THE CZECHOSLOVAK-AMERICAN MARIONETTE THEATRE (CAMT) is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of traditional and not-so-traditional puppetry. As new immigrants from Prague, we wanted to create a theatre company based on the well-known marionette traditions of Central Europe, where puppetry has a strong and creative history.
Director Vit Horejs met with President of Slovakia, Mr Kiska, at a recent reception in NYC at the Slovak residence. The President was very impressed by Czechoslovak American Marionette Theatre’s vast activities, and they spoke for a while about NY and culture and their mutual immigrant stories. It turns out that Mr. Kiska worked as a construction assistant in NYC in the 1980s for the whopping sum of $4 per hour!
What a journey from painting apartments in Astoria to the Presidency! Vit topped him, earning $6 an hour during his first days in NY.
A traditional Czech Marionette play with some not-so-traditional touches; adapted and directed from an anonymous play of itinerant puppeteers by Vit Horejs.
In this production, Downtown meets the Folk Tradition. High and low, live performers and puppets of disparate sizes are blended to a startling comical and sometime touching effect. The puppets include antiques, puppets designed and constructed by master carver Jakub Krejci, toy puppets by Prague-based Milos Kasal, and a giant surprise by Alan Barnes Netherton. The actor/puppeteers are Deborah Beshaw, Otis Cotton, Tess Wonson, Vít Horejs and Theresa Linnihan. Costumes are by Theresa Linnihan and Egypt Dixon. Set design is by Theresa Linnihan and Alan Barnes Netherton. Music, performed by John Bowen, is composed expressly by Court Kappelmeister Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Review of Vit’s new show by Joan Acocella in the New Yorker:
This week, at La Mama, the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre presents “Twelfth Night,” for sixteen marionettes performing on three tea trays (the beach, Orsino’s palace, and Olivia’s house). This sounds pretty camp, but, in fact, it’s an entirely respectable piece of modernism. It’s minimalist. (Three tea trays!) It’s artificial. (The actors, being eight inches tall, can sit in teacups while declaiming their lines.) It’s also reflexive; it’s about puppetry. Read more
NOVEMBER 12 TO 29, 2009
LA MAMA E.T.C.
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater will perform “Twelfth Night (or What You Will),” the timeless Shakespearean tale of mistaken identity and misplaced matrimony, as part of La MaMa Puppet Series 3. This three-tea-tray production, adapted and directed by Vít Horejš, will feature 22 eight-inch toy marionettes and three (more or less) live performers. To tell Shakespeare’s tale of twins separated in a shipwreck, the production will have eight- inch wonders of Czech craftsmen cavorting on the sands of Illyrian beaches, almost perishing in tumultuous waters teeming with giant fish and turtles, and bathing in champagne at the court of that paragon of Uptown decadence, Count Orsino. The lovelorn Count Orsino, the bumbling Toby Belch and his clowny compadres will be cast with woodenheaded actors. The waterfalls of wooing words written by William Shakespeare are adapted by that modern master of Bohemian rhapsodies, Vit Horejš.