Vida Ognjenović was born in Dubočke near Nikšić, and she was raised and educated in Serbia.
She went to primary school in Vrbas and matriculated from comprehensive high school in Sremski Karlovci, later graduating from the Department of General Literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade as well as the Department of Directing at the Academy of Theatre, Film and TV in Belgrade.
Although Vida Ognjenović started her postgraduate education at the Sorbonne in Paris, she defended her master’s thesis in the field of the Theory and Practice of Directing at the University of Minnesota, USA, on a Fulbright Foundation scholarship (1972).
From 1974 to 1979 she worked as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. In 1977 Vida Ognjenović was appointed Manager of Drama at the National Theatre in Belgrade, and after her four-year-long mandate she stayed at the same theatre as a permanent director.
As a visiting professor she has taught at the universities of Los Angeles (UCLA, 1981-1982), Chicago (UIC, Columbia College, 1996, 1998 and 2000), and within lecturing tours she has visited on several occasions as a visiting lecturer all more prominent universities of the USA (1985, 1991, 1997, 1999). She is a professor at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad.
Her directing opus includes nearly a hundred theatrical as well as numerous television and radio works, many of which were made after her own texts.
Vida Ognjenović has written 11 dramas, which have been produced and performed a number of times, and have been published in different editions. As a director she has visited a number of theatres throughout former Yugoslavia (Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia), and has directed theatrical plays outside our country. Her directing repertoire is varied and includes both domestic and foreign classics, as well as modern contemporary dramas and numerous premieres. She has received a number of significant prizes for drama and directing, among which are: Belgrade October Prize for Theatrical Art (1984); Golden Laurel Wreath for Directing (Sarajevo 1985); Vuk Award for Art (1992); Sterija Award for Best Drama (1991); ‘Joakim Vujić’ Award for Theatrical Art (2001); Sterija Award for Best Drama (2002); Sterija Award for Best Director (2002); Budva – Theatre City Award for Theatrical Art (2007);
Vida Ognjenović has also published prose and essays, dramas and travel writing: Poisonous Dandelion’s Milk (1994), The Old Clock (1996), The Best Short Stories by Vida Ognjenović (2001), The Right Address (2007);
novels: The House of Dead Scents (1995), Adulterers (2007);
travel prose: A Journey into Travel Book (2005);
an essay collection: On the Contrary to Prophesy (2007);
an interview collection: No Question Is Naïve Any More (2008);
books of dramas: Kanjoš Macedonović (1989, 1994, 2004), Melancholic Dramas (1991), Mournful Comedies (1993), A Blue-Haired Girl (1994), Mileva Einstein (1988, 2002), Jegor’s Road (2001), collected dramas in three volumes: Dramas I, II, III (2000, 2001, 2002), Don Krsto (2007).
She has received a number of significant awards for her literary work, among which are: Prosveta Award for the Book of the Year (1994), Andrić Short Story Award (1995), Branko Ćopić Prose Text Award (1996), Laza Kostić Novel Award (1996), Karolj Sirmai Short Story Award (1996), Ramond Serbica Prose Award (1998), Stefan Mitrov Ljubiša Award for Literature (1999), Todor Manojlović Award for Modern Expression in Literature (2004), Milica Stojadinović –Srpkinja Award (2007), National Library Award for the Book of the Year (2007)
Her prose and dramas have been translated into English, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian and German.
She publishes translations from English and German. She lives and works in Belgrade.