WHITE FANG Far away to the north, during the time of the Gold Rush, in an inhospitable place and a harsh time, White Fang, a cross between a dog and a wolf, is growing up from a puppy into an adult dog. Nature has made him wild and unfettered, but he has to learn to subject himself to people and to get on with the other dogs. However, he is not easily able to become a member of either the canine or the human pack – he is not accepted, and he has difficulty even accepting himself. His otherness predestines him either to be the first among all of them, or the last. During his adolescence he meets with violence and hate, but also with kindness, even love. What, in the end, will make the strongest mark on his soul? Will he be able to find peace?
The creators of the production won the City of Pilsen Award at the 33rd year of the Skupa’s Pilsen festival for the production concept.
// CREDITS //
DIRECTION: Jakub Vašíček
DRAMATURGY: Tomáš Jarkovský
SET DESIGN: Antonín Šilar
COSTUMES: Tereza Venclová
MUSIC: Daniel Čámský
CAST: Dominik Linka, Luděk Smadiš, Milan Hajn, Milan Žďárský, Jiří Vyšohlíd, Jan Popela
Premiere April 3rd, 2018
// AUTHOR //
JAKUB VAŠÍČEK (1979) a TOMÁŠ JARKOVSKÝ (1986) Graduates in directing from the Faculty of Alternative and Puppet Theatre of DAMU. During their studies the duo produced their own play for the Naive Theatre Liberec, Neklan.cz or From Old Czech Legends. In the following years they worked repeatedly with the Naive Theatre (Camel, Fish, Hen or A Sailor’s Story, Bible Stories) and with further theatres both in the Czech Republic and abroad. They have been regular guest directors at the Alfa Theatre in Pilsen (Hamleteen, Closely Watched Trains, Gotcha! or Sublieutenant Vitásek’s First Case, The Farmer’s Woman), at the Minor theatre in Prague (Hansel and Gretel, How Roosters Coloured the World or Madmen for Children, The Mystery of the Conundrum), in the Small Theatre in České Budějovice (Tom Sawyer, Exiles and Outcasts, A Hundred Years of Holidays) and in Maribor, Slovenia (?Zakaj, Cyrano!). From autumn 2014 they have worked at Divadlo DRAK in Hradec Králové, Jakub Vašíček as a director and the artistic head, Tomáš Jarkovský as a dramaturg. In addition they have their own independent theatre, Športniki, which they founded together with several other former DAMU students in 2011.
DIVADLO DRAK The theatre was founded in 1958. Its initial phase is connected with the author and director Jiří Středa and the visual artist František Vítek. In the second stage, the creative team was extended to include the theatre’s managing director and dramaturg Jan Dvořák, the director Miroslav Vildman, the visual artist Pavel Kalfus and the musician and actor Jiří Vyšohlíd. The production Tales from a Suitcase was a sensation at the UNIMA world festival in 1966, and set the stage for the theatre’s long-lasting popularity both at home and abroad. In 1971 the young director Josef Krofta came to the theatre, and after he was joined by the visual artist Petr Matásek, the legendary Krofta – Matásek – Vyšohlíd team was formed. Thanks to their work, the theatre soon became one of the most significant puppet theatres both at home and in the international context. In 1995 Josef Krofta’s son, the director Jakub Krofta, joined Drak, and together with him the set designer Marek Zákostelecký. Their productions combine elements of puppet, clown, visual and music theatre. At the start of 2010 Eliška Finková became the theatre’s managing director, and together with dramaturg Dominika Špalková started a further gradual transformation of the theatre. The opening of Labyrint then broadened the theatre’s activity to include educational programmes and workshops for children and their teachers, and long-running cooperation with DAMU in Prague was launched as part of the Gaudeamus project. By far the most successful of their productions was George Mélies’ last trick, directed by Jiří Havelka (2013), which obtained a whole number of prestigious awards and has been invited to festivals all over the world. In September 2014 the new permanent director and artistic head Jakub Vašíček and dramaturg Tomáš Jarkovský joined Drak, creating, for example, the successful productions Amundsen versus Scott and The White Deer.
// PRESS //
The main hero holds in his hand, the whole time, a camera that functions as his eyes. Whatever White Fang sees, we see projected on a large screen. The audience is thus given two perspectives: it sees that of the main hero, which is close-up, selective and partly confusing, and at the same time it sees the whole situation in context, as an external observer. This principle allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the main hero, and also a more detailed analysis of what is taking place at that moment.
– Nicol Škvarová, from blog Divědové
The camera allows us to be millimetres away from the various pictures, it manages to portray dramatic situations in a dynamic way and to simulate life from a dog’s perspective – jerky panning, more intense perception of smells and sounds, and all this in Antonín Šilar’s realistic set. The actor playing White Fang, Milan Hajn, holds a camera in his hand most of the time, and manages to give a brilliant acting performance as well as excellent camera work. It is also worth mentioning the performances of the other dogs in the pack – they are highly credible, without unnecessary antics and over-acting.
– Marta Herrmannová, Skupa’s Pilsen festival reporter
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