The festival’s trial year is part of the American Spring multi-genre festival where Czech and American artists cooperate. The name of the festival, FEST-END, is a pun on London’s famous theatre district, the West End. This year, the festival will bring two plays from the home scene at Smíchov. This time, however, the Czech actors will act in English versions that were created last September in the United States as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Czech Republic.
Actors will practice their English
The festival will start on Wednesday, the 12th of June, with the play ‘Protest/Debt’, where Václav Havel’s famous one-act play and Marek Hejduk’s recent debut will be staged together. Tomáš Pavelka stars as talkative Staněk and Robert Jašków as restrained Vaněk in director Daniel Hrbek’s show. Other roles will be performed by Tomáš Kořének and Jacob Erftemeijer.
The following day, the male cast will be replaced by women. The drama ‘Pankrác'45’ tells the story of five women who meet in a Pankrác prison cell in the summer of 1945. The roles will be played in English as follows: Klára Cibulková (Adina Mandlová), Réka Derzsi (Lída Baarová), Eva Josefíková (Hana Krupková), Andrea Buršová (Julča) and Marie Štípková (Nová).
In addition to the plays ‘Pankrác'45’ and ‘Protest/Debt’, audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the premiere of a joint production by students from the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) in Prague and Georgetown University, Washington. Together, they prepared a bilingual production of ‘American Dream/Czech Nightmare’, which was created under the supervision of the theatre director and DAMU teacher Daniel Hrbek. The students will focus on idealistic ideas and prejudices that they have about themselves and each other, as young people coming from one of the world's greatest powers and young people from a small country with a rich history. How do they differ and what do students from both countries surprisingly have in common? You will find out in ‘American Dream/Czech Nightmare’. And because the plays on the festival’s programme touch Czech history and culture, the theatre has prepared detailed accompanying materials to provide an introduction to 20th century Czech history for anyone who is interested.
15 years of subtitles
The mini-festival continues Švanda Theater’s long-standing effort to make productions available to English speaking audiences. Since 2004, all plays in the theatre’s Main Performance Hall have been staged with English subtitles. Plays in English are the next logical step to this 15-year-long endeavour. However, this puts language demands on Smíchov actors. The theatre is not limited to English-speaking audiences in Prague. They perform regularly abroad with both English versions of their Czech plays and their plays originally written in English. They have been to the UK, South Korea and, more recently, especially in the USA.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
12/06/2019 – 14/06/2019
Venue: Švanda Theatre in Smíchov (Švandovo divadlo na Smíchově)
Štefánikova 57, 150 00, Prague 5
Tickets: CZK 250 – 340