Festival for New Czech Theatre
Our biennial theatre festival presents contemporary Czech productions as guest performances and staged readings of new plays by Czech contemporary playwrights, whose texts are translated into German for the festival.
There is a new generation of theatre-makers in the Czech Republic, whose texts and productions are relevant across Europe, and yet who are hardly known abroad. Drama Panorama: Forum für Translation and Theatre e. V., in collaboration with the Czech Centre Berlin and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Berlin, seeks to close that gap with this festival.
The project aims at establishing the sustained presentation of Czech contemporary drama and theatre in Berlin, and many respects, this has already been accomplished. The first Festival for New Czech Theatre took place in 2014 with considerable success; one of the guest plays (Bekenntnis eines Masochisten; engl. Confessions of a Masochist by Roman Sikora) was subsequently produced in Dortmund. Many other plays and playwrights were presented to the German public in the following years. In 2018, Neofelis Verlag Berlin and Drama Panorama e. V. published an anthology of contemporary Czech drama titled Von Masochisten und Mamma-Guerillas (Of Masochists and Mamma Guerillas; ed. by Barbora Schnelle), a collection of many of the plays that had been presented at the festival in German for the first time.
In 2021, another anthology with plays by one of the most important political Czech playwrights, Roman Sikora, was published (Frühstück mit Leviathan, Engl. Breakfast with Leviathan, Berlin: Neofelis 2021, ed. by Barbora Schnelle). Some of the translations in this book were commissioned specifically for our festival.
The pandemic strongly impacted our festival as guest performances from the Czech Republic were not possible. We were, however, able to present staged readings and also offered interactive online formats (Talks statt Gastspiele in collaboration with Ballhaus Ost in Berlin; available on the Drama Panorama YouTube channel).
In 2023, we are very happy to be able to stage live events again and continue our work. Once again, we will present three new plays, translated into German exclusively for the staged readings at the festival, and invite two Czech theatre ensembles, whom we had originally planned to present in 2020, but which was not feasible at the time. These are the experimental theatre ensembles Lachende Bestien and Depresivní děti touží po penězích (engl. Depressed Children Longing for Money), who will present a total of five performances. These productions will be staged in cooperation with the Theater unterm Dach and the English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center.
Curator: Mgr. Barbora Schnelle, Ph.D.
Artistic directors and production management: Barbora Schnelle and Henning Bochert
- Dr. Matteo Colombi, Bohemian studies expert and cultural scientist, scientific assistant at the Leipzig University
- Dr. Jan Jiřík, theatre scientist, scientific assistant at the Charles University in Prague
- doc. Mgr. David Drozd, Ph.D., theatre scientist, dean of the theatre studies department at the Masaryk University in Brno
- Mgr. Karolína Stehlíkova, Ph.D., theatre scientist, scientific assistant at thte theatre sciences department at the Masaryk University in Brno
- Mgr. Hana Hložková, Dramaturg at the National Theatre in Brno
PR: Augustin PR
Dr. Barbora Schnelle, born in Brno, Czech Republic, studied Theatre Studies and Aesthetics in Brno, Berlin and Vienna and attained her doctorate at the Theatre Studies Department of Masaryk University in Brno with her work on Elfriede Jelinek’s plays. She worked as a theatre studies scholar and university assistant in Brno and was co-founder of the Internet Theatre Journal of Yorick’s Objective Anger. She has mainly lived in Berlin since 2001 and works as a freelance theatre critic (especially for the Prague magazine Svet a divadlo), journalist and translator.
Henning Bochert lives in Berlin as an author, translator for English and German, dramaturge and lecturer. After studying acting, he has run a translation agency for over 25 years, is involved with Drama Panorama: Forum für Übersetzung und Theater e. V., among others, writes about theatre and literature and translates film, theatre literature, prose and other, most recently Die Rose im Sand, Geschichten von Susan Glaspell, published by Dörlemann Verlag. www.bochert.com and www.henningbochert.de.
Foto: Graham Hains
Maira Neubert is a Slavic studies student at Humboldt University in Berlin and a prospective translator from Czech. Outside of university, she works as a journalist for the television channel Deutsche Welle and the campus radio station CouchFM.
For our festival panorama #3 in May 2023 she translated the play Sorex by Tomas Ralis. At Ein Stück: Tschechien 2023, her translation of Natálie Bočková’s Am Wannenrand (orig. Na okraji vany) will be presented. She is also an assistant to the festival’s production management.
Ein Stück: Tschechien, Festival for New Czech Theatre 2023 is a production by Drama Panorama: Forum für Übersetzung und Theater e. V. in cooperation with the Czech Centre Berlin and the Czech Embassy Berlin, supported by the German-Czech Future Fund, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic with Plán národní obnovy programme, the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery, the European Union (NextGenerationEU programme), the City of Prague, Prague City District 3, State Cultural Fund of the Czech Republic, Johan Centre and Venuše ve Švehlovce.