The Twelve Moons

Maruška lives in a small cottage with her stepmother and stepsister. They are not very nice to her at all. And worst of all is when they send poor Maruška out into the ice and snow to bring back some strawberries: “And don’t come back without them!” Whatever will poor Maruška do now? A blizzard is raging outside, everyone and their dogs are huddled inside, and now she has this silly, impossible chore. Everybody knows that strawberries don’t grow in January. Or have they all forgotten?

This production for younger children is also a solo opportunity for one of the most experienced members of the troupe. In her years in Drak Theatre Ivana Bílková has worked will most of the well-known directors that have passed through the theatre and made it what it is today. She has acted in the legendary productions of Josef Krofta (such as The Bartered Bride), while Jan Borna, Jakub Krofta, Jiří Vyšohlíd and Tomáš Dvořák have also cast her in their productions.

Antigone

This is not the subject of a Latin American soap opera or an endless series from a city periphery, but the fate of the young heroine of an ancient tragedy: her father murdered his own father, her grandfather, and slept with his mother. Hence with her own her mother. And therefore also with her grandmother. Her brothers kill each other, and one of the brothers is not allowed to be buried by her future father-in-law. And then her mother’s brother. Or her grandmother’s. Whichever. And it is not exactly easy with her sister, either. Or is her sister having problem with the herione? It’s hard to say… Oedipus complex, Psyche, Eros. Only the Xanax is not a Greek word, but it might as well be. Either way, walking up to the very threshold of adulthood with such a load on your back seems more like a Pyrrhic victory. What did she do to deserve it? Why could not she have been born into a normal family? Is there even a normal family?

The heroine would like to finally take her destiny into her own hands. But she is confronted with an absurd ban that brings back all the shadows of her family’s past. But why should she be the one to bear the weight of wrongs and misdeeds committed by someone else? It seems that in order to live a normal life at all, she has no choice but to fundamentally reassess her relationship to authority, to her parents, to those close to her, to the world and, ultimately, to herself.

Following the theatrical road-movie The Journey, devised reworking of the ancient myth based on the motives of Sophocles’ tragedy is the second of the new cycle of productions by the Drak Theatre aimed at teenage audiences.

The production is co-produced by Městská divadla pražská

Foto Tomáš Roček

In the media:

“In the ‘theatre in a theatre’, Drak once again proves its greatest strength: a high standard of collective acting and musical versatility, the ability of instant animation, a feeling for timing and a sense of humour.  

The instructive production of suppressed gestures, high emotions, real fire and steam from the sauna of responsibility for yourself and the family in which one finds oneself, without being asked, has a great chance to reach its audience and ignite interest in both antiquity and in theatrical imagination. I hope so for the audience and for Drak.” 

Antigone has a chance to wow sensitive audiences, Petr Mareček, MF DNES, 21 May 2022 | rating 75%

Princess Turandot

Princess Turandot, the daughter of the Chinese Emperor, does not know what love is and does not want to get married under any circumstances. Thus she asks her father to ordain a cruel condition for all of her suitors. Whoever wants the hand of the princess has to guess three of her riddles otherwise he will lose his head. And the heads are rolling because Turandot is terribly clever. But is she wise, as well? And whatever will become of her meeting with the Czech lad Honza, who has also joined the ranks of her suitors and also therefore those who await an (almost) certain death?

Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wore a red bonnet on her head, and so everybody called her Little Red Riding Hood. One fine day she packed a basket full to bursting. Clothing, something to eat, a few trifles as keepsakes and her own story. Then she headed out on a trip to a completely foreign forest.

A Czech/Ukrainian production of the classic fairy tale than is well known by children and adults in both countries. There are two actors. Marina lives in Kyiv, Petr in Divec. Now they have come together in Hradec (which is not even close to being halfway) in order to tell the same story together. But Marina speaks Ukrainian and Petr Czech. And each knows that story a bit differently. It seems that if there is going to be a happy ending, they will have to learn how to make themselves understood.

Third Time’s A Charm…

The production Third Time’s A Charm… is a meant for the youngest audiences and is based on classic fairy tales as recorded by Karel Jaromír Erben, Božena Němcová and others. It is inspired by the celebrated tradition of folk puppet and fair theatres and the phenomenon of cantastoria, while looking for new, modern methods of expression for them. Thus we will be telling the trio of tales, in which the magic number three plays a triple role, similarly to how folk puppeteers have been doing it for centuries. But differently nonetheless…

White Fang

The far north is a hostile place during the rough times of the gold rush, where White Fang, a cross-breed of dog and wolf puppy, is growing. Characterised by wildness and effervescence, White Fang cannot easily fit in with a pack of wolves or even among people; he is neither accepted, nor does he accept easily. As he grows up, he encounters violence and hatred as well as kindness and even love. What will eventually be imprinted in his soul?

Quotes from reviews:

“In the role of White Fang, Milan Hajn gives an absolutely exceptional and complex performance, which combines stage work with modern recording techniques (the use of live cinema) as well as very personal acting in a first-person narrative. His concentrated acting vividly depicts the gradual domestication of a wild animal, without it seeming inappropriate or even embarrassing to the audience. Hajn is absolutely dominant and unmistakeable in this production. Such a role is quite unique in the sphere of puppet/alternative theatre based on interplay and that makes his performance all the more valuable.”

2019 Thálie Awards, commentary of the expert committee on the nominations

 “They move across the stage as Indians, gold diggers, a pack of wolves, a dog sled team. And, from the big picture to the big details they shoot animal and human lairs, cages, fierce dogfights and hunts, escapes, maws, muzzles, lightning in their eyes, the landscape around the river in a sea of snow… The effect is perfect. The camera’s magic aspires to the realm of poetry.” 

P.J. Kříž,  White Fang immortalised through new techniques, 6.3.2018  Právo p. 11, Northeast Bohemia) 

“Because director Jakub Vašíček works with that most of all, with images, with atmosphere – and he works with it wonderfully, sensitively and carefully. Above all, the intensity and authenticity of the situations make the production of White Fang a powerful experience for audiences young and old.”

Nikola Škvarová, Child: White Fang, 19.4.2018 Divědové na blogu

“An abbreviated version of the world-famous novel. The production abounds with amusing moments, such as loot splitting among pack members, dog fights in wooden rink, etc. Yet, the production also features “chilling” scenes, so typical of the book. The production combines theatre and created live film, which is also projected live. This concept suitably fits the nature of performance and enables the spectator to understand the story from the perspective of the main animal character. Entertaining, yet respecting the value of the original book, the production is suitable also for younger audiences. All male cast present a captivating show with their playing and performing. The strong story is rendered originally, enabling the audiences to experience being in the wolf’s skin.”

Antonie Holubová, 5. 4. 2018, divabaze.cz

„White Fang is an adorable performance. I think it contains the most clever use of camera on stage I have ever seen. Not only that. The whole concept is precise, well thought over, actors are great. The protagonist of main character is unbelievable.“

Mojca Redjko, Slovene National Theatre Maribor

Awards and Acknowledgements

ERIK Award for the “Best Puppet Performance of the Season”

Theatre Newpaper’s Award in category „The Best Direction of The Season“ in the field of Alternative and Puppet theatre for director Jakub Vašíček

Skupa‘s Pilsner Awards for Tomáš Jarkovský, Jakub Vašíček and Antonín Šilar for the concept of the performance

Thalie Award for the main protagonist Milan Hajn in the field of Alternative and Puppet Theatre

 

Oddball

The planet Odd has a single, solitary inhabitant. He lives here contentedly all by himself in a world that perfectly suits him. Until the planet starts to overheat for some unknown reason, and there is nothing left for him to do by to look for a different refuge. And at that moment he himself probably doesn’t anticipate just what an adventure it will be. “I like the colour blue. It comforts me. It gives me a feeling of certainty. A blue world is a world that is just ne. Tranquil, balanced, safe. Blue is a perfect colour. It has so many forms, so many shades, why would I need any other? The colour of happiness, for example, is light blue like the sky, while sadness is dark blue like moonlight. But not that evil, disturbing sadness that chokes you up. Blue sadness is serene, reconciled. It rises from the depths and disappears again in the depths. And blue happiness sounds quiet, doesn’t shout in intrusive tones, doesn’t bubble rudely to the surface, doesn’t rave, doesn’t whoop it up. It holds it nicely inside and gently trembles. My world is blue because it is all mine. And it is all mine because it is blue.”

 

Log leg

An original production about the unwavering desire to move and dance. Young Jazmína loves jumping and dancing above all else. One day, however, she has an accident and all of a sudden she cannot dance. She starts to observe everything around her that is moving and dancing. An adventure of the imagination and the love of the game can begin, blending fantasy and reality! A tenderly fierce and true story about the joy of movement for children and the children in us.

Quotes from reviews:

“And ultimately the most beautiful, most innocent, most naive and most sensual in its beauty: hope. The inexhaustible, undeviating, unlimited, pure hope of a child. No fears, doubts or limitations. The hope that we adults used to have. When following the performance, we get the impression that there is no reason why we shouldn’t trust the child in us again. One strong reminder that theatre and the imagination transcend any handicap.”

Excerpt from the review of our performance by dramaturge Stela Mišković at the FIAT International Festival of Alternative Theatre in Montenegro, August 2020

“Jazmína Pitkorová meets the audience personally one by one in the foyer to lead them to the studio. Due to her charm, she immediately wins everyone’s favour; one is only worried that children may immediately join her on stage. Lock in the poetic title suggests a plaster on her broken leg, which prevents the girl not only from dancing.
Physical theatre and dance fuses with lyrical clownery without words, yet understandable. Jana Bačová Kroftová as a visual artist quickly animates a Degas-like ballet dancer, floods the scene with insects while the dancer strugglers with itching under her plaster, or magically bleeds colours into space-like worlds and fantasies. This seemingly a cheap trick has an enormous impact; both the artists and the dancers complement each other by coexisting in the same rhythm. If there was an awmeter, I believe both young and adults would show the same level. Špalková and her collective entered their memories without referring to a Star Rover for the young. They created an inspiring, memory-opening miniature economical with words. Their 40-minute performance is a celebration of movement, dance, theatre and fantasy regardless of any limitation.”
Petr Mareček, MF Dnes, 25. 2. 2019.

 

 

The Flying Babies

Surely everyone knows that feeling. A ballon rising up into the air, we are holding on to it by a string and all of a sudden it is gone. It keeps floating up, slowly getting smaller until it completely disappears in the sky. What can you do, tears don´t help …

The heroes of our story find themselfs in a similar situation. Instead of moaning and wailing, however, they undertake an adventurous journey to the Planet of lost balloons. Several attempts to take off and fly bring the fate of „Those Wonderful Men in their Flying Machines“ to mind. The age-old dream of flying comes true. Will our aeronauts manage to reach destination: The Planet of lost balloons?

We ride the wings of fantasy to the endless distances of outer space! This original performance combines elements of clownery, puppetry and visual theatre. It plays up to childlike fantasy and inspires the smallest members of the audience to play new games.

The Golden Fish

The original production based on the classical fairy tale about a fish who in exchange for freedom grants wishes and follies to those ignorant of what they want to wish.

A rivulet rises from the ground in the mountains. As it hurtles down the hills, it confluences with other rills to create a stronger and greater stream, eventually growing into a mighty river. Even the river does not stop and it ultimately hurtles further to reach the sea, so large one cannot see its other end. Every day early in the morning, the see witnesses a fisherman in his bark setting off in hope for good catch. Yet, the sea is unfathomable: at once it appears as friendly as an old friend only to immediately storm and punish those not taking it seriously. Water can both give and take. And the sea means a lot water…

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