THE SMALLEST OF THE SAMI Beyond the polar circle, where frost and cold reign, live the Lapps. They have herds of reindeer, which they look after, and when the reindeer no longer have anything to eat, the herdsmen set out with them in search of new pasture. One day, the smallest of the Sami sets out on such a journey. He has no idea what awaits him, but he rushes headlong into adventure. The play was created as a graduation production at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre of the DAMU theatre school. It won second place in the 2019 Erik puppetry awards.
A simple but extremely functional staging idea (tiny puppets on a drum and only a minimum of other requisites) forms the basis for a tale of initiation about an outsider’s path to growing up and acceptance by society. It has a strong moral charge, but also a strong atmosphere and a wealth of elaborate puppetry tricks. One that stays in the memory is the playing with perspective – who says that already small puppets cannot be much, much smaller still?
— MICHAL ZAHÁLKA, Loutkář
JOHANA BÁRTOVÁ (1997) studied photography and applied media at the Higher Vocational and Secondary School of Graphic Art at Hellichova in Prague. This year she finished the bachelor’s programme at DAMU theatre school in Prague, studying direction and dramaturgy at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre. Her production of The Smallest of the Sami played at the Figuren theatre festival in Erlangen, Germany.
DRAMA LABEL, a platform founded by producers Johana Urbanová and Adam Svoboda, offers young Czech alternative and puppet theatre for the international market. It currently has a selection of eighteen productions, mostly from the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre at DAMU theatre school. The main aim is to help young artists to take part in international festivals and to allow them to present their work in an international context.