SVETOZÁR SPRUŠANSKÝ (1971, Bratislava)

Graduated in theatre studies from the Department of Drama and Puppetry of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He also studied culturology and aestethics at Faculty of Philosophy at Comenius University in Bratislava. During 1995 – 2017 he was an in-house dramaturge and later also worked as a director and an artistic director of the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra. There he helped stage several successful productions and he was co-creating image of this theatre. He frequently worked as a guest director for numerous Slovak theatres (Alexander Duchnovič Theatre in Prešov, Jonáš Záborský Theatre in Prešov, the New Stage Theatre in Bratislava). He won the Literary Fund Prize for the direction – in 2000 for The Seagull and Fireface, in 2003 for Three sisters, in 2010 for The Magic Flute. He also got The Literary Fund Prize in 2009 for dramaturgy of monothematic season The Family Silver.
In 2003 he became laureate of the prestigious critical Dosky Award in the Best Direction of the Season category for his production of Three Sisters.

 

Description of his work:

A theatre scholar, active dramaturg and director, Svetozár Sprušanský is considered by theatrologists as a director with a distinct style and pronounced dramaturgical interest. He is a director who likes returning to Russian drama classics (The Proposal – The BearSeagullThree Sisters, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, The Lower DepthsThe Marriage, The Inspector General) or to established works by international authors (HamletA Midsummer Night’s DreamHedda Gabler). Besides classical drama, Sprušanský frequently chooses (mostly in his home Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra) contemporary international texts which he approaches with a modern directorial lens (FirefaceDark PlayD.N.A., Orphans, The Golden Dragon, Hamlet is Dead (Weightless)). However, he does not eschew even so-called tabloid-like “blockbuster” comedies or commercial musicals in which he applies a detailed and concentrated approach to the structure of the texts and focuses on the relations between characters.

Sprušanský’s perhaps most outstanding and inspirational production was Chekhov’s The Seagull (1999) presented in his own translation and adapted for the purposes of a very unconventional staging. The play was produced at the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra and presented the story as taking place in the environment of Slovak theatre in order to reflect the current situation in theatre culture. Using unique dramaturgy, it substantially changed the structure of the original play and, thanks to strong acting stylization, departed from psychological acting, thus accentuating the means of expression that are not typical for this type of drama. The production used strong imagery and metonymy to offer the audience an individual and current view of a classical work.

Svetozár Sprušanský’s productions often introduce an evident polemic between the prototext and the final production form. In both the classical and modern texts he tries to find a message for the current times, uncover hidden contexts and anticipate problematic social phenomena. In arranging the stage setting, Sprušanský makes use of a broad spectrum of acting methods and stage instruments (pronounced stage constructions, playful lighting, most recent information technology). His productions are based on strong, resourcefully structured stories that are developed slowly and gradually in order to divulge the individual layers of the plot. He penetrates the psychological worlds of the characters and, at the same time, maintains necessary distance and often ironic detachment. Sprušanský’s goal is to create a new reality on the stage, a reality whose smallest details are bared to involve as many spectators as possible.

 

List of directed productions:

1998 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: The Proposal – The Bear

1999 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Lenka Lagronová: Little Theresa

1999 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: The Seagull

2000 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Marius von Mayenburg: Fireface

2001 / Chapter Arts, Cardiff, United Kingdom / William Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard, Vladimír Holan: Hamlet – Variations

2001 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Bertolt Brecht: A Respectable Wedding

2002 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Milan Uhde: The Collector

2002 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Petr Zelenka: Stories of Ordinary Madness

2003 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: Three Sisters

2004 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Ingmar Villqist: The Anaerobs

2005 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Igor Stravinsky, Peter Zagar, Svetozár Sprušanský: The Rite of Spring

2005 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Andreas Sauter, Bernhard Studlar: A. Is Someone Else

2005 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: Uncle Vanya

2006 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Dana Łukasińska: Agata Is Looking For a Job

2006 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol: The Inspector General

2007 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Henrik Ibsen: Hedda Gabler

2007 / New Stage Theatre, Bratislava / Paul Pörtner: Shear Madness

2008 / Jonáš Záborský Theatre, Prešov / Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol: The Marriage

2008 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Maxim Gorky: The Lower Depths

2008 / New Stage Theatre, Bratislava / Nikolai Robertovich Erdman, Nikolai Budashkin, Július Selčan: Jack Frost

2009 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard

2009 / Opera of the Slovak National Theatre / Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Magic Flute

2010 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Stefan Lindberg: LAVV

2010 / New Stage Theatre Bratislava / Peter Quilter, Martin Sarvaš, Peter Uličný, Miroslav Jurika, Marián Brezáni: Boyband

2010 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Mikhail Yevgrafovich Saltykov-Shchedrin: About Two Generals (Fantasia)

2010 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Daniil Gink: Katarina Ivanovna

2010 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Leslie Ayvazian: High Dive

2011 / Jonáš Záborský Theatre, Nitra / William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2011 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Tennessee Williams: The Glass Menagerie

2011 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Carlos Murillo: Dark Play

2011 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Neil Simon: Sweet Charity

2012 / New Stage Theatre, Bratislava / Kristof Magnusson: Male Creche

2012 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Dennis Kelly: Orphans

2012 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Dennis Kelly: D.N.A.

2012 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Dennis Kelly: Love and Money

2012 / Jonáš Záborský Theatre, Prešov / Carlo Goldoni: The Little Square

2013 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Maxim Gorky: Vassa

2013 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Truman Capote: A Christmas Memory

2014 / Theatre on Dlouhá Street, Prague, Czech Republic / Laco Kerata: Bugs in a Box – Drops

2014 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Arthur Wing Pinero: The Magistrate

2014 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew

2014 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Roland Schimmelpfennig: The Golden Dragon

2015 / New Stage Theatre, Bratislava / Richard Bean: One Man, Two Guvnors

2015 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Ewald Palmetshofer: Hamlet is Dead (Weightless)

2015 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Arnold Wesker: Wild Spring

2015 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Kozma Prutkov: Fantasy

2016 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Mika Myllyaho: Panic

2016 / New Stage Theatre, Bratislava / Danielle Navarro, Patrick Haudecoeur: Mint Tea or Are You Lemon?

2016 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre, Prešov / Venedikt Yerofeyev: Moscow-Petushki

2017 / Andrej Bagar Theatre, Nitra / Laco Kerata: Dobro (Goodness)

2017 / Theatre of Comedy, Bratislava / Fred Apke: Hot Shower

2017 / New Stage Theatre, Bratislava / Simon Stephens: Punk Rock

2017 / Theatre of Comedy, Bratislava / David Greig - Gordon McIntyre: Midsummer

2017 / New Stage Theatre, Bratislava / Benny Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus, Catherine Johnson: Mamma Mia!

 

Awards:

2000 / Literary Fund Prize for direction of The Seagull and Fireface

2003 / Dosky Award in the Best Direction category for the production of Three Sisters

2003 / Literary Fund Prize for direction of Three Sisters

2009 / Literary Fund Prize for dramaturgy of monothematic season The Family Silver

2010 / Literary Fund Prize for direction of The Magic Flute

2017 / Literary Fund’s Annual Prize for the dramaturgy of the single theme based theatre season of the DAB Theatre in Nitra, and the production of original contemporary Slovak authors, taking into account the dramaturgy of the original Slovak musical Occupation: Pope, and the direction of the comedy Mint Tea or Are You Lemon?

 

Videos from productions:

 

The Marriage, 2008

video: archive DJZ, Prešov

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2011

video: archive DJZ, Prešov

 

Vassa, 2013

video: archive DAD Prešov

 

Dobro (Goodness), 2017

video: archive DAB Nitra

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