HER STEPDAUGHTER A classic, realist drama about an unrequited love and a secret child, which in Slovácko Theatre’s new interpretation becomes a purely contemporary tragedy of passion and hypocrisy, set in this day and age and translated into the contemporary dialect spoken in the Moravian Slovak town of Bánov. Jitka Hlaváčová was nominated for a Thalia Award for her role as Kostelnička. After the death of her husband, Kostelnička takes in Jenůfa, his daughter from his first marriage. Although she is her stepdaughter and not blood-related, Jenůfa begins to repeat Kostelnička’s life journey. Kostelnička, an exquisitely beautiful woman, fell passionately in love with a local dandy in her youth, but married life with him turned into a purgatory of sorts. Just like her, Jenůfa foolishly falls in love with the frivolous Števa – and gets herself pregnant. However, Števa’s half-brother Laca has long carried a torch for Jenůfa. In his jealousy, he injures her cheek, leaving a scar. While Števa is no longer interested in Jenůfa on account of her disfigured face, Laca still loves her. Kostelnička sees an opportunity: she could protect Jenůfa’s reputation by marrying her off to Laca. But Števa’s child stands in the way...
Eva Jiřikovská’s set design takes on the form of a rotating greenhouse; at first, apple cider is pressed on stage and everyone is dressed in black and mostly rubber costumes. The direction then uses, in a variety of ways, a foldable ironing board, which Kostelnička uses to push the inquisitive Mayor’s wife out of her living space. The oppressive atmosphere (a dead baby – a toy floating as a memento on a liquid illuminated in blue light) is bizarrely enlivened by the jovial Mayor (played by David Vaculík) who is often pulling a cork or two, as well as his daughter Karolka (Michaela Krajčová). She stands out from the rest with her ceremonial, silver dress and comes to congratulate Jenůfa and Laca on their upcoming marriage, which is quintessentially inappropriate in this context. This riveting production leaves nothing to be desired and even supporting actors play their parts flawlessly.
– JAN KERBR, Lidové noviny
MICHAL ZETEL (1981) He holds a degree in theatre direction from the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno. He participated in the founding of the Tramtarie Theatre in Olomouc and also founded the Buranteatr in Brno. He has worked with Slovácko Theatre since 2012 and served as its managing director from 2015 to 2020. In 2022, he directed the award-winning adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Zetel is an associate professor at JAMU, where he heads the musical acting studio and serves as vice-dean for artistic activities. From this season onward, he also serves as the artistic head of the Horácko Theatre in Jihlava.
SLOVÁCKO THEATRE IN UHERSKÉ HRADIŠTĚ The Slovácko Theatre has repeatedly shown how its significance stretches far beyond that of a regional theatre. From 1 January 1990, actor and director Igor Stránský served as the theatre’s artistic director for 25 years. Notable directors have collaborated with the theatre, including J. A. Pitínský, Oxana Smilková, Zdeněk Dušek, Radovan Lipus, Radek Balaš, Zoja Mikotová, Martin Františák, Jakub Maceček, Dodo Gombár, Anna Petrželková, and others. From 2015 to 2020, Michal Zetel held the managing director position at the theatre. He continued to collaborate with well-established directors (Martin Františák, Jakub Maceček, and Anna Petrželková) whilst also bringing in new directors who had not worked at the Slovácko Theatre before, such as Šimon Caban, Lukáš Kopecký, Linda Keprtová, Roman Groszmann, Michal Skočovský, and others. Since 2020, Lukáš Kopecký has been serving as artistic director.