La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club presented Coffeehouse Chronicles #165: Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 28 May 2022 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
Video archive not available for this event.
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre founder Vít Hořejš and company members reminisce, show video clips, and perform a few scenes.
Featuring dozens of puppets and puppeteers, composers, musicians, partners, producers, and designers, including Carrie Beehan, Deborah Beshaw-Farrell, Michelle Beshaw, Charley Hayward, Tine Kindermann (musical saw), Frank London (composer/trumpet), Valois Marie Mickens, Shoko Nagai (accordion), Alan Barnes Netherton, Adelka Polak, Federico Restrepo, Jane Catherine Shaw, Bonnie Sue Stein, Sarazina J. Stein, and Katarina Vizina.
Moderator: Leslee Asch
Series Director: Michal Gamily
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre mounted Faust, The Petrifying Puppet Comedye, its first production, in 1990 at Jan Hus Sanctuary on New York’s Upper East Side (the old Czech neighborhood). In that early production, the classic Faust story was staged by only three performers (two of them émigrés from Prague, including Vít) and a dozen antique marionettes that were found in the attic of the church. Thirty-two years, a thousand performances and a growing family of puppets later, the troupe is the most prominent example of the magic of Czech marionette puppetry in the United States.
In 1997, the company performed for the first time at La MaMa, creating the acclaimed show GOLEM at the Ellen Stewart Theater, which was later presented by the 1998 Henson International Puppet Festival. GOLEM has music by Frank London, four-foot marionettes created by Jakub “Kuba” Krejci, a set by Roman Hladik, and a dozen performers. What followed is a long association with La MaMa including several shows and premieres.
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre is a resident theater at La MaMa.