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April 2019


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About Archa Theatre


Archa Theatre

The joint performance of Min Tanaka and John Cale, which officially opened the Archa Theatre in 1994, was a clear hint about the future direction of the theatre's dramaturgy. The encounter of a Japanese dancer and an American musician symbolized the connection of two cultures, two genres and two continents. Archa Theatre strives to be a place that is open to various and unexpected encounters. Its purpose is to examine art’s possibilities, to provide a space for innovative ideas and in various ways to reflect life at the beginning of the third millennium.

During its first seasons, Archa Theatre introduced a great many leading artistic personalities from around the world, including director Robert Wilson, choreographers Wim Vandekeybus, Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker and Jan Fabre, musicians David Byrne, Randy Newman, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Einstürzende Neubauten, Tindersticks, Levellers and many others. Ensembles such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Cheek By Jowl, Ultima Vez, DV8, Handspring Puppet Company and Dogtroep have also performed here. The American poet Allen Ginsberg gave one of his last performances at Archa Theatre.

With its unique dramaturgy, innovative projects that cross the boundaries of artistic genres and cutting-edge technical capabilities, Archa has established a firm reputation on the domestic and international progressive scenes. Archa Theatre does not have a stable ensemble, but operates instead as a production house that provides space to artists for their creative work. This enables the theatre to create its own projects as well as host ensembles and artists both from the Czech Republic and abroad.


At least one original project is created at Archa each year. Archa engages artists who are provided with space to create a theatre production. It is then presented in a series of performances, e.g. over the course of one month. In this way, artists such as Peter Schumann, Min Tanaka, The Residents as well as other Czech and internationally famous personalities and ensembles have created original works under the production of Archa Theatre. The original Opera La Serra by Michal Vích and Jaroslav Dušek and Sweet Theresienstadt written by Arnošt Goldflam and directed by Damien Gray were both created at Archa.


Recent projects include the visual-musical performance Dance Through the Fence, which deals with immigrants in the Czech Republic and is directed by Jana Svobodová as well as the acclaimed world premiere of the new play Leaving by former Czech president Václav Havel and directed by David Radok. The VerTedance group, made up of choreographers and dancers Veronika Kotlíková and Tereza Ondrová, created the Emigrantes project, which examines the phenomenon of refugees through the eyes of children. Archa’s original projects, which often reflect contemporary social issues, are also created and presented outside the usual spaces of the theatre building.


Many of Archa’s projects have met with international acclaim and have been presented at festivals in, among others, Bonn, Johannesburg, London, Kyoto, Tokyo, Belgrade, Brussels and Berlin. In April 2010, Archa’s performance of Leaving will be staged in Seoul, Korea.

Archa.lab

A new initiative from Archa Theatre is Archa.lab. As its name suggests, Archa.lab is an artistic laboratory, whose aim is to create the optimal conditions for continual creation and artistic development, laying emphasis on artistic exploration and experiment in the face of routine and traditional theatrical approaches.

The successful performances Chat – Dangerously Easy Relations (2003) and Nickname (2004) explore the contemporary theme of internet communication. The performances, which move beyond the boundaries of traditional theatre, make original use of modern multimedia and elements of computer communication and are also aimed at those who might not usually chose to come to a traditional theatre performance.

In 2005, as part of the Hans Christian Andersen season, Understand, a poetic performance, full of movement and acrobacy, was created. This was followed in 2006 by the performance DREAMING.ANDERSEN (Direction: Svobodová et. al.), Rost’a Novak’s one man show 8 – Birds Black, Tits Great (directed by SKUTR) and the sight-specific production Strange Neighbour. Academically educated directors, actors, puppeteers, dancers, musicians continue to work with “street artists” to create original performances.


Recent Archa.lab projects include Dance Through the Fence (2008) and Emigrantes (2009) by the VerTedance group, which both examine the phenomenon of refugees in the Czech Republic in very different ways. The ongoing Freedom! Freedom? project (2009/10) combines documentary theatre with expert debate in order to examine the revolutionary changes in Czech society since the year 1989.  

A Unique Space

Today’s Archa Theatre is located on the site of the original D34 theatre, later the E. F. Burian Theatre. The building, originally a concert hall, was built as part of the functionalist banking palace constructed between 1937 and 1939, designed by the architect František Marek. The radical reshaping of the theatre space in 1994 was based on the artistic project from Ondřej Hrab and the architectural designs of Ivan Plicka. The theatre technology was designed by Miroslav Melena.

The unique, multi – purpose space with two halls offers a variety of uses. The large and small halls, with a capacity ranging from  200 – 350 seated and up to 1200 standing , can be altered, arranged and linked according to need. The large hall also has a floor constructed of 4 by 4 metre squares which can be raised and lowered depending on the performance, thus enabling a large and quickly available variability in the theatre space. The theatre is in every respect equipped with the best current technology, from sound and light, through to video and catering.





NEWS

Electronic Beats Festival Prague 2012 - May 5 / 8pm

International music programme presented by Telekom. With: The Whitest Boy Alive, Grimes, Woodkid, Mike Skinner DJ Set (The Streets). Tickets: CZK 250 / CZK 350 at the door.
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The Dramaturgy of Devised Theatre: Shared Space - April 20 and 21

An international symposium for artists working in the field of authored theatre focussing on the concept of theatre as a shared space in which creation is based on mutual dialogue between all the members of the creative team and subsequent dialogue w...
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Archa.lab in March and April

The short residence projects by young artists continue in March and April. The “Movement, Word, Space, Time” atelier led by Jana Svobodová starts on March 22.
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MMIX

3x Min Tanaka - May 7 – 9

3x Min Tanaka - May 7 – 9

Famous Japanese dancer, director and farmer Min Tanaka, a legend of world dance, returns to Prague for the first time in seven years. On May 7 and 8 Archa will present two of his solo shows under the name Locus Focus and on May 9 he will appear toget...
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Lou Reed to play at Archa!

Lou Reed to play at Archa!

Lou Reed will be playing at the Archa Theatre on July 4, as part of the "FROM VU TO LULU" tour. Tickets available from February 23 at the Archa Theatre box office and Ticketpro outlets. Presented by 10:15 Entertainment.
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John Mayall - November 13

John Mayall - November 13

John Mayall coming to Archa Theatre! Concert presented by punx not dead agency together with the Archa Theatre.
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