SHHH. SHHH. HOOO. WOOF!

Vít Peřina and team

NAIVE THEATRE

Michaela Homolová

SHHH. SHHH. HOOO. WOOF! A studio production by director Michaela Homolová’s team (author Vít Peřina, artist Robert Smolík and musician Filip Homola), the same people responsible for the successful play for very young children The Ram Who Fell From Heaven, shown at our festival a while ago. This production is likewise aimed at children aged 2 and over, has almost no words and is performed to a very small number of audience members sitting within reach of the stage, which is specially adapted. It is the story of a dog who, in order to find his lady dog friend, decides to overcome his fear of the unknown and throws himself head first into a great adventure. As he goes in search of his love he makes lots of new dog friends, who help him to look… The production won four awards at the Mateřinka festival this year (a festival for professional puppet theatres and featuring exclusively work for preschool audiences): for direction, dramaturgical concept, set and acting.

The quartet of actors put together and take apart the railway lines directly in front of the audience, and in a similar way they hand over the steam engine with a dog that circles the stage. It is beautiful, playful, witty and poetic. (…) The subtle live music completes the atmosphere perfectly. The beautiful puppets combining wood and fur are manipulated from above using a metal frame in the style of marionettes, and the arrival of each new dog creates curiosity: what will the next one look like?
After the Ram, in this dog story the Naive Theatre has a further hit for the youngest audiences. And not only for them. Which grown up doesn't like playing with trains and doesn't like dogs?
– Radmila Hrdinová, Divadelní noviny

MICHAELA HOMOLOVÁ (1972) Director and actor. Studied directing and dramaturgy at KALD DAMU in Prague, graduating in 1995 with the production Around the World in Eighty Days in the Malé divadlo in České Budějovice. Since 1996 she has worked with the Prešov theatre Babadlo, and in 1999 she started to work as an actor and director at the NDL. The first plays that she directed there include The Tinder Box, Slapstick and … another Bedřich. Since 2005 she has regularly worked with the author (and dramaturg) Vít Peřina, and their productions for children and young people have won a number of festival awards (for example Alphabet Soup, The Magic Porridge Pot, Roast Doves, or Sayings, Budulínek, The Ram Who Fell From Heaven and others. In 2014 the production of The Ram Who Fell From Heaven was nominated for production of the year in the prestigious Theatre Critics’ Prize.

NAIVE THEATRE LIBEREC was founded in 1949 as one of the first professional puppet theatres in the former Czechoslovakia. Its history is connected with the names of director and actor Jan Schmid (who founded the Ypsilon Studio there in 1963, which then moved to Prague in the 1970s), director Markéta Schartová and playwright Iva Peřinová. Since the early 1990s its managing director has been Stanislav Doubrava. The theatre does not have a permanent director, but works with guest professionals from other puppet and drama theatres. The theatre’s most critically-acclaimed plays include The Handsome Fire Chief or Fire in the National Theatre (2005), directed by Tomáš Dvořák. Its author, Iva Peřinová, was nominated among other things for an anniversary Alfréd Radok Award. The play was filmed by Czech Television, and the company also performed it repeatedly on the stage of the National Theatre’s historic building. Five years later the same creative team produced a puppet interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet Swan Lake (2009). Another area of long-term success has been the theatre’s work for small children, created by director Michaela Homolová and author and dramaturge Vít Peřina. Their production of Budulínek (2012) won an award for the best Czech puppet theatre production of the year. A further production by the team, The Ram Who Fell from Heaven (2014), met with similar acclaim. The company’s further successes include the “magical” productions Bohemia is by the Sea (2016) and There are Places the Dark Likes, Where Never and Nothing Hide on Islands Remote (2017). All these productions – especially Ram, universally understandable in language terms – were successful not just at the Divadlo international theatre festival, but were invited to a number of prestigious Czech and foreign theatre festivals. The Naive Theatre is a regular guest at these festivals, undertaking numerous journeys not only to most European countries, but also to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the US, Canada, Mexico, India, Israel, Korea and Pakistan.