Theatre STOKA, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA
directed by: Blaho Uhlár
There is no ensemble in the post-Communist era of Slovak theatre, that would be more apt to be labelled legendary. It is amazing how, in the story of the STOKA Theatre and in the personal story of the director Blah Uhlár, the boundary gets blurred between theatre and civil world, between illusion and reality, and how fittingly Stoka articulates a response to current public issues. After quite some time time, the independent Bratislava STOKA Theatre makes a comeback to the main festival programme at Divadelná Nitra. The particular theme and acting precision in the mosaic Endocannabinoid is inspired by the Hieronymus Bosch painting Garden of Earthly Delights. Endocannabinoid is a substance similar to tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabinoids have a relaxing and slightly euphoric effect. How to come to terms with the fact that human body is capable of creating a substance that is prohibited by law? Where does the Creator lead us? We are on the quest for paradise. We balance on the fragile border between good and evil. In the pursuit of pleasure, we lose our humanity. Where is our future? Do we know anything about it, or are we just anxious? Are we afraid of life? Our frustrations and existential anxieties are concealed behind the grotesque humour STOKA. Everyone knows that when Stoka arrives, we learn something disagreeable about ourselves. Something we would rather not know, or not want to know. Yet, or precisely because of this, STOKA is part of our social consciousness.
directed by: Blaho Uhlár
music: Lucia Piussi
visual concept: Miriam Struhárová
performed by: Michaela Fech, Martin Kollár, Lenka Libjaková, Tomáš Pokorný, Peter Tilajčík
Blaho Uhlár (1951) is a pioneer of Slovak independent theatre. He connected his professional career with the STOKA theatre company and has been long cooperating with the Trnava-based amateur theatre DISK (Theatre Company Kopánka). After graduating from the Academy of Performing Arts (VŠMU) in Bratislava in 1974, Mr Uhlár launched his career at the Trnava-based Theatre for Children and Youth (currently The Ján Palárik Theatre in Trnava) where he staged classics and adaptations of contemporary prose. He first used the principle of author’s theatre in cooperation with the DISK theatre in 1987. He also transferred the method of collective creation to The Alexander Duchnovič Theatre in Prešov (then the Ukrainian National Theatre), where he also collaborated with the set designer and fine artist Miloš Karásek. In 1991, Mr Uhlár founded the STOKA theatre. During its three decades, STOKA staged nearly 50 original productions and won several domestic and international awards.