The production of the play by Bulgarian playwright Yordan Radichkov An Attempt at Flying (premiered on 22 March 1980 at the Pavol Orzságh Hviezdoslav Theatre) is one of the most successful plays in the history of Slovak National Theatre Drama. The text-metaphor of the old age longing of mankind to fly and to recognize the unrecognizable, even for just a moment, offers on the axis of “magical realism” or grotesque realism”, in the words of the author, a humanistic picture of life and ideas in which the characters live their everyday life, they start a magical fantasy game and express many truths of the life. This article draws attention to the production of director Pavel Haspra through analysis of the play’s text, the production script and the TV recording of one of the last stage performances. Altogether over six years (from March 1980 to June 1987), 148 performances took place, both domestic and Czech critics writing about the extraordinary acting of all the participants. One cannot omit the significance and theatrical contribution of Vladimir Suchánek’s scenography vision with several symbolic and metaphorical dimensions (a hay cart hanging in the air, through which the villagers, who longed for just a moment of freedom, fulfilled their dreams).
We are witnessing a paradigm shift regarding the theatrologist’s position in the Romanian theatre environment. While, until recently, theatrology meant cultural journalism, this definition is no longer sufficient or attractive for secondary school graduates. Romania’s higher education offer has changed increasingly in the last years, in the attempt to keep up with the requirements of the labour market; the solution was provided by the area of cultural management. Every last faculty in this sector covers the new direction of study and research. This article seeks to investigate the existing educational offers, which should allow an understanding and a new complete image of the theatrologist in Romania; in our opinion, this image will have an increasing impact on the national theatre community, shaped, of course, by the new directions of study.
Interview with Professor Ciprian Huțanu, PhD – the Director of Godot, Staged at George Enescu National University of Arts Iași
I have known Professor Huțanu since the first year of college and, although he wasn’t my professor, I have always admired the glimpse in the eyes of his students when they talked about rehearsing with him for exams or shows. Recently, when I found out that he was staging a show after a text by Samuel Beckett, I dared to approach him in order to “question” him about my favourite author, who is also the subject of my PhD research, as to say, a serious matter.
This is how I came to discover a passionate man, director, teacher and actor, who mingles these three hypostases naturally, with diffidence. A generous man, who has permitted me to lift up (with shyness from me, of course) the frail curtain of the creation laboratory behind a difficult show, as to the nature of the animation theatre, implying technical rigors, and also to the aesthetic of the approach. I was permitted to attend rehearsals, to ask questions, to discuss, debate, to have doubts and, more importantly, to receive answers from the man behind the curtain, the one who thought and felt the Godot. Below there is a fragment of an interview – part of my PhD study – and, maybe a subjective mirror of the rustle reflected between the spectator and the creator.
Shortly before his death Hungarian writer and essayist Péter Esterházy (1950 – 2016) wrote the dramatic text of Mercedes Benz – Historical Revue in two parts for the Slovak National Theatre. In particular, it focuses on the famous noble family Esterházy’s influence in Slovakia. The author of the play had a very strong association with this matter. In his writing Péter Esterházy used a wide range of intertextualities: his literary texts are like the fabric spun from fibres of the autobiography of his own family history, but also fragments of Hungarian and Slovak history, legends, tales, as well as hearsay and myths. The interpreted dramatic text is remarkable because Esterházy, in addition to intertextual recycling of his own texts, also exploits the texts of the Hungarian classic author Imre Madách The Tragedy of Man. The author of the study has focused on clarifying the function, specification and effects of Esterházy’s intertextual writing.
Selected Facts and Connections in Drama and Film Fiction Package
The authoress, using two visual works, i.e. theatre production #dubček and film Dubček (both 2018), compares two different approaches to and forms of the work with the personality of Alexander Dubček against the backdrop of the reforms and political upheaval in Czecho-Slovakia1, in 1968. Theatre production #dubček (Aréna Theatre, Bratislava, direction Michal Skočovský) has three levels. The first one is acting game having the form of a rehearsal of a new text about the politician Alexander Dubček; its component part is the projection of period archival film shots. The second level involves the actors stepping out of characters and commenting on Dubček’s attitude and on historical events. The third level entails monologue scenes, in which actors reveal their personal attitudes via narrated stories at the time of normalization2 which had a negative impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. In the film Dubček (Slovak-Czech co-production, direction Ladislav Halama), through Dubček’s reminiscing the past, political events interweave with the scenes from the life of Dubček’s family. Although both the works employ period image documentary material and fiction, they fail to create a dramatic conflict and they are illustrative for the bigger part.
The author contemplates expressional bipolarity of contemporary art of theatre. He is personally interested in whether theatre has yet a chance to purify spectators. He explores theatre in terms of reception, and also focuses on the methods of addressing the themes of the day. Using case studies of selected productions in contemporary theatre, he reflects on the intentions of a number of theatre directors whose particular intention is for the theatre to provoke or manipulate spectators.
The presented article is a polemic with Alain Badiou’s concept of theatre-politics isomorphism. The author adapts the basic elements of Badiou’s philosophy (event, void Ø, truth etc.), provides an interpretation of his theory of theatre and presents crucial critical arguments to reveal the reductionism of Badiou’s philosophy. Subsequently, the author presents his alternative theory of theatre based on this ground. The article assumes that theatre performance is a live, truthful event, an encounter of humans experiencing an imagined Utopia based on their structural homology (shared materiality, phylogenetic archetypal memory, existentiality). The argument is supported by the recent research in neuroscience.
As the article argues, this Utopia has its social and political significance. The theatre is not political only if it constructs both a political body (crowd, public) and a discourse, as Badiou suggests. The author concludes that theatre is inherently political because its imaginative nature, which allows humans to experience the utopical attachment exceeding the subject-object boundaries. This imagined Utopia with its critical and anticipative power allows people to transcend their singularity to interpersonal and intercultural dialogue and universality, and it provokes their political imagination (in the sense of David Graeber). The author employs Erika Fischer-Lichte’s concept of performativity to present theatre performance as an event.
The study presents an overview and analysis of contemporary Moscow productions inspired by the personality and work of the legendary Russian actor and poet of the latter half of the 20th century, singer and songwriter Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky (1938 – 1980). The authoress covers both the older productions which have been on the repertoires of theatres for several years and more recent productions staged this year on the occasion of the artist’s unlived 80th birthday. Researching on the productions by different theatre makers, staged by various theatres and drama ensembles, points at the importance and up-to-dateness of the creative legacy of Vladimir Vysotsky and at the significance of him as a personality that has become a legend and a component part of the cultural history of Soviet and post-Soviet eras. The productions constitute a significant part of the unwavering cult of his personality.
The study explores the art of performance and happening in Slovakia from the 1960s, and its influence on theatre. Given its interdisciplinarity, the first part is dedicated to the vantage points of performance in Slovakia: action art and related names. Action art had significant influence on later theatre performative forms. The second part focuses in detail on actions and performances by the company Temporary Society of Intense Experience, Balvan Theatre and on the artist Miloš Karásek.
The study reflects on divergence between theatre and film. It also points out that the difference ought to be sought in ontology, in the principle of the coding of actual reality by using film or theatrical language. In the perception of a syncretic work that connects the elements of both types of art, the viewer a priori perceives theatrical mimesis (and also the execution of theatrical mise-en-scène) as an “alien” element used by the film “language” of a concrete cinematographic work. The perception of such a work assumes the viewer’s readiness and willingness to accept a hybrid work, which inevitably calls for a different manner of decoding the narrative offered. If we are to summarise the hitherto knowledge which elucidates the relationship between theatre and film (in the manner in which actual reality is mimicked and in the subsequent execution of theatrical and film mise-en-scène), it may be concluded that, as opposed to film, theatre enjoys a unique opportunity to imitate actual reality by performing which takes place in real time and in direct interaction between the actor and the viewer. The film conveys this using filmmaking devices.