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Michal Dočekal

Acted and directed at the Rubín theatre’s A Studio while still at secondary school. Between 1985 and 1991 he studied stage direction at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and during this time took up a half-year study residency in London. From 1991 to 1994 he was stage director at the Kašpar Theatre Society (directing, among other plays, Katynka (Kleist), Doňa Juana (T. de Molina, H. Bylina’s adaptation), Clavija (Goethe, J. Vostrý’s adaptation). Between 1994 and 2002, not only as a stage director but also artistic director, he transformed Prague’s Divadlo Komedie (Theatre of the Year 1996, Alfréd Radok Award), directing Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, Shakespeare’s King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice, Enquist’s Bildmakarna (The Image Makers), Christie’s Ten Little Indians, etc. A landmark artistic achievement was his 2001 conception of Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus staged in the underground of Vyšehrad Castle in Prague (Divadelní noviny Award). At the time, he also worked as a guest director at other theatres. Prior to joining the National Theatre, he had staged two productions at the Kolowrat Theatre – Joyce’s Exiles (1994) and Beckett’s Happy Days (1998). He became Artistic Director of the National Theatre Drama in 2002. He debuted with Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, followed by 4.48 Psychosis (Kane), Like Totally Weird (Mastrosimone), Krapp’s Last Tape (Beckett/Mihalovici), The Miser (Moliere), Hypermarket (Klimáček), The Persecution and Torture of Dr. Šalda (Anonymous), Sellers of Souls (Bassetti), Pygmalion (Shaw), Father (Jirásek), At Home (Františák), A Little Might Music (Kohout). At the present time, his productions in the National’s repertoire include: at the National Theatre: Cyrano de Bergerac; at the Estates Theatre: Richard III (Shakespeare; for its stage direction he was nominated for the Divadelní noviny and Sazka Award), The Government Inspector (Gogol), Mikveh (Galron), August: Osage County (Letts);The Seagull (Tchechow), Enron (Lucy Prebble); at the New Stage: Waiting for Godot (Beckett), Saved (Bond); What Happend After Nora Left her Husband (Jelinek) and at the Kolowrat Theatre: The Retreat from Moscow (Nicholson). Michal Dočekal has made its remarkable impact on Central European theatre as well. He successfully directed Mikveh (2009), a play of a contemporary Israeli playwright Hadal Galron, in Arena Theatre in Bratislava, Slovakia, and later also in Vigszínház, Budapest, Hungary (2010). He returned to Slovakia in 2011, he directed A Streetcar Named Desire (2011) in the Slovak National Theatre. For his artistic achievements, Michal Dočekal has received (in addition to the aforementioned awards): in 2004 the Czech Literary Fund Award for the 2003 Shed Project and the international Flaiano Prize in 2003 in Pescara, Italy. He was elected to the Board of Directors UTE (Union des Théâtres de l’Europe) in 2011.

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