Jana Svobodova (CZ)
Graduate of DAMU (The Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague), Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre
In 1997 she began working with Petr Nikl as playwright, director, and performer for the Czech-South African performances In the Mirror (1998), Behind the Mirror (1999) and Worn-Out Dreams (2001-2004). Under the title Second Hand Twilight, they created a project for the Macufe Festival in Bloemfontein, South Africa (2004).
Since 2003 she has been continuously pursuing projects focusing on collaboration between professional artists and representatives of specific social groups.
For the creation of the performance Chat—Dangerously Easy Liaisons (2003, also performed in Tokyo, Vienna, Cardiff and Berlin) and Dreaming.Andersen (2006, also performed in New York), she worked with members of the hip-hop community.
She also devotes herself to documentary theatre, where she combines theatrical productions with expert panel discussions.
Her project Misunderstanding 68 (2008) dealt with the legacy of 1968; her project 1989—Window of Opportunity dealt with the political and social changes connected to the fall of the Iron Curtain, and was performed in Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, New York and other cities throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia. A critical participant in both projects was Václav Havel.
Since 2004 she has been creating projects that spotlight the fates of foreigners who seek their new home in the Czech Republic—Quest for a Dream (2005), At 11:20 I Will Be Leaving You! (2005), Strange Neighbor (2006), Dance Through the Fence (2008) and Jesters, Spies and Presidents (2010).
Other directorial activities include: Reminiscences, 1993, Archa in Antwerp (1993), Pilgrim’s Journey, 1999), Noah’s Ark, 2000), Nice Anna, 2000, Tender Buttons (2001) and KarMa Tearoom—A Spiritual Horror (2004)
In 2008, with Michael Romanyshyn she co-founded the Allstar Refjúdží Band.
With Aleš Roleček and Ondřej Hrab she wrote the script for the play Questioning Heaven in Despair (directed by J.A. Pitínský) in 2001.
She translated American director Anne Bogart’s book, Viewpoints into Czech (Prague, 2007).
Her socio-theatrical work served as the basis for Pavel Koutecký’s documentaries Come Closer Candy and A Beautiful Life I Will Have!
Together with Ondřej Hrab, in 2010 she founded the international theatre and outreach festival AKCENT; she also serves as the festival’s artistic director.