David Drábek

(*1970)
Playwright, director and TV scriptwriter.

David Drábek is the most distinctive playwright of the generation, who made their debut after 1989. He sternly dissects Czech contemporary affairs with his ironic and satirical experiments, thus ranks among the most frequently staged and translated authors. The main topics of his works are kitsch, media world, mass and commercial culture.

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Drábek writes drama (The Skeleton in Nylon Stockings, Jane from the Park, Chocolate Guzzlers, the most frequently staged Sync Swimmers), musicals (Lizards), radio plays (Houses of Ill Repute, The Shot) or plays for children and the youth (Snow White: New Generation or Planet of the Apes or The Kaplan Siblings Among the Hairy Ones). He has staged Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro, Chekhov’s The Seagull, Shakespeare’s Macbeth or Čapek’s The Makropulos Affair. Some of his thirty plays have been translated into foreign languages (Sync Swimmers into English, German, Polish, Spanish, Russian, Romanian and Slovenian, Brothers Mašín Square into English and Swedish Table into Polish; Sync Swimmers have been presented as stage reading in Germany or Poland). The plays have been published in two volumes: Flaming Giraffes. Jane from the Park. A Cosmic Breakfast or Nebřenský. Swedish Table. The Skeleton in Nylon Stockings. The Skeleton: Resurrection. Embryo or East Bohemian Cars (2003) and Should the Pork Jowls Tremble for the Czechs: Plays 2003–2011 (2011, 10 plays). Apart from theatre, he also cooperates with Czech Television (scripts for the children’s show The Circus Caravan Cabaret), and he also writes for Reflex weekly.

David Drábek graduated from the Faculty of Arts at Palacký University in Olomouc (film and theatre studies). While studying at university, he founded the theatre company Flaming Giraffes (1993–2003, artistic director), he was also the dramaturg of the Moravian Theatre Drama in Olomouc and was shortly a director of the alternative scene House on Fire. As the author and regular director, he worked in the theatre for children Minor in Prague and as the artistic director of the Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové (2009–2017); he worked with many other Czech theatres: Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava, North Moravian Theatre Šumperk, West Bohemia Theatre in Cheb, National Theatre in Brno, Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Na Vinohradech Theatre or a Small Vinohrady Theatre (now D21 Theatre) and others.

David Drábek has won the Alfréd Radok Award three times (1995, Jane from the Park; 2004, Sync Swimmers; 2008, Brothers Mašín Square) and has won the Czech Play of the Year several times (2005, Sync Swimmers; 2009, Brothers Mašín Square; 2010, The Night of the Zombies; 2011, Chocolate Guzzlers); he received the Prix Bohemia Radio for the radio play Houses of Ill Repute (2008).

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