KAMIL ŽIŠKA (1978, Podunajské Biskupice)

Graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava where he majored in theatre direction and dramaturgy in professor Ľubomír Vajdička’s 2004 class. His graduation work was the production of Fernand Crommelynck’s farce The Magnificent Cuckold for which he was nominated for the Dosky Award in the Discovery of the Season category in 2004. After he completed his studies, Žiška collaborated with many professional Slovak theatres as a director, writer, musician, lyricist or dramaturg (Slovak Chamber Theatre in Martin, Trnava Theatre, Radošina Naïve Theatre, LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava Puppet Theatre, among others). In 1996, together with director Jakub Nvota, he founded the cabaret ensemble The Wandering Theatre in which they have been working together until today. Žiška’s production And We Will Whisper (Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin, 2009) participated in the 4thDemoludy Theatre Festival in Olsztyn, Poland in 2010, and in the MittelFest festival in Cividale, Italy in 2011.

He is the laureate of several prestigious theatre prizes. In addition to professional theatre, he also works in amateur ensembles in Horná Streda and Modranka. At present, he does not have a permanent contract with any theatre. He keeps working as a guest artist for the most prominent theatre scenes all over Slovakia.

 

Description of his work:

Kamil Žiška’s directorial work is characteristic for its strong tendency towards devised productions which interpret the biographies of intriguing Slovak and international personalities. The production And We Will Whisper (Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin), for example, uses memoirs to reflect on the life of Slovak female writers, while the production The Quieter Tone, the Better (Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin) looks at the life of Slovak writers through the content of their work. This line of work is made complete by the productions of Charlie Chaplin’s Black and White Heart, and Thou Shalt Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain (about the destiny of the beatified Zdenka Cecília Schelingová) under the Slovak National Theatre’s project The Ten Commandments, as well as the production ...Your Ľudevít (about the life and work of Ľudovít Štúr). Although the “biographical” productions are based on the suggestive nature of specific realistic situations often offered by biographies, Žiška adroitly uses the historical material, lyricality and frequently also music devised for each concrete piece. He serves doses of strong themes from national history with peculiar serenity and does it with precision and a great deal of imagination. The music, which he composes himself, is functional, justified and creates a distinct atmosphere which sometimes directly underscores the actors’ performances. The synthesis of a devised text, direction and music, all set within a progressive staging, offers the audience an allegorical testimony about the world.

A striking part of Žiška's directorial work is connected with puppet theatre and productions for children and youth. In these genres, Žiška often takes on the role of the author, director and musician at the same time. His productions for children are generally typical for a well-structured story, dynamic plot, metaphorical quality, dominant visual elements and elaborated directorial concept. His fairy tale productions never lack kind humour that resonates not only with children, but also adult audiences. The humour is produced by means of the bizarre traits of Žiška's characters, often inspired by cabaret performances. In productions for children, Žiška focuses on the story, use of objects and play as a principle. In his dramatic work, on the other hand, his focus is on the actor and the penetration into the inner world of the characters, the uncovering of psychological situations and motivation for action.

 

List of directed productions:

2001 / Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava / Arthur Schnitzler: The Green Cockatoo

2001 / L+S Studio, Bratislava / Jakub Nvota, Kamil Žiška: A Night Laid Open I

2002 / L+S Studio, Bratislava / Jakub Nvota, Kamil Žiška: A Night Laid Open II

2002 / Radošina Naïve Theatre, Bratislava / Stanislav Štepka: One-Touch

2003 / Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava / Arthur Schnitzler, Kamil Žiška: Marionettes

2004 / Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava / Fernand Crommelynck: The Magnificent Cuckold

2005 / Bratislava Puppet Theatre / Kamil Žiška: Salt and Gold

2005 / Slovak Chamber Theatre, Martin / Hans Christian Andersen, Jakub Nvota: The Emperor’s New Clothes

2006 / LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava / Dušan Dušek, Jakub Nvota: Stevie’s Prank

2006 / Bratislava Puppet Theatre / William Shakespeare: The Tempest

2007 / LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava / Kamil Žiška: Charlie Chaplin’s Black and White Heart

2007 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre, Nitra / Ján Drda, Veronika Gabčíková: The Forgotten Devil

2007 / elledanse, Bratislava / Šárka Ondrišová, Kamil Žiška: Canto Hondo (a deep song about her...)

2008 / LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava / François Rabelais, Kamil Žiška: Gargantua and Pantagruel

2008 / Radošina Naïve Theatre, Bratislava / Stanislav Štepka: The Swallow's Tales

2008 / Žilina Puppet Theatre / Kamil Žiška, Peter Palik: Romaldino and Kamila

2009 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre, Nitra / Charles Dickens, Kamil Žiška: Scrooge Story from London

2009 / Slovak Chamber Theatre, Martin / Kamil Žiška, Zuzana Pálenčíková: And We Will Whisper

2009 / LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava / Kamil Žiška, Miro Dacho, Jana Mikitková: Velipsespilev

2009 / Bratislava Puppet Theatre / Yevgeni Speransky: Beloved Beauty

2009 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre, Nitra / Kamil Žiška: Impressions / At Gloomy Irma’s and the Lame Beauty

2010 / LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava / Astrid Lindgrenová, Miro Dacho, Kamil Žiška: Puzzleheaded Stocking

2010 / Department of Drama of the Slovak National Theatre / Pavol Rankov: It Happened on the First of September

2010 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Kamil Žiška: Spectres

2010 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre, Nitra / Daniel Pastirčák, Kamil Žiška: Chintet or a Sea at the End of the World

2011 / Slovak Chamber Theatre, Martin / Monika Michnová, Kamil Žiška: The Quieter Tone, the Better

2011 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre, Nitra / Mária Ďuríčková, Kamil Žiška, Veronika Gabčíková: Danka and Janka

2011 / Minor Theatre, Prague / Josef Kainar: Goldilocks

2012 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre, Nitra / Jules Verne, Veronika Gabčíkova, Kamil Žiška: The Children of Captain Grant

2012 / LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava / Matúš Uhliarik, Miro Dacho, Kamil Žiška: ... Your Ľudevít

2013 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre, Nitra / Karel Poláček, Kamil Žiška: There Were Five of Us

2013 / Bratislava Puppet Theatre / Josef Kainar: Goldilocks

2013 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Ján Chalupka: A Year in Gotham

2013 / Jozef Gregor Tajovský Theatre, Zvolen / Katarína Mišíková: At the End

2013 / Ján Palárik Theatre, Trnava / Alexei Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Mirka Čibenková, Kamil Žiška: The Golden Key

2014 / Spiš Theatre, Spišská Nová Ves / Anton Marec, Tibor Kubička, Kamil Žiška: Spiš Tales

2014 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / a team of authors: The Ten Commandments (Thou Shalt Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain)

2015 / Spiš Theatre, Spišská Nová Ves / Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav: The Gamekeeper’s Wife

2015 / Jozef Gregor Tajovský Theatre, Zvolen / Anne Habeck-Adameck: A Moment Was Mine

2015 / State Theatre Košice / Stanislav Rakús: Rosalia

2016 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / Zuzana Dzurindová, Júlia Rázusová, Kamil Žiška: Morals 2000+

2016 / City Theatre of Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav, Bratislava / Molière: The Imaginary Invalid

2016 / Spiš Theatre, Spišská Nová Ves / Zbigniew Nienacki, Kamil Žiška, Tibor Kubička: Mister Automobile and the Knights Templar

2017 / Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre in Nitra / Lucia Åbergh: Johnny Little Pea

2017 / Spiš Theatre, Spišská Nová Ves / František Pavlíček: The Three Golden Hairs of Grandfather Wisdom

2017 / Slovak National Theatre / Ľubomír Feldek: Irredeemable Saint

2017 / LUDUS Theatre, Bratislava / Kamil Žiška: Circus LamPamTantalone

 

A list of theatre plays:

In vino... (1998, with Jakub Nvota)

A Sky Full of Umbrellas (1999)

Plucking the Feathers (2005)

Piano Revue (2005, with Jakub Nvota)

Impressions (2009)

Sára Salkaházi (2018)

 

Awards:

2004 / nomination for the 2004 Dosky Award in the Discovery of the Season category for the direction of The Magnificent Cuckold

2005 / Annual Prize of the Literary Fund for Theatre and Radio Art awarded in 2005 for the production Piano Revue

2007 / the main Golden Gander Prize at the Kremnica Gags festival for the production Charlie Chaplin’s Black and White Heart

2007 / nomination for the 2007 Dosky Award in the Discovery of the Season category for the production Charlie Chaplin’s Black and White Heart and nomination in the Season’s Best Stage Music category for Charlie Chaplin’s Black and White Heart

2008 / Dosky Award in three categories: Best Production of the Season, Best Direction of the Season and Season’s Best Stage Music for the production Canto Hondo (a deep song about her…)

2009 / Dosky Award in the Discovery of the Year category for the production And We Will Whisper

2013 / Prize for Direction and Music in the production Goldilocks (Minor Theatre, Prague) at the Mateřinka festival of professional puppet theatres in Liberec

 

 

Foreign language skills: English, German, Italian

 

Contact: kamil.ziska@gmail.com

 

 

Videos from productions:

 

It Happened on the First of September, 2010

video: archive SND

 

The Gamekeeper’s Wife, 2015

video: archive SD Spišská Nová Ves

 

A Moment Was Mine, 2015

video: archive DJGT Zvolen

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