Nebeský Jan

Director and teacher

In his productions, Nebeský sees the text and its meaning from the inside, examines the fundamental human situations regardless theatre or literary conventions or genres. He employs the method of free associations and commentaries to experiment with great personalities of world drama. He has been an outstanding director with the unique style in both Czech and international theatre.

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He graduated in directing from DAMU, Prague, has worked in the Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové, S. K. Neumann Theatre (now Pod Palmovkou Theatre), E. F. Burian Theatre (now Archa Theatre), Drama Club in Prague. Between 1994 – 2002, he participated in creating the new shape of the Comedy Theatre in Prague. In 1996, the theatre received the Alfréd Radok Award in the Best Theatre category. In the Comedy Theatre. His most outstanding pieces are H. Ibsen’s Ghosts, J. G. Borkmann and The Master Builder, Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata, Calderón’s The Daughter of the Air, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Euripides’s Orestes and the trilogy Endgame – Terezka – Marta. In 2001, he staged the world premiere of JE SUiS at the Theatre on the Balustrade, the crime story inspired by Georges Bernanos’s two or three novels by E. Tobiáš, M. Dohnal, J. Nebeský. Other worth-mentioning productions are those at the Theatre on the Balustrade: E. Jandl’s Aus der Fremde (2005), Lenka Lagronová’s Etty Hillesum (2006), Ibsen’s last play When We Dead Awaken, P. O. Enquist’s Blanche and Marie. The NoD Theatre provided him with the opportunity to stage experimental performances interconnecting various genresu: An Incomplete Dream inspired by F. Pessoa’s writings (NoD, Praha 2007), Lamento/From the Dance into the Dust and to the Dance Once Again (Day and Night of Mother Theresa) written by Lucie Trmíková with M. O. Štědroň’s music (NoD, Praha 2010) and E. Tobiáš’s Quixote-like variation NoD Quijote (NoD, Praha 2011). In 2013 in NoD, he directed Cabaret Shakespeare, Hell/Danto Variations (2014), Double home/ from Čep’s Work (2015), I Love You Like After Death (2016). The Comedy Theatre has seen Tabori’s Cannibals, Jandl’s Humanists (2006), V Dlouhé Theatre performed Ibsen’s Wild Duck (2007), Eyolf (2012) and Hedda Gabler (2016). He staged Ibsen’s Nora at the Pod Palmovkou Theatre (2017). Since 1987 he has worked with the National Theatre on Behan’s The Hostage (1987), Schiller’s tragedy Intrigue and Love (2004) and Moliére’s Don Juan (2008), Shakespeare’s King Lear (2011) and Tartuffe Impromptu! (2014).

He co-founded the authorial, alternative and independent theatre JEDL along with his wife, actress and screenwriter Lucie Trmíková and actor David Prachař who are intrigued by the association of authors and performers from various art disciplines (theatre, dance, music, visual art). Since JEDL was founded in 2011, he has directed more than ten productions, e.g. Medeia (2018), The Waste Land (2018), Private Confessions (2018), Bad Dream (2019), Mr. Pros (2019), ZAHRADNÍČEK / What Is Mine is Yours (2020), Little Creator / Der Kleine Fratz (2020), The Removal of the Virgin of Barby (2021), Marriage Story (2021).

He is currently a freelancer and teacher at the Directing Department at DAMU. He also taught at Acting College Prague.

Jan Nebeský is the winner of the Alfréd Radok Award for directing Aus der Fremde at the Theatre on the Balustrade in 2005. In 2018, he was the laureate of the Theatre Newspaper Award for Nora in the Pod Palmovkou Theatre and the Theatre Critics’ Award for The Thief’s Journal (Masopust independent theatre). In 2019, he received the Ministry of Culture Award for his merits in theatre and the Theatre Newspaper Award in alternative theatre for the production of The Waste Land.

“Unfinished stories, personal rituals, paradoxical gags, inexplicable anxiety or joy of life, neurosis, tormenting self-reflection, liberating ecstasy, peace and reconciliation – these are the ingredients of esoteric messages Jan Nebeský presents to the audience.”
Marie Reslová, Czech theatre