In 2016–2017, the Theatre Institute conducted a research and publication project titled Contemporary Slovak Directors and focused on current Slovak theatre direction. As part of its research and documentation activity, the Theatre Institute has been performing systematic reflection and analysis of theatre art on several levels and in numerous ways. The objective of the new project, which focused on Slovak direction, was to capture and consequently make accessible the work of contemporary Slovak directors by way of publishing expert studies as well as pictorial and documentary material.
The project Contemporary Slovak Directors contains a summary of artistic and biographical profiles of present-day Slovak directors, which reflects their directorial work on both Slovak and international theatre stages. The project’s initiative has resulted from the absence of a comprehensive charting of the outcomes of art activity by contemporary directors in Slovakia, as well as from the effort to bridge the ruptures in the presentation of their work in Slovakia and abroad. The project aspired to create comprehensive informative portraits capturing the art of selected directors, who currently represent the cutting edge of Slovak active and high-quality theatre and whose art has been shaping contemporary Slovak theatre direction. The encyclopaedic structure of the name entries and the documentary and pictorial material charting the individual productions are a guarantee of a comprehensive overview of the state of contemporary Slovak direction.
The panoramic reflection of the work of Slovak directors comes in the form of a bilingual representative virtual online catalogue uploaded on the Theatre Institute’s website and on a DVD medium. The unique form of the virtual online catalogue offers a broad overview of the work by Slovak artists as well as a chance to get acquainted with contemporary Slovak theatre in all its diversity and originality. To give international experts, artists and the general public a complete outline of contemporary Slovak direction, the Theatre Institute has created and made accessible the catalogue containing information on twenty directors. Using the form of structured entries, the catalogue presents their work and indicates the basic features of their directorial approach and style. The entries contain descriptions of staging methods, characterization of the aesthetics or poetics in each director’s approach, and definitions of the methods used to work with dramatic texts. The entries also reflect each director’s inclination to certain themes, genres or tandem cooperation with actors, visual artists and musicians. An integral part of each profile is pictorial and documentary material complementing the description of selected productions. Theatrologist Elena Knopová’s analytical study Slovak Directors of the X and Y Generation (resuming dialogue)discusses the most significant developments or tendencies that have shaped Slovak theatre since 1989. It has also become obvious that present-day Slovak directors constitute a very interesting and diverse group which confirms that they are a legitimate part of European theatre and can reciprocally offer a lot to it.
Charting the activities of Slovak directors in the broadest context possible should result in collaboration and mobility of artists and theatres of European countries. Creating a portfolio of contemporary Slovak directors should also be an impulse to open the paths for Slovak artists to find international partners.
The catalogue of theatre directors – Contemporary Slovak Directors – is publicly accessible in Slovak and English. Its electronic form is presented on the Theatre Institute’s website and offers a synoptic and interactive viewing of profiles which, in addition to the basic text, contain a number of photographs and audio-visual material. The digital optical data carrier makes it possible to transfer unique content in high picture and sound quality to various operating systems, and to use the content whenever necessary. The Contemporary Slovak Directors DVD allows Slovak artists to be presented worldwide and to prove that current Slovak theatre is very productive, inspiring, progressive and also open to international collaboration.
The project captures the work of Slovak directors until theatre season 2016/2017. The new profiles of contemporary Slovak directors will be continuously updated in the virtual online catalogue.
The structure of a director’s entry/profile:
- professional CV
- description of her/his art
- list of works (year, theatre, author, title)
- awards (domestic and international)
- photographs from work (productions)
- audio-visual samples of work
* You can find more details about all artists and creators of individual productions staged at Slovak professional theatres at: www.etheatre.sk. A comprehensive online information database is accessible from www.theatre.skand represents an electronic information archive of stage productions by professional theatres in Slovakia.