Tony Kushner


Michal Dočekal

ANGELS IN AMERICA This two-part epic drama by American writer Tony Kushner, the screenplay writer for Spielberg’s films Munich and Lincoln, is about things between heaven and earth, life’s wins and losses, love and betrayal, illness and death, justice and forgiveness – and above all about the world as such. The dramatic fates of eight characters are interwoven against the background of the New York of the mid-1980s, together creating a deep human story that is both cynical and moving. Kushner’s fantastical farce, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize, became the model for the famous serial with Al Pacino and Meryl Streep. Its timelessness can be seen with each new production in the world’s most famous theatres. In one evening the Prague City Theatres show both parts, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, directed by artistic head Michal Dočekal.

… this is an absolute breakthrough, the fulfilment of declared intentions. Moreover, the ABC Theatre has not seen such a production for many years.
– Jana Machalická, Lidové noviny

In conclusion we may paraphrase, with only slight exaggeration, the prophecy of one of the angels in Kushner’s play: “The great work begins.” […] The great work of Michal Dočekal in his new position has begun.
– Marie Reslová, Aktuálně.cz

Angels in America, finally in Czech. The Pulitzer prize-winning drama directed by Michal Dočekal is without a doubt a dramaturgically-significant act even over 25 years since its world premiere.
– Saša Hrbotický, Deník N

… The actors’ performances and their teamwork may be the most visible part of Dočekal’s direction, but the thoughtful set design and evocative music create an impression that attacks the audience with hallucinatory images of cosmic revelations to a degree hitherto unseen in this country.
– Richard Erml, Reflex

… The actors – all of them, without exception – are the production’s greatest asset. Of what other production today can we say the same?
– Vladimír Just, Divadelní noviny

MICHAL DOČEKAL (1965) studied direction at DAMU, followed by an internship at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. In 1991–1994 he was director at the Kašpar theatre company, and in 1994–2002 he reshaped Prague’s Divadlo Komedie as its director and artistic head (it won an Alfréd Radok Award for Theatre of the Year in 1996). From 2002 to 2015 he was the artistic head of the National Theatre’s drama company, and for the next two years its director. In 2011 he was elected a member of the steering committee of the Union of European Theatres (UTE), which currently brings together 21 significant theatres throughout Europe. Since 2015 he has been president of the UTE. He regularly directs in foreign theatres (the Vígszínház in Budapest, the Hungarian Theatre in Cluj, the Teatrul Bulandra in Bucharest, the Aréna in Bratislava, the Slovak National Theatre). His productions have won a number of awards and have been invited to international festivals, such as Theatre in Pilsen, POSZT in Pécs, Interferences in Cluj, the Festival of National Theatres in Warsaw, MESS in Sarajevo, the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro in Bogota and others. From the 2018/19 season he has been the artistic head of the Prague City Theatres.

The PRAGUE CITY THEATRES are one of Prague’s most significant cultural institutions. Following its foundation in 1950, the company performed in several theatres in the surroundings of Wenceslas Square. The places have changed over time, but the spirit of the theatres remains the same. The Prague City Theatres’ most famous period came at the very beginning of the era of the legendary director Ota Ornest (1950 – 1972). Under his leadership, the theatres had one of the best companies of actors in the country. Among those who met in the green room were Rudolf Hrušínský, Lubomír Lipský, Václav Voska, Dana Medřická, Jaroslava Adamová, Jiřina Bohdalová and many others. The repertoire featured both classic drama and plays by modern Western playwrights, as well as comic plays and original Czech works. Under Ota Ornest and further colleagues, including Alfréd Radok, Miroslav Macháček, Václav Hudeček and Ladislav Vymětal, the Prague City Theatres possessed a high-quality company that set the shape of Czech acting for several decades. The Prague City Theatres functioned as a single company until the Velvet Revolution, after which the individual theatres became artistically independent. They were reconnected in 2006 under Ondřej Zajíc and Petr Svojtka. The 2018/2019 season saw the beginning of a new stage for the Prague City Theatres, with Daniel Přibyl becoming head, together with Michal Dočekal as artistic head. Their common goal is to transform the Prague City Theatres into a respected cultural institution that plays an active role in the development not only of Czech and European theatre, but of society as a whole.