Received her master’s degree in theatre direction from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in 2006. As a director, she collaborated with several Slovak and Czech theatres (Pôtoň Theatre, Puppet Theatre on the Crossroads in Banská Bystrica, Puppet Theatre Žilina, Slovak Chamber Theatre in Martin, Slovak National Theatre; City Theatre Zlín, Silesian Theatre Opava). She created several educational stage art projects in which she also worked as a lecturer. She led theatre workshops for the Divadelná Nitra Association, the National Culture Centre, the Pôtoň Theatre, among others. In 2009, she produced a festival workshop called The Velvet One as part of the prestigious theatre festival Touches and Connections. Her productions have participated in numerous important festivals in Slovakia as well as abroad (Touches and Connections, Divadelná Nitra, International Festival Theatre Pilsen, European Regions Festival Hradec Králové, Cairo International Festival for Contemporary & Experimental Theatre). At present, she works as in-house director and artistic director of the Pôtoň Theatre.
Description of her work:
Iveta Ditte Jurčová’s name is closely linked with the directorial work for the Pôtoň Theatre in Bátovce, which was originally an amateur theatre ensemble (2000 – 2003) and in 2003 was transformed into an independent professional group. It is a very specific theatre that has chosen to reside in the Slovak countryside and has focused on productions based on field research. The dominant themes include social issues, such as national identity and social stratification. In addition to its theatre productions, Theatre Pôtoň has also created educational projects and workshops focused on activating the audience and developing critical thinking. It has also organized residential stays for Slovak and international artists. In theatre art, Pôtoň Theatre artists are inclined to doing devised productions as well as classics in unconventional interpretations (Antigone, The Poppy Seed Maiden, The Bride of the Ridge). Director Jurčová and dramaturg and playwright Michal Ditte (who is also the director of the Pôtoň Theatre) have cooperated for many years and got established as the leading personalities of the theatre not only in official terms. Their productions – which have always been the essence of the theatre’s repertory – are characteristic for their unusual metaphorization and poetics. Since 2007, the tandem has focused mostly on social themes that have been long-forgotten and intentionally avoided. When producing their theatre performances, the duo often relies on their own sociological or ethnological field research of the given issue. The conclusions are then accentuated not only in the devised dramatic text, but also in costume and stage design. Owing to the thoroughly collected authentic material, Jurčová’s productions bear the traces of documentary theatre which is, however, significantly enriched by exaggeration, elements of surprise, hyperbole and grotesque. This kind of approach to production was used, for example, in Terra Granus which captured the events and memories of a village that had been relocated because of the construction of a nuclear power plant; or in the production Misery, preceded by ethnological research of the poorest social strata.
Ditte Jurčová’s directorial approach is characteristic for its oscillating between realism, or even naturalism, and strong exaggeration that often results in a grotesque. The real is mixed with unreal, traditional with modern, symbolic with concrete, thus transferring reality onto the theatre stage, particularly the reality that is most problematic. The blending of modern and traditional elements is visible also in the usage of stage tools which combine puppetry techniques and the most modern information technologies. Animation of puppets and objects connected with screen projection often results in impressive stage images that create a kind of “double” reality. Jurčová’s productions are built on an elaborate visual concept and strong imagery which support the communication intent of the creators.
List of directed productions:
2000 / City Theatre Zlín, Czech Republic / Božena Němcová, Zuzana Ferenczová: About a Clever Princess
2003 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Sophocles: Antigone
2003 / City Theatre Bratislava / Milan Uhde, Miloš Štědroň: A Ballad for the Bandit
2004 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Michal Ditte: Two Words of Bellisa Twilight… the Story of Eva Luna
2005 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Anna Rosová: Home Is Home
2005 / Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava / Ingmar Bergman: Whispers And Cries
2005 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Uršuľa Kovalyk: The Poppy Seed Maiden
2006 / Puppet Theatre Žilina / Michal Ditte: Three Matrioshkas
2007 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / William Shakespeare, Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: Shake ShakespeaRe_Macbeth
2007 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Zuzana Ferenczová: Reason and Passion
2008 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Michal Ditte: Terra Granus
2008 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Miklós Forgács: A Spade is a Spade!
2009 / Puppet Theatre on the Crossroads, Banská Bystrica / Michal Ditte: The Secret of the Skutecký House
2009 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / František Švantner, Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: The Bride of the Ridge
2009 / Slovak Chamber Theatre, Martin / Michal Ditte: The Velvet One
2010 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Miro Dacho: Paperback
2010 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: For Sale
2010 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: Here I Am Home Too
2011 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Zuzana Formánková, Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: Respect!
2012 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Michal Ditte: Misery
2012 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: Vertical Migration
2013 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Gabriela Alexová: A Woman As a Woman
2013 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Mikuláš Hoblina Šahanský, Miklós Forgács: The Land of Unscythed Meadows
2014 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / Michal Ditte and a team of authors: The Ten Commandments (Thou Shalt Not Kill)
2014 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce / Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: PS / fragile
2017 / Silesian Theatre Opava, Czech Republic / Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, Evald Schorm: The Brothers Karamazov
2017 / Pôtoň Theatre, Bátovce, Debris Company, Med a Prach a Sláva Daubnerová / team of authors: Miracles
2017 / nominated for the DOSKY Award in the Extraordinary Drama Production category, for the production Miracles
Videos from productions:
The Bride of the Ridge, 2009
video: archive Pôtoň Theatre
The Velvet One, 2009
video: archive SKD Martin
The Land of Unscythed Meadows, 2013
video: archive Pôtoň Theatre