Those Who Speak for Themselves

Those Who Speak For Themselves is a production in which the performers are not actors. They don't play roles. Instead, they represent themselves. Stories intertwine and people meet unexpectedly.



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The theatre production Those Who Speak for Themselves transforms Archa Theatre into a gallery, where the authentic life stories of twelve women become the exhibits. The story takes place in parallel at five locations in the large hall and is repeated four times during the performance.

The audience moves freely in the space and can decide for themselves whether or not to return to a certain story, follow the action to the smallest detail or engage with it as a whole. It is up to them whether they will experience all the narratives, or only some of them, or in what order they will perceive the authentic stories of the performers.

Those Who Speak For Themselves is a production in which the performers are not actors. They don't play roles. Instead, they represent themselves. Stories intertwine and people meet unexpectedly. Just like when you’re walking down the street: you think of something, then someone passes and you catch a snatch of a sentence. That sentence becomes a new story. Then it becomes the only story. Your story.

The production explores the boundaries of closeness and intimacy in many ways. Not only through the authenticity of the narration and the physical proximity of the audience, but also because the performers control the lighting and sound technology themselves, from the stage. Among other things, spectators can follow the performers' personal social media profiles during the performance on twelve smartphones which are part of the show.

The creators refer to the unique production as a theatrical installation. Director Jana Svobodová, who also created the concept, does not provide a uniform experience for the audience; instead, each spectator creates their own mosaic of stories.

Audience: Adults, Children 13+

Archa Theatre is a centre for contemporary stage art regardless of genre. Since it was founded in 1994, Archa has established a solid reputation on the progressive domestic and international scenes with its unique dramaturgy and innovative projects. It operates as a production house that provides artists with space for their creative work.

Over the past 25 years, Archa has welcomed aboard renowned international figures including Robert Wilson, Min Tanaka, Wim Vandekeybus, Ultima Vez, Dogtroep, Rimini Protokoll and many others.

Projects by emerging artists are developed under the auspices of Archa.lab and its residencies. The theatre's International Summer School serves as a platform for experimentation and research in the field of documentary theatre. One of Archa's flagship events each season is the Akcent International Festival of Documentary Theatre. Theatre director Jana Svobodová is the artistic director of both activities.

Svobodová has focused on projects based on collaborations between professional artists and representatives of specific social groups. She worked with refugees, the Roma community, citizens of rural towns, inhabitants of townships and hip-hop artists. Her projects have been presented at festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad. Together with Ondrej Hrab, she co-creates the dramaturgical strategy for the Archa Theatre.


This particular form, which dissolved conventional presentation, in which auditorium and stage are separated, is presented by the first domestic theatre installation featuring a dozen women performers. In the project Those Who Speak for Themselves, presented by Archa in Prague, the performers do not play roles, but, on the contrary, open their hearts to the audience.
(Kristýna Čtvrtlíková, 22/07/2021, Právo)

Theatre / company

Archa Theatre

Czech title

Ti, kdo mluví sami za sebe


Jana Svobodová & collective


Jana Svobodová


Michal Nejtek


Ondřej Hrab

Stage design

Jana Svobodová, Pavel Kotlík

Costume design

Romana Sekáčová

Lighting design

Pavel Kotlík

Sound design

Jan Sedláček, Ladislav Štěrba

Length of the performance

100 minutes

Stage area


Number of travelling persons





Adult , Children