Green Day's American Idiot

Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Mayer


Steve Josephson

GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT A musical based on the album of the same name by American punk rock band Green Day. Three young men are trying to escape from the arid stereotype of suburban life, but each sets out on a different path. Where will these paths take them at the beginning of the 21st century? The stage set is semi-concert style and audiences can look forward to the popular hits American Idiot, 21 Guns, Know Your Enemy and a number of others, performed by the young members of the DJKT’s musical company and directed by respected American director Steve Josephson. Given the popularity of the original songs, the musical is performed in the original English, with Czech subtitles.

“ Many years ago, dramaturg Pavel Bár and I were talking about all sorts of works that attracted us in some way. And among other musicals we chose this one. I think that being daring is something that belongs to the DJKT’s Small Stage. We said: let’s do a project that’s going to be really loud. The music will be so loud that we might have to give the audience earmuffs, but I think it will be a massive emotional experience here, just like in London … I consider the Pilsen musical company to be top of the range in the Czech Republic. I’m not planning any guest stars, I think we have fantastic people for this music… Many of the themes in American Idiot resonate in our current situation. Theatre has always been a rousing element and it should be one now.”
——LUMÍR OLŠOVSKÝ, šéf muzikálového souboru DJKT Plzeň

“ It’s a seriously energetic ride on a punk wave, bolstered by the experience of director Steve Josephson (RENT), collective teamwork and fantastic individual performances, starting with Pavel Klimenda, whose Johnny hits rock bottom but in the end manages to drag himself out of the swamp of drug addiction. The musical is blessed with excellent choreography and artistic wit.

STEVE JOSEPHSON (1962) Theatre producer, director, choreographer, actor, teacher and acting coach with over thirty years of experience, including work with renowned artists creating innovative theatre projects. He studied acting and dance at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, US, but soon began to focus on directing and choreography. He founded several organisations concerned with the performing arts and creation, and showing a wide palette of theatre productions in the US and Europe. From 2012 he has lived mainly in Prague, where he has drawn attention with the award-winning musicals Sweeney Todd and Rent in the Divadlo na Prádle, Into the Woods in the Divadlo Kolowrat and Ray Bradbury’s 2116 in the Divadlo Semafor.

DJKT MUSICAL After the National Theatre of Moravia and Silesia in Ostrava, the DJKT’s musical section is the longest-functioning ensemble in the Czech Republic to devote itself continuously to musical entertainment in the theatre. The prehistory of the current DJKT musical section goes back to the first operetta productions by the independent Czech theatre in Pilsen in the second half of the 19th century, when operetta, together with plays with songs, was the dominant representative of musical entertainment theatre. Its productions were created by the opera or singing company, with an orchestra and a chorus at its disposal. The independent operetta company was created in 1954 thanks to the efforts of head director Rudolf Lamp and the exceptionally talented and hard-working director J. O. Karel, who also became the company’s first head. The first musical in the Pilsen theatre’s repertoire, however, had been produced in 1950 – it was a Czech adaptation by Jiří Voskovec and Jan Werich of the famous Finian’s Rainbow. In the following years, however, musicals, as an American creation, were not welcome on Czech states, and so no further ones were shown until the early 1960s. Musicals then grew more and more popular with audiences, and so over the course of more than half a century Pilsen saw famous works such as My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Hello, Dolly!, Cabaret and others. The theatre’s management and the heads of the company also supported original Czech musical work – in the last decades this includes the musicals Kristián 2, A Clockwork Orange, The Jungle Book, Viktorka Pilsen or I don’t see it otherwise and Liduschka (Baarová). Musical productions gradually came to dominate over operetta in the repertoire, and especially after 2000 the company specialised in musicals more and more. From the 2013/2014 season the operetta productions were permanently moved to the opera company, which has its own orchestra and chorus, and the original operetta ensemble thus became purely the musical section of the DJKT.