| Open: 03/04/10 Close: 03/21/10
New York based Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (www.czechmarionettes.org) in collaboration with AGENTURA DELL’ARTE (from Prague) probes revolution with stilts and strings in "Revolution!?," a theater spectacle that examines revolutions throughout the history of mankind as a backdrop for the extraordinary peaceful 1989 Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia. "Revolution!?," the brainchild of Pavel Dobruský and Vit Horejš, has been brewing over the last 18 months, including script development and a rehearsal period in Brno, Czech Republic last August. The work has been rehearsed and further developed in the Czech Republic during a final one-month residency, for which the U.S. team traveled to Prague from January 26 to February 26, 2010.
The piece is performed in the tradition of Central European medieval street and traveling circus shows, using commedia dell' Arte, puppetry, object theater and circus arts. Czech and Czech-American theater artists have collaborated to offer an overview of the very notion of revolution based on their particular perspectives on the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Dobruský and Horejš began with script scenarios on the subjects of the Titanomachy (when the Olympian gods overthrew the Titans), the Agrarian Revolution (when organized agriculture started and animals were domesticated), the Spartacus Rebellion, the 15th century Hussite movement of peasants in Czech lands, the American, French, Industrial and Russian Revolutions; the Counterculture, the Computer Revolution and the Czech Velvet Revolution. The performance was developed primarily through improvisation in a month of workshops in Prague this February. The result is a collection of "acts," one for each topic, that range in style from dance theater to pure commedia to rhythm dances to narrated scenes and dialogue scenes, all containing a great deal of acrobatics. Much of the evening is performed on stilts. The puppets are primarily marionettes made from wood blocks whose "clop clop clop" against the stage floor allows them to double as rhythm instruments.
"Revolution!?" is written and directed by Pavel Dobruský and Vít Horejš. Set, costumes and lighting are by Dobruský. The performers are Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre members Theresa Linnihan, Ronny Wasserstrom and Vít Horejš, together with three guests from the Czech Republic: stilt walkers/performers Adela Jiracková and Sergej Sanza, and acrobatic dancer Hana Kalousková.
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre made an auspicious Theater for the New City debut last season with "The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius, Lovers and Spyes, and about Their Untymelie End while Sitting in a Small Room at the Correctional Facility in Ossining New York." The company is excited to return to Crystal Field's theater, a venue which embraces new work and enables socially-engaged performances like "Revolution!?" to reach receptive audiences at affordable prices.