Drak Theatre has recently returned from a week-long tour. The production Bedtime!, directed by Veronika Poldauf Riedlbauchová, was selected for this international showcase along with 14 other foreign productions out of a total of 542 submitted projects. The production in Havana was seen by dozens of Cuban children from invited schools as well as dozens of international promoters and experts in children’s and youth theatre from around the world. As a result, Drak Theatre received several invitations to other international festivals and many valuable contacts and experiences.

Additionally, representatives of Drak Theatre, including Tomáš Jarkovský, the director, and Barbora Kalinové, the production manager, along with other committee members of the Czech National Centre of ASSITEJ: Luděk Horký (the chairman), Barbora Látalová, Zuzana Sikačová, Karola Štěpánová, Veronika Nádeníčková (the secretary) and Martina Pecková Černá, the Department of International Cooperation of the Arts Institute Head, attended the meeting of the World Congress and other professional events. Individual representatives of the Czech delegation also participated in specialized meetings dedicated to theatre for young audiences, dance, work with specific groups, research on theatre for children and youth (ITYARN Conference – International Theatre for Young Audiences), meetings with Slavic countries of Central and Southern Europe, and more. One of the points on the official congress agenda was also a presentation of the Czech National Centre of ASSITEJ and PerformCzech activities for professionals from around the world.

“We have returned after a very intense week, which was full of experience. Participating in an international event under specific conditions of such a massive scale was truly an exceptional experience for us. The trip was not without technical complications at customs, but everything was resolved thanks to the swift intervention and support of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Havana. Our special thanks go to Petr Kaván, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Commonwealth  of the Bahamas, Martina Kavánová, and their colleagues. Everything turned out well in the end, and we are already looking forward to the next opportunities and challenges that participating in the Cuban festival and Congress will bring to Drak Theatre and theatre for children and youth in general,the director of Drak Theatre, Tomáš Jarkovský, commented.

The production Bedtime! was warmly receive by both the international audience and Cuban children. According to a member of the Cuban National Centre of ASSITEJ, who was involved in the dramaturgy of the festival, the production is familiar to everyone. It is based on a simple and well-known situation where children should go to bed, but suddenly discover an unexpected burst of energy and realize they are not sleepy at all yet. The production is designed for children aged three and up, while being at the intersection of poetic physical theatre and clownish grotesque. All three actors, Petra Cicáková, Luděk Smadiš and Dominik Linka demonstrate significant physical talent and a sense of gag. This is all accentuated by a visually clean stage design by Marianna Stránská, the stage lighting by Michal Kříž and the music by Jan Čtvrtník.

The Congress also included the election of the new Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International. The first off-site meeting of the newly composed committee will be hosted by our Czech National Centre and will take place from September 27, 2024 to October 3, 2024, in Prague. This event will be in collaboration with the KUK festival for the very young audiences at the culture centre Vzlet in Prague and other Czech theatres for children and youth.

This excursion and the whole presentation of Drak Theatre and the Czech National Centre of ASSITEJ   at the 21st ASSITEJ World Congress & Performing Arts Festival for Children & Young People in Havana were carried out in collaboration with PerformCzech / the International Cooperation Department of the Arts Institute – the Theatre Institute and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the National Recovery Plan. We highly appreciate this support.


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