Drak Theatre stood out at international festivals and won a few awards

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Drak Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty was successful in September at three international theatre festivals. The puppeteer Jan Popela won the award for the role of an evil fate at the 54th International Puppet Theatre Festival – PIF in Zagreb, Croatia. His performance was also acknowledged at the 28th Children’s Theater Festival in Subotica, Serbia. The non-traditional puppet comedy The Sleeping Beauty was also awarded the Grand Prix for the best production in Subotica.

The Sleeping Beauty was staged at the THEATRE international festival in Pilsen where the audience received it very warmly: “Accurate work with puppets and super comic representation of the evil fate,” wrote Kateřina Kykalová in her festival news for the Theatre Newspaper website. “I like Jakub Vašíček’s and Tomáš Jarkovský’s production the most as they once again defended their lawful place in the top puppet theatre.”

“We are really happy about new awards and they are great motivation for us to work harder. We truly appreciate that our non-traditional interpretation of a classical fairy tale as a hand puppet comedy with steampunk features can carry the message and is positively received across generations and cultures. Two awards for Jan Popela for his truly puppeteer-like interpretation are a double joy for me. They prove his special talent and skills, demonstrating what we have been promoting for a long time: like previous generations of the Drak Theatre, we proudly acknowledge the Czech puppeteer tradition and we want to follow them with our work. The awards only confirm that Czech puppet theatre is a phenomenon that still has something to offer,” says Tomáš Jarkovský, the director of the Drak Theatre. The audience in Hradec will see the performance of the award-winning production The Sleeping Beauty on 23 October at PM on the Main Stage of the Drak Theatre.

The International Puppet Theatre Festival – PIF in Zagreb is an international festival focusing on professional puppet theatre. It has taken place regularly since 1968 and has a rich history. This year will host the 54th edition, with 450 participating theatres from all continents in the course of its existence. The festival is distinctive due to its wide range of dramaturgy from traditional to experimental performances. It takes place in theatres, city streets and has an extensive accompanying program. The festival has two juries. Children’s jury, which watches all performances for children and selects the best according to what they think, and the international jury with professionals, which awards the prizes for the best production and performances. The Zagreb festival aims to improve puppet performances, keep up with current trends in puppetry and remember the tradition and specific features of puppetry schools.

The trip to the International Puppet Theatre Festival – PIF was possible thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic – Department of International Relations.

International Children´s Theater Festival in Subotica is much younger. The festival was established in 1994 and its 28th edition took place this year. It has become a very important and acknowledged cultural event in the past thirty years. The program of the festival focuses on the production for children up to 18 years of age and it hosted more than 500 companies from fifty countries.