Ein Stück: Tschechien 2023 – Staged Readings of New Czech Plays

Friday, 24. November 2023 | 8 pm | Theater unterm Dach | Danziger Str. 101, 10405 Berlin

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Daniela Samsonová: Regale (orig. Regály)
Translation by Martina Lisa

> Watch the video

Natálie Bočková: Am Wannenrand (orig. Na okraji vany)
Translation by Maira Neubert

> Watch the video

Tomáš Dianiška: Blood, Sweat and Queers (orig. Transky, body, vteřiny)
Translation by Barbora Schnelle

> Watch the video

Director: Eberhard Köhler
Set Design: Danila Korogodsky
Dramaturgy: Barbora Schnelle, Henning Bochert
Readers: Naomi Abukha, Henning Bochert, Thea Rasche, Alexandr Vajnstajn

Thea Rasche, Alexandr Vajnstajn, Naomi Abukha, Henning Bochert in Tomáš Dianiška’s Spottschau (mock show)

New Czech Theatre Festival 2023

Friday, 24 November, 2023 | 8 pm

Theater unterm Dach, Danzigerstr. 101, 10405 Berlin

Tomáš Dianiška: Blood, Sweat and Queers (orig. Transky, body, vteřiny)

The play is inspired by the life story of the successful athlete Zdena Koubková (1913-1986), who was mistakenly assigned a female identity at birth. Koubková was celebrated in the sports world of the time as a “wonder woman” and held several world records (including in the women’s 800-meter track). In 1936, she was medically identified as intersex, underwent gender reassignment surgery to become Zdeněk Koubek. In addition to the fate of the main character, Dianiška’s play also describes the world of the 1930s with its increasing fascism, permeated by homophobia, transphobia and gender stereotypes. In his tragicomic play, the author presents a series of important moments in Zdeněk Koubek’s life. Successful sporting milestones alternate with emotional and intimate moments, which ultimately lead to a strong coming-out of the main character. The production of the play at the Petr Bezruč Theater in Ostrava won the 2019 Theatre Critics’ Award in the categories Production of the Year and Czech Contemporary Play. The actor playing the lead role, Jakub Burýšek, was named Talent of the Year.

Translated from Czech to German by Barbora Schnelle

Photo: David Turecký

Tomáš Dianiška (*1984) studied acting at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and became an ensemble member of the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec, where he played more than 30 roles. He is the main author and actor of the F. X. Kalba Theatre, which was originally founded as a “punk offshoot” of the F. X. Šalda Theatre, but later became independent and merged with the Palmovka Theatre. As a playwright, he was involved in the productions Zvrhlá Margaret or House of Love 2: Návrat hezkých hochů at the A studio Rubín Theatre. For the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec, he wrote Googling and Fucking, Mickey Mouse je mrtvý (Mickey Mouse is Dead), LSDown, Logo, Dianiška je Bůh (Dianiška is God) and Atomová kočička (Atom Cat).

He has been a member of the Divadlo pod Palmovkou (Theatre under Palmovka) ensemble since September 2014. He has performed several plays at the PALM OFF studio stage: 1000 věcí, co mě serou (1000 Things I Think Suck; a theatre adaptation of the blog of the same name), Mlčení bobříků (The Silence of the Beavers), Jak sbalit ženu 2.0 (How to Pick Up a Woman 2.0, a theatre adaptation of the book of the same name by T. Baránek), Pusťte Donnu k maturitě!, Poslední důvod, proč se nezabít (The Last Reason Not to Kill Yourself; a theatre adaptation of the blog of the same name) and Bezruký Frantík (The Armless Frantík, written with I. Orozovich; transferred to the big stage of the theatre at Palmovka due to great audience interest), 294 statečných (294 Brave Ones) and Encyklopedie akčního filmu (Encyclopaedia of Action Film), both already conceived for the big stage. Tomáš Dianiška has also acted in all these productions and directed many of them.

In addition to his home theatre Divadlo pod Palmovkou, Tomáš Dianiška works as a writer and actor for several Prague theatres, including MeetFactory, Divadlo LETÍ, A Studio Rubín, Masopust Theatre Group, Chemické divadlo (Chemical Theatre), Divadlo X10 and others. He has worked as a director at the Chamber Theatre Aréna Ostrava (V. Klimáček: Comics) and at the Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava – here he staged his plays Transky, body, vteřiny (A Spectacle of Mockery) and Špinarka.

He describes his plays as pop pieces that examine well-known cultural phenomena in a satirical way. In his original, eclectic style, he mixes different genres, incorporating dime novels, westerns or comic heroes alongside documentary material. He has received a number of important prizes for his plays. His production of his own play Transky, body, vteřiny at the Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava was named best production of the year and best Czech play of the year at the 2019 Czech Theatre Critics’ Awards. His most recent play, 294 Brave, was named best play of the year at the 2020 Theatre Critics’ Awards.

Daniela Samsonsová: Shelving (orig. Regály)

Translated from Czech to German by Martina Lisa

Photo: Pavel Brůček

Daniela Samsonová (*1998) began writing her first plays while still at school. After graduating from high school, she studied theatre at the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague for two years before starting to study directing at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. With her monodrama Tohle není vaše Karenina (This is not your Karenina) she won first place at the European Youth Theatre Festival in Spoleto, Italy. During her bachelor’s degree, she won the competition for the best original short play under the title Havelscher Einakter (Havel One-Act) with her text Regály (Shelving) as well as, in the same year, the Ewald Schorm Prize. Before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, she collaborated on the text Hrdinky (Heroines) for a performance of the same name by the Husa na provázku Theatre in Brno. In addition to her work as a director and writer, she has also become known for her theatre podcast entitled Dvě věci a chlebíček (Two Things and Cutlets).

Natálie Bočková: On the Edge of the Tub (orig. Na okraji vany)

Translated from Czech to German by Maira Neubert

Photo: private

Natálie Bočková (*2001) began her theatre career as an amateur theatre maker. In 2019 she founded her first theatre group, Beztyátr, with which she staged her play Kolaborant (Collaborator). She currently leads the theatre group Karapax in Hradec Králové, with which she is mainly involved in outdoor theatre forms, and is studying theatre dramaturgy at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno. In 2023, she came second in a theatre competition organised by the Václav Havel Library Foundation with her play O vedlejších postavách (On Secondary Characters). Her texts Úsměvy šťastných lidí (The Smiles of Happy People) and Na okraji vany (On the Edge of the Tub) took third place in the competition for the Ewald Schorm Prize in 2022.

In German. Admission is free. Followed by a talkback with the artists.

Venue: Theater unterm Dach

Artistic Directors and Production Managers of the Festival: Barbora Schnelle and Henning Bochert

PR: Augustin PR

A production by Drama Panorama: Forum für Übersetzung und Theater e. V. in collaboration with the Czech Centre Berlin, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Berlin and the Theater unterm Dach Berlin, funded by the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery, the Czech-German Fund for the Future and the Culture Ministry of the Czech Republic with the Plán národní obnovy programme.

Eberhard Köhler studied directing and acting in Zurich, worked at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken and has been a freelance director for 30 years. He has directed over 100 productions at state, city and independent theatres, then increasingly internationally in Switzerland, Luxembourg, South Korea, North Macedonia, the USA, and particularly Russia, mainly in St. Petersburg, but also in Velikiy Novgorod, Perm, Moscow and Voronezh. For ten years he has been teaching at state and private drama schools, currently at the University of Arts Berlin (UdK), the University of Potsdam, Theaterakademie Sachsen/Delitzsch and HKB Braunschweig/Hannover, as well as in St. Petersburg, Ankara, Pomona, Las Vegas (USA) and Linz.

Photo: Elmar Engels

Danila Korogodsky graduated from Leningrad Theater Academy in 1977 as a stage and costume designer. He then worked as a resident designer at the Leningrad TYS (Theatre for Young Spectators) and for theatres around the country, designing the sets of over 80 productions for various companies. In 1989 he was invited to design the set of a show at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Since then he has worked in the United States as a stage designer and design professor. He has designed the sets of over 300 productions in USA and around the world. From 1996 to 2019, he taught set design at California State University, Long Beach, and, as a guest, at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. In 2005, he became an Artistic Director of Theater Pokoleniy in St. Petersburg, Russia. He designed and directed over 30 projects with his company until February 2022. He left Russia when the war with Ukraine started and now lives in Berlin.

Photo: Andrey Suhinin

More information about the whole festival can be found here.

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