Create your own version of the events. Let the story lead you...
Based on documentary evidence and formally inspired by the Ancient Greek drama, Eyewitness was originally scheduled for the winter of 2020/2021. The play is based on a historical event that occurred in 1945 and focuses on the phenomenon of an “eyewitness” – a person who comes to the stage to narrate what happened off-stage, which is indeed a concept from Ancient Greek drama.
The well-documented event took place just after the end of WWII. Two transports met at a railway station, one carrying Carpathian Germans, Hungarians, and Slovaks displaced to Sudetenland during World War II, who were now returning to their hometowns and the other carrying soldiers. The meeting ended up in the mass murder of 265 returnees, with the majority of the victims being women and children. The witness (a silent and often active one) was the village of Lověšice and its citizens. Further dramatic circumstances concern the investigation of the incident and the numerous eyewitness testimonies and other documents that have been preserved.
The actors of NT Drama, along with several guests, have lent their faces and voices to dozens of witnesses, whose testimonies will serve as an open playground for the audience. We have captured authentic witness testimonies on camera in a format similar to Skype or Zoom calls. We hope that the number of simultaneous, yet absolutely contradictory statements will encourage the audience to watch them on their computers and try to reconstruct the story from the fragments provided.
An old story narrated through modern visual technologies and old documents brought to life, still offering the same, horrific testimony.
Audience: adult, children 16+
About the company
The National Drama Theatre Prague is the largest company of its ilk in the Czech Republic. In the pre-covid times, our company premiered seven to eight productions a year, while also pursuing a host of accompanying activities and educational programmes. We also offer critical writing courses and playwriting classes. We aim to make the National Theatre an open and vigorous institution. While keeping in mind that contemporary theatre should preserve the cultural legacy of the Czech lands, it must also afford scope for vivid gatherings and thus naturally respond to current social issues.
Theatre Outside Theatre.
When theatres were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NT Drama searched for ways to respond to the situation and perform outside theatres. Traditional theatre is inconceivable without live performances and immediate contact with the audience, but is there any decent alternative? Is it possible to record a performance and still keep the spirit of theatre?
A play that is to be transformed into another medium must be “reinvented.” Taking the stage performance as the basis, we tried to find a visual or acoustic expression that would communicate with the audience almost as if they were sitting in the theatre. On the other hand, we took it as an opportunity to break through the limits of the stage and create a riveting show outside the theatre building.
This is the essence of the “Theatre Outside Theatre” project: new experience, new theatre.