Ivica Buljan was born on 29 March 1965, in Sinj. He studied political science and graduated in the French language and comparative literature from the University of Zagreb. He has worked as a theatre critic in the magazines such as Polet, Start, Slobodna Dalmacija and Feral Tribune. His theatre directing career began in 1995, when he staged Pascal Quignard's The Name on the Tip of the Tongue in Ljubljana. His special interests include playwright-poets such as Marina Tsvetaeva (Fedra, Young Man), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Pilad, The Pig Sty, Little Fish), Heiner Müller (Medeamaterijal, Quartet, Macbeth after Shakespeare, Women's Comedy), Robert Walser (Snow White), Elfriede Jelinek (Princess Dramas, Bambiland, Goodbye, Jackie), Miroslav Krleža (Christopher Columbus, Messrs. Glembay, Kraljevo, Vučjak), Botho Strauss (The One and the Other), Hervé Guibert (Young Meat), Anja Hilling (Black Beast Sorrow), Jukio Mishima (Madame de Sade), Danilo Kiš (A Tomb for Boris Davidovich). Buljan has directed the texts of Filip Šovagović, Ivana Sajko, Zdenko Mesarić, Dubravka Ugrešić and Damir Karakaš. He is particularly interested in the works of Bernard-Marie Koltès (The Night Just Before the Forests, Return to the Desert, Black Battles with Dogs, The Day of Murders in the Story of Hamlet,La Marche, The Drunken Process, Sallinger, Quay West, In the Solitude of Cotton Fields , Roberto Zucco, Nickel Stuff). Buljan has directed in Slovenia, Lithuania, France, Hungary, Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Montenegro, Ivory Coast, Italy and Serbia, and his plays have been shown at major European festivals.
Ivica Buljan served as Theatre Programme Director at the Croatian National Theatre of Split from 1998 to 2001. He co-founded the Mini Theatre in Ljubljana and the World Theatre Festival in Zagreb, and also started an artistic organisation entitled The New Theatre. As a guest lecturer, he taught at theatre academies in Rennes and Saint-Etienne, France. He is a several time winner of the Borštnik Award for the best plays in Slovenia. His other awards include the Sterija Award, the Vjesnik Award, the Dubravko Dujšin Award, the Branko Gavella Award, the Petar Brečić Award and the City of Havana Award. In 2012, Ivica Buljan was awarded the highest accolade of the Republc of Slovenia in the field of art, the Prešern Foundation Award for performing arts. He is the holder of the Republic of France's Order of Arts and Letters.