Zelenka Petr

Playwright, film, theatre and TV director, scriptwriter.

The modern classic author of Czech drama and film Petr Zelenka ranks among the most successful and respected Czech playwrights and directors. In his plays, he often works with intermediality and intertextual references, he approaches drama using film thinking, and he applies theatre elements in his film scripts.

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He has written almost ten plays, the most successful one is his debut as an author and director and is called Tales of Common Insanity (2001, movie Wrong Side Up 2005), which are in the repertoire of many theatres in the Czech Republic and abroad (Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Hungary, Argentina, Slovakia, and others). Teremin is yet another significant play by Zelenka, which has a guest performance in Deutsches Theater in Berlin as well. His drama Job Interviews met with success in France (Comédie de Caen, Théâtre des Abbesses in Paris, as Vera) in 2017. Zelenka’s plays have been translated into many world languages, especially into English and Polish, a great number of them have been published as books abroad (e.g. in the prestigious French series Les Solitaires Intempestifs, Vera, 2016). Six of his plays were published in Common Insanity: Plays 2001–2012 (2014). He has cooperated with the Dejvice Theatre as an author, director of his texts or texts by other authors (Michael Frayn) as well as South Bohemian Theatre, Pod Palmovkou Theatre, National Theatre Opera in Prague, Ta Fantastika Theatre and Slovácko Theatre in Uherské Hradiště. Apart from writing theatre plays, Zelenka has also written many highly-appreciated feature films (Buttoners, Loners, The Brothers Karamazov, Lost in Munich or pseudo-documentaries (Visací zámek 1982–2007, Mňága-Happy End, Year of the Devil).

Petr Zelenka graduated from dramaturgy and scriptwriting at the Film and TV School (1991), in 1990–1991, he worked as a dramaturg in the Barrandov Studios. He has been a freelancer since 1991.

Petr Zelenka received the Alfréd Radok Award (Tales of Common Insanity, 2001); as for movies, he has received many Czech (several Czech Lion Awards, for the best script or directing) and international awards (Karlovy Vary, Bergamo, Cottbus, Rotterdam, Trieste, Valladolid…).