The 2021 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival invites participants to reimagine the ordinary while collectively witnessing rich Central European performance traditions such as theater craft and music. Using marionettes, the Czech & Slovak Tales with Strings takes the youngest on a journey through classic fables, while the Eletfa plays a folk concert to honor the Hungarian heritage of Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood.
Concurrently, the festival encourages spectators to reconsider the current reality. Vaclav Havel’s iconic one-act play Audience returns to the stage this time in a marionette performance by the award-winning Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. Lux Phantasmatis, a mesmerizing installation by Pavel Zustiak and Keith Skretch of the Palissimo Company, embodies a presence within absence, matter within a void. Exposing a void stands at the core of Megan Furniss’s The Tent, whereby members of a South African community become polarized when their tolerance is tested.
Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz’s iconic play The Madman and the Nun allegorizes a hopeless, unpredictable, and almost comically cruel world. Can one maintain some sense of dignity and sanity in a universe full of uncertainties? The Art of Dissent, a documentary featuring artists working to create a civic society in Communist Czechoslovakia, may offer clues for navigating the inexplicable.
This last episode of the season will start at the unusual time of 17:00 CET to allow American audiences to take part. The discussion will also include a brief look back at events in the performing arts in the V4 countries over the last season, including an overview of topics addressed in the discussion series and its accompanying podcast, SHOWOFF. Green Thursdays and SHOWOFF have been produced by the Arts and Theatre Institute, in collaboration with partner theatre institutes in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, since September 2020.
The theme of June’s episode is “Screening Theatre” from the point of view of theatrical producers and cultural managers. The conversation will be monitored by Prague-based British-American director, performer and translator Becka McFadden, who will be focusing on the (post) covid situation with four guests experienced in digital theatre practices. Czech streaming platform Dramox will be introduced by its director, Martin Zavadil, while Vijay Mathew will discuss innovations in theatre streaming as a representative of the American theatre platform HowlRound. Gert Naessens will introduce the IETM network’s new project Perform Europe, which will address the evolution of international collaboration and touring in the performing arts. Joana Nuckowska, Head of Production and International Relations for Warsaw’s Nowy Teatr will speak about the theatre’s shift to the digital space. Among other topics, the debate will also consider how digital distribution might increase the accessibility and global reach of the performing arts and contribute to their sustainability.
The Green Thursdays online discussion series, featuring guests drawn from the ranks of theatre and dance artists, curators, cultural managers and theorists from the Czech Republic and abroad, addresses the performing arts’ sensitivity and responsiveness to contemporary social issues. Key themes include the adaptation of theatre, dance and contemporary circus to the virtual environment as a result of the anti-pandemic measures and questions related to the sustainability of our current quality of life and of the performing arts themselves. While it seems that the critical need for social change discussed in the fields of ecology, economics, politics and culture has been overshadowed in recent months by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, concerns about the sustainability of the field itself are gaining ground in the performing arts. Does a hybrid existence in real and virtual space amount to a dead-end for disciplines that rely on audience contact, or might it open up new worlds and possibilities? Will spectators stay at home forever? How are artists, organisers of cultural events, public funding bodies and arts education institutions responding to this crisis? How are they orientating themselves? What do they believe in and where are they headed? How do they communicate? In dialogue with our guests, we will try to map the performing arts’ emerging strategies and first responses to this global paradigm shift.
This series is produced by ATI’s International Cooperation Department as part of the Promotion of Czech Performing Arts Abroad program and in collaboration with the European project Create to Connect -> Create to Impact and the Performing Arts Central Europe (PACE.V4) network, with support from the International Visegrad Fund. Webinars take place on the Zoom platform on the fourth Thursday of every month and are held in English. Viewers have the chance to ask guests questions during the discussions and recordings of the webinars are made available on the jsmeIDU Youtube channel.
- The meeting will take place on ZOOM; it is not necessary to download the application in advance.
- After filling out the registration form, you will receive an e-mail with a link to access the webinar.
- If possible, please register 15 minutes before the start of the event to allow time to complete the registration process.
- The webinar will be held in English.