MICHAL VAJDIČKA (1976, Martin)

From 1993, he worked as a lighting engineer and professional lighting designer at the Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre and at the Bratislava Dance Theatre. In 2004, he graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava where he majored in theatre direction in the class led by Peter Mikulík. While still a student, his production of The Lonesome West enjoyed success at the 2005 Setkání/Encounter international festival of theatre schools held in Brno and at the Istropolitana theatre festival held in the same year in Bratislava, Slovakia. As a director, he has collaborated with several Slovak and Czech theatres (Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre , State Theatre Košice, Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, Dejvice Theatre in Prague, Theatre in Vinohrady in Prague, National Theatre Brno). Within the period of 2014 – 2016 he was the artistic director of the Dejvice Theatre in Prague where he staged the successful production A Blockage in the System that was awarded the Alfréd Radok Prize in the Best Production of 2012 category. In January 2018, he was appointed as the director of the Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre. He also works as a full-time pedagogue at the Department of Acting at the Academy of Performing Arts where he leads seminars in acting together with actor Ľuboš Kostelný. He also works as a television director and has cooperated on productions of drama and comedy series, as well as famous reality shows.

 

Description of his work:

Michal Vajdička’s directorial work is characteristic for its two fundamental production tendencies: the first is the inclination to stage classical dramatic texts (mostly plays by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, William Shakespeare, Luigi Pirandello) supplemented by productions of theatre adaptations of the prose writings of Slovak author Božena Slančíková-Timrava (All For the NationThe Ball). The second is Vajdička’s focus on contemporary international drama with an emphasis on the black comedies by Martin McDonagh and Irvine Welsh in which his directorial method is clearly visible and easy to grasp.

Vajdička’s productions, be it stagings of works by McDonagh, Welsh or even Chekhov, display the precisely functioning principles of the conservative model of theatre supplemented by modern (almost movie-like) stage situations, such as those applied in the movies by director Quentin Tarantino. Similarly precise is Vajdička’s work with actors which allows him to shape strongly differentiated characters on the basis of the thematic foundation of the play in question. Transparent linear composition, clearly structured characters and their behaviour reflecting motivation, a clearly visible beginning and end of the dramatic situation – these all are attributes owing to which the spectators leave the theatre with an experience of a thoroughly told story that is, despite its tragic nature, often unexpectedly entertaining. These are the most essential features of Vajdička’s directorial approach. In stage design, he tries to avoid large spaces. On the contrary, he prefers smaller scale dimensions, or tries to optically reduce larger ones (The BallThe Kindly Ones, The Poor Bride). In the small or reduced stage space, Vajdička is able to create not only meaningful stage settings charged with theatrical tension, but also focuses on precise and detailed characterization while accentuating the actor’s individuality as much as possible.

Vajdička started close tandem cooperation with dramaturg Daniel Majling which proved fruitful mostly when staging challenging epic works. Majling’s adaptations of prose writings (The Ball, The Kindly Ones, A Blockage in the System, The Decline of the American Empire, The Barbarian Invasions) very much suit the Vajdička’s theatre language and directorial poetics. Vajdička often collaborates with awarded musician Marián Čekovský (Empty Hole, The Ball, The Kindly Ones, Medeia) to endow his productions with a musical tinge. In stage design, his closest collaborator is Pavol Andraško.

 

List of directed productions:

2001 / Academy of Performing Arts / Carlo Gozzi: The King Stag

2001 / Studio L+S Bratislava / Carlo Gozzi: The King Stag

2002 / Academy of Performing Arts / Ivan Stodola: A Comedy

2002 / City Theatre Bratislava / Sƚawomir Mrożek: The Party

2003 / Academy of Performing Arts / Martin McDonagh: The Lonesome West

2004 / Academy of Performing Arts / William Shakespeare: Othello

2004 / Slovak Chamber Theatre, Martin / Martin McDonagh: The Lonesome West

2005 / State Theatre Košice / Martin McDonagh: The Beauty Queen of Leenane

2005 / Academy of Performing Arts / Quentin Tarantino: Reservoir Dogs

2005 / Jozef Gregor Tajovský Theatre, Zvolen / Peter Pavlac, Michal Vajdička: Three Little Pigs

2006 / State Theatre Košice / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: Three Sisters

2006 / Jonáš Záborský Theatre, Prešov / Miro Gavran: Death of an Actor

2006 / Slovak Chamber Theatre, Martin / Urs Widmer: Top Dogs

2007 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Marina Carr: Portia Coughlan

2007 / Academy of Performing Arts / David Mamet: Sexual Perversity in Chicago

2007 / Drama Department of the State National Theatre / Martin McDonagh: The Cripple of Inishmaan

2007 / National Theatre Brno, Czech Republic / Robert Thomas: 8 Women

2008 / State Theatre Košice / Dale Wasserman: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

2008 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Božena Slančíková-Timrava, Ondrej Šulaj: All For the Nation

2008 / Summer Shakespeare Festival, Bratislava / William Shakespeare: Anthony and Cleopatra

2008 / Academy of Performing Arts / Jean Anouilh: The Orchestra

2009 / State Theatre Košice / Euripides: Medeia

2009 / Aréna Theatre, Bratislava / Peter Pavlac: Circus

2010 / Bratislava Puppet Theatre / Gioacchino Rossini, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais: Figaro

2010 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, M. D. Levin: Dead Souls

2010 / Summer Shakespeare Festival, Bratislava / William Shakespeare: Measure for Measure

2010 / Academy of Performing Arts / William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2012 / Dejvice Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic/ Irvine Welsh: A Blockage in the System

2012 / Drama Department of the State National Theatre / Martin McDonagh: A Behanding in Spokane

2012 / City Theatre of Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav, Bratislava / Rainer Lewandowski: Tonight Neither Hamlet

2013 / Dejvice Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: The Seagull

2013 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovsky: The Poor Bride

2013 / Theatre in Vinohrady, Prague, Czech Republic / Luigi Pirandello: Henry IV

2014 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / Jonathan Littel, Daniel Majling: The Kindly Ones

2014 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / a team of authors: The Ten Commandments (Thou Shalt Not Cover Thy Neighbour’s House)

2014 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / Božena Slančíková-Timrava, Daniel Majling: The Ball

2015 / ASTORKA Korzo ’90 Theatre / Michal Vajdička: Empty Hole

2015 / Summer Shakespeare Festival, Bratislava / William Shakespeare: Othello

2015 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / Denys Arcand: The Decline of the American Empire, The Barbarian Invasions

2015 / agency production / Georges Feydeau: Every Trick in the Book (Le Système Ribadier)

2016 / Dejvice Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic/ Daniel Doubt: Resurrection

2016 / Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre / Roald Dahl: The Hotel Bristol Apartment

2017 / J. K. Tyl Theatre, Pilsen / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: Three Sisters

2017 / Academy of Performing Arts / Luigi Pirandello: Six Characters Looking For An Author

2017 / Summer Shakespeare Festival, Praha / William Shakespeare: Hamlet

 

Awards:

2005 / the Literary Fund Prize in the Theatre category for directing the production The Beauty from Leenane

2007 / the Literary Fund Prize in the Theatre category for directing the production Portia Coughlan

2008 / the Literary Fund Prize in the Theatre category for directing the production All for the Nation

2008 / Alfréd Radok Prize for greatest international theatre experience for the production All for the Nation

2012 / Alfréd Radok Prize in the Best Production of the Year category for the production A Blockage in the System

2014 / Dosky Award for the production The Kindly Ones in three categories: Best Production, Best Direction and Best Male Performance

 

Contact: michalvajdicka@gmail.com

 

Videos from productions:

 

Medeia, 2009

video: archive ŠD Košice

 

The Kindly Ones, 2014

video: archive SND

 

Empty Hole, 2015

video: archive ASTORKA Korzo ´90 Theatre

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