervention by the Government, “Lence Kumanovce” was soon taken of the repertory of the Skopje theater, and in the attempt to promote the Macedonian language through drama texts, the government punished Vasil Iljoski by expelling him from his service at the High School in Kumanovo, where he had been employed as a teacher after finishing the Faculty of Philosophy.

During this time, to avoid problems with the authorities, Vasil Iljoski wrote in the Serbian language. He created several works including “Waded Man,” “Bureau of Unemployed,” and “Student Adventure.” He also produced a comedy in three acts, “Standing Man,” also known as “Master Teodos,” which premiered on April 23, 1937 in Skopje dialect translation.

After the liberation, Vasil Iljoski held managerial positions in education. He was director of the First Gymnasium, worked at the National Library, and then worked and retired as a teacher at the Pedagogical Academy in Skopje.

Iljoski was the author of numerous plays, articles, and studies on language. His best-known plays include “Runaway Bride,” “Master Teodos,” “Bureau of Unemployed,” “Honor,” “Kuzman Kapidan,” “Bloody Rock,” and others. He also the author of the literary – historical texts of Cyril and Methodius, Prlicev, Cross Misirkov Kosta Racin, as well as essays on theater.

Vasil Iljoski was one of the founders of the Writers’ Association of Macedonia (13 February 1947), whose membership he held until his death on November 1, 1995 in Skopje.