Prague Crossroads 2019

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The central ambition of the international festival Prague Crossroads is to bring productions, which are trying to express the attitude to the contemporary social state of affairs in an original way. One of the most important ways to cultivate Czech theatre – and local taste – is a constant confrontation with how theatre is done abroad. Theatre keeps developing depending on society and is linked to the social context in many aspects, thus the comparison with different attitudes is beneficial. It is not about adopting the trends or imitating international patterns, but rather an opportunity to look around. We are interested in remarkable performers who have not been to the Czech Republic yet.

All productions from this year’s offer can be summarized in the idea we set as a goal last year and we mean to keep fulfilling: presented pieces are related to the present and feelings of our contemporaries. The festival week will start with the Polish Teatr Rozmaitości from Warsaw. Director Anna Karasińska will bring the production Fantasia – in which six actors continuously receive instructions who they should become on the stage. It is not psychological empathy, but rather a game on the verge of words, the performer’s physical presence and audience’s imagination – can all the elements intersect and create a stage miracle?

Another star will be the choreographer and director of the Austrian-French origin Gisèle Vienne with her production The Ventriloquist Convention she worked on which puppet actors from Puppentheatre v Halle. Yet it is not a fairy tale: the regular convention of ventriloquists and their puppets sees the separation of bodies and voices, and the borders between the animating and animated face away, reminding us of the world today.

Flora Détraz plays with puppetry as well in her dance production without motion Muyte Maker. Four dancers from the Pli company sit at the table with their hair bound to the ceiling, communicating with minimal movement – and intensive facial expressions.

Actors must do without facial expressions in Three Sisters directed by Susanne Kennedy from Germany, whose production premiered in spring 2019 in Kammerspiele, Munich. The author works with methods denying psychological acting, yet she is able to elicit impressive atmosphere: actors in disguise, with reduced gestures, recorded sound – it is a weirdly estranged world, resembling a strong ritual…

The B buildings will present two projects with the main topic of sound – whereas Kate McIntosh from New Zealand, who is based in Belgium, performs acoustic experiments with viewers in the auditory as part of All Ears, Rima Najdi will present a scenic concert with an ironic title Happy New Fear, in which she will use experimental music, sound design, screenings and a live radio play with Madame Bomba looking for her lover… Meet and greet with authors after each performance, lectures and other events we employ to turn the New Stage into the space of actual living theatre will not be missing either.

30th September – 6th October 2019
New Stage, National Theatre