Havelka Jiří


Director, author, actor

Havelka always explores the possibilities of theatre time and space and creation of theatre illusions, and he emphasizes the uniqueness of theatre as a tool of direct communication.

His plays are often on the verge of drama and alternative, or motion and art theatre.

His way of rehearsal is rather specific as there is usually no text at the beginning. It is a collective way of rehearsing and it is designed for a specific collective or theatre.

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His original production about theatre Drama in a Nutshell (2005) drew the attention as well as Where the Wind Is, There is His Beach (2008), which brings windsurfing on the stage. Having cooperated with the Ypsilonka theatre, he also produced a very successful collage from the life and works of Alfred Jarry Jarry the Supermale (2006). He transferred Einstein’s Theory of Relativity on the stage in HaDivadlo in the production Indian in Danger (2008). Having left the permanent engagement in Ypsilonka, he developed the cooperation with the Theatre on the Balustrade (authorial performance Ubu Is Having Fun, 2010 or nonverbal Madness, 2014), Na Vinohradech Theatre (Tyl’s Fidlovačka, 2010) and HaDivadlo (The World in Danger, 2012 ). He also directed several international projects, such as Czech-German EXIT 89 (2008), a concert show with British group The Tiger Lilies Here I am Human! for the Archa Theatre or several Czech-Canadian projects. He has been recently associated with his “home” company Vosto5. The ensemble has enriched Czech theatre with pure improvisation, word juggling, persiflage and mystification as well as original interpretation of Czech national topics (e.g. the acrobatic-martial-motion performance from the time of the Protectorate Pérák – What’s in the Name? It’s Actions that Count!, 2011 or critically acknowledged Brass Band, 2013, original theatre invasions in public space called Second City or technologically innovative site-specific attitude in the theatre sci-fi Colonization – A New Origin!, 2016). Another important Vosto5 production is The Fellowship of Homeowners, which won the Theatre Newspaper Award in the category of alternative theatre and it was also an inspiration for the movie Owners directed by Havelka and screened in 2019.

The last big feat related to Vosto5 was the coproduction project with the National Theatre Drama, 8people, National Museum and Archa Theatre Velvet Simulation, which was created at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. It was a theatre reconstruction of events on the verge of a production, installation and happening, and it was divided into three parts: Cabinet, Federal, Tribune. He also presented the production Colonel Švec (2018) and the documentary film Eyewitness (2021) at the National Theatre in Prague.

Speaking of dance theatre, he cooperates most intensively with Vertedance (Correction, 2014). He also cooperates with theatres abroad - e. g. Slovak National Theatre Bratislava (Elites, 2017; We Don’t Play Tonight, 2019).

It is necessary to mention cooperation with the Dejvice Theatre where he directed several productions: Black Hole (2007), Wanted Welzl (2011), Kakadu (2014) a The Murder of Gonzago (2017) which won the nomination for the Theatre Critics’ Award in 2017 in the category of the best Czech play staged for the first time.

In the field of puppet theatre he won his way with the nonverbal illusionist trailblazing Georges Melies’s Last Trick (2016 – Theatre Newspaper Award in puppet theatre, Erik Award for the best puppet production) and other awards from international festivals.

He graduated from the DAMU in alternative and puppet theatre directing in 2002, he is currently the head of the Alternative and Puppet Theatre Department at DAMU in Prague.

Apart from numerous nominations for the performances and awards from foreign festivals, he has received Zlomvaz festival award, the Reflex magazine award, the Theatre Newspaper award, the Herald Angel Award at the prestigious Fringe festival in Edinburgh and the Alfred Radok Award in the category Talent of the Year 2008.