Credit: Divadlo DIP

Divadlo DIP Recount The Trauma of 20th Century Czechoslovakia Through Immersive Theatre

Divadlo DIP, in coordination with the Memory of Nations Institute in Brno and the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts (JAMU), is welcoming everyone to participate in their latest theatre project “Troublesome classmates”. 

For some time now, Divadlo DIP has been offering an immersive experience that retells the real story of Jana Kaněrová and Zdeněk Adamec, a pair of school teachers that witnessed the turmoil of the 20th century in Bohemia. 

Thanks to Juliána Valiašková, Monika Okurková, and a group of students from JAMU, the public has the opportunity not only to listen, but to take in with all the senses the life story of Kaněrová and Adamec through the days of the first Czechoslovak Republic, surviving the Nazi rule in the Czech territory, and throughout the different stages of the national communist era, including the Soviet occupation in response to the Prague Spring. 

Credit: Divadlo DIP

The creators and producers behind this project aim to sensitise audiences with this story, based on true events. “Current audiences can understand it greatly,” said Okurková. “Because many people today can say ‘I am experiencing nothing fundamental, but I know what is happening elsewhere, to other people, and it bothers me…’.”

Making the most out of prompts and sensory stimulus, the production provides its audience, who become active agents of the intimate story, with an overview of these very important chapters in the history of the country they know today, as well as with an entertaining exploration of performance art.

After attending the English premiere of the play, directed by Vojtěch Žák, it would only be fair to praise the impeccable care in the treatment of the audience, as the production staff understands the responsibility needed when approaching such delicate historical episodes. Besides this, the overall attention to detail in this production is remarkable, with not a single obstacle in the performance that would make the show lose track. Creative and resourceful elements accompany Kaněrová and Adamec’s testimony for the whole 40-minute duration of “Troublesome classmates”. 

Credit: Divadlo DIP

The new English-friendly version of the production opens to international audiences the local culture, results and consequences of the trauma experienced by the Czech people last century, and the decisions of courageous individuals that are often overlooked by history books and memorials. Designed for two spectators, the creators of the piece recommend visiting in gender-mixed pairs due to the cast in the narrative audio tracks, although this is not a requirement and everyone is welcome.

English performances of the play will be held on 8 May and 20 June, at Café Paměti národa. These, as well as tickets for the original Czech version, can be booked on their website

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