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Contribution of Slovak Directors to the Profile of the Czech Opera Theatre After 1993

Abstract

The ambition of the survey study, which maps the work of Slovak directors in Czech opera theatres after 1993, is to identify the number of Slovak creators in the opera-theatre discourse of the very closely connected countries in terms of culture and history while at the same time adding the professional biographies of Slovak artists – who are little known and reflected upon in their homeland – and parts of their works. The author concludes that the split of the Czechoslovak Republic and the subsequent creation of separate Czech and Slovak Republics did not have an adverse effect on the mutual contacts of our opera cultures. At present, we even enjoy intensified co-operation in both directions. The nonjudgmental attitude of Czech theatres towards the influence of Slovak film directors in the Czech Republic is clear: not only credible creators (Marián Chudovský), but also representatives of the younger generation of opera directors (Andrea Hlinková) and renowned drama directors with previous opera experience (Martin Huba, Roman Polák), as well as creators who had not yet worked on the opera scene at home (Martin Čičvák, Sláva Daubnerová) were presented with an opportunity to contribute. Despite the fact that their works represented the enrichment of the Czech opera-theatre, the Slovak director with the most significant contribution to the Czech opera theatre remains Jozef Bednárik, even two decades later.

Open access
Conveyance of the Dramatic Work El Gran Galeoto by José Echegaray to the European Scene and His Reception in Bratislava at the End of the 19th Century

Abstract

This study looks at the work of Spanish playwright José Echegaray and the circumstances of his domestication on the European theatre stages at the turn of the 20th century. One of his most important works, El gran Galeoto55, arrived in Bratislava in 1889, only one year after its premiere in Vienna and three years after the opening of the new building of the Bratislava City Theatre. The premiere of the work, translated into German and in a theatrical adaptation from Paul Lindau’s pen named Galeotto took place around the same time as the premiere of the work Ralph William from the domestic author Josef Julian, which thanks to a similar theme was perceived as «Bratislava’s Galeotto».

Open access
Miloš Wasserbauer’s Work at the Slovak National Theatre in the 50s and Early 60s of the 20th Century

Abstract

The article examines the work of opera director Miloš Wasserbauer during the 50s and at the beginning of the 60s of the 20th century in the Slovak National Theatre. Focusing on the staging of new Slovak operas Ján Cikker’s Juro Jánošík and Beg Bajazid, and Eugen Suchoň’s Svätopluk. The author analyses Wasserbauer’s approach to the productions and Slovak staging tradition from the perspective of the Czech director and the critical reflection of the performances. Special attention is paid to the conceptualisation of Slovak national feeling in the corpus of archive materials.

Open access
Possiblities and Limitations of Translation of Slovak Drama Into Polish Culture

Abstract

The Polish and Slovak languages, as well as Polish and Slovak cultures, are considered very similar, so it would initially appear that there would be no obstacles limiting the possibilities of translating Slovak drama into Polish. It turns out however, that Slovak drama is not often translated into Polish. Older translations that were presented in Polish theatres were rarely followed in the press, and today they have been forgotten. On the contrary, current translations are published far more often than staged. The presented study evaluates this situation as a result of several limiting factors. In addition to the political conditions of cultural exchange and the manner in which publishers and theatres operate in Poland, there is also a linguistic closeness that negatively impacts on the quality of translations, as well as the stereotype of Polish and Slovak cultural proximity, which limits the interest of Polish audiences in Slovak drama.

Open access
Theatre Performance of Radichkov’s Play an Attempt at Flying in the Jubilee 60th Season of the Slovak National Theatre

Abstract

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).

Open access
With the Litle Help from Janis Joplin

Abstract

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.

Open access
Alexander Dubček Twice – An (Un)Known Side of Him
Selected Facts and Connections in Drama and Film Fiction Package

Abstract

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.

Open access
Expressional Bipolarity of Theatre
(Selected Case Studies in Contemporary Theatre)

Abstract

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.

Open access
Imagine the Utopia! Rethinking Alain Badiou’s Theatre-Politics Isomorphism

Abstract

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.

Open access
The Interpretation of the Authorial Creation of Vladimir Vysotsky on Contemporary Moscow Stages

Abstract

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.

Open access