Dušan Vicen (1966, Trstená)

A graduate at the Faculty of Pedagogy at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Mr Vicen went on to pursue studies in stage directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. As stage director he collaborated with a number of amateur drama companies (Theatre Ka in Tvrdošín, Once upon a time from Oravská Polhora, The cheerful pedagogues association). For a number of seasons he was with Trnava based amateur theatre Disk Kopánka (1993 – 2005), having won, with the ensemble, a number of festival awards at home and internationally (International Festival of Amateur and Independent Theatre – Prague, Setkání – Zlín, Jiráskův Hronov, Czech Republic; RAZEM – International Theatre Encounter, Bielsko-Biala, Poland; 4éme Festival de Vézelise 2006, France; The István Horváth International Festival of Amateur Theatres, Kazincbarcika, Hungary; 2nd international encounter of theatre companies 2002 Itajaí, Barazil). Mr Vicen was also engaged with theatre for children: his production The Story of the Real Gulliver received the 1995 Slovak Ministry of Culture Prize for the Accomplishment of the Year. It went on to represent Slovakia at the International Festival of Theatre for Children in Copenhagen. Mr Vicen is currently largely engaged with the SkRAT theatre as stage director, co-author and actor.

He is author of stage plays A rat or We are Not Any Cannibals, Forhaus, Fifty (with Vladimír Janček), Stroke the Dog... (Apotheosis on Emptiness) and Siluet b mol. He has also written radio plays The Unimportant Story, Don’t Make me Cry, A Short Night Shift and A Portrait of the Dead  and free dramatisations Ingenious Epoch According to Schulz (with V. Janček), The Bvlgakoff  Case (based on Bulkagov’s Master and Margarita). 1997 brought the publication of his collected short stories Homo joga (Itinerary from Orava) that earned him The Ivan Krasko Proze award. Mr Vicen is double laureate of The Alfréd Radok Prize for the Best Czech and Slovak Stage Text (1st place in 2002 for Stroke the Dog ...; 3rd place in 2003 for the text Siluet b mol). He is also the winner of the Slovak Radio Prize in competition Drama 2008 for the text The Pokers and Lickers and the 2017 Radio Devín Prize for the radio text Squat. In 2009 he received the 1st prize by the Slovak Literature Fund for an original radio play Recordings and 2nd prize for an original stage play Façade Ltd. In 2013 the Theatre institute in Bratislava published Plays a collection of his stage plays. 2017 saw him return to prose, having written the novel A touch with the Absolute.

Dušan Vicen’s signature style

The early directorial work and writings by Dušan Vicen are closely linked to amateur drama companies (Disk in Trnava and Theatre Ka in Tvrdošín), where he built upon the methods advanced by Blaho Uhlár and Miloš Karásek. Mr Vicen gradually emerged as stage director who tends to work largely with his own texts bearing defined poetics based on self-mockery, detachment and intellectual humour. His texts tend to evolve quite naturally, through the method of collective work that epitomises the theatre SkRAT. His productions are characteristic of fragmented structure, intertextuality, deconstruction of classical dialogue and musicality. Mr Vicen thus often uses personal statements, views, experiences or mystifications. Meanwhile, he retains the quest for new stage methods and the content that focuses on present day.

In the production Windows, Shores, Inheritance (2000) he worked with a composition of classical operatic elements with contemporary music as a parody on artistic conventions. He applied multimedia elements in the production Dead Souls (Pictures from the New World) (2008), using different sounds to create its rhythmic structure. He thus radically limited the use of word on stage. Acting parts were completed merely through the change of lights and music fragments, diverse cyclically repetitive sounds. He makes most of specific individuality of actors (often non-professionals), and experiments with the interpretation of characters, leaving the actors space for their own input of experience in order to develop an authentic statement.

In his productions, Mr Vicen portrays different aspects of life, often trite, yet always with a sense of self-mockery, parody, impartiality and black humour. He fights stereotypes and clichés, and opens different themes and many taboos (superficial relationships, misplaced values, futility of man). He thus inspires contemplation about hidden meanings (Donor, swingers and other Experiments, 2015 etc). He works with actors who were members of the original theatre STOKA (e.g. Vladimír Zboroň, Ľubomír Burgr, Zuzana Piussi, Ingrid Hrubaničová).

 

A list of directorial works - productions

2000 / Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava / Alexander Sepliarski: Third Rome, or All You Need is Love

2001 / Association for Contemporary Opera, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen, Vladimír Zboroň, Zuzana Ožvoldíková, Ladislav Kerata, Ľubomír Burgr: Windows, Shores, Inheritance

2001 / Association for Contemporary Opera, Bratislava / Marek Piaček, Egon Bondy, Elena Kmeťová: The Last Flight (12 Views on M. R. Štefánik)

2003 / Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava / Tomáš Rychetský: The Innocent Are Innocent

2005 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Vít Bednárik, Ľubomír Burgr, Dušan Vicen, Vladimír Zboroň: Die, Perish, and Peg Out!!!

2006 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen et al..: I Don’t Need Much As Long As It’s Good

2008 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen: Dead Souls (Pictures from the New World)

2010 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen et al.: The Pokers and Lickers

2013 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen et al.: Process of Process by Process (Will You Go to Jail? Bastard!)

2013 / State Theatre Košice / Dušan Vicen: Siluet b mol

2013 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen, Ľubo Burgr: Inside of the Inside

2014 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen: My Hunt! (Love)

2015 / Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava / Dušan Vicen: Donor, Swingers and Other Experiments

2017 / Theatre Yarmat, Dolné Orešany / Dušan Vicen: The Mortals

2019 / Theatre Yarmat, Dolné Orešany / Dušan Vicen: Diagnosis Bottom

 

Awards:

1995 / The Slovak Ministry of Culture Prize for the Creative Achievement of the Year, The Story of the Real Gulliver

2002 / 1st place in The Alfréd Radok Competition for Best Czech and Slovak Play, for the text …Stroke the Dog

2004 / 3rd place in The Alfréd Radok Competition for Best Czech and Slovak Play, for the text Siluet b mol

2006 / Grand Prix Nová dráma / New Drama 2006, Die, Perish, and Peg Out!!!

2008 / Grand Prix Nová dráma / New Drama 2008, Birthday

2008 / The Slovak radio Prize Drama 2008 for text The Pokers and Lickers

2009 / Award by the Slovak Literature Fund, 1st place, Recordings and 2nd place The Façade Ltd.

2011 / Student Jury Prize at Nová dráma / New Drama 2011, The Pokers and Lickers

2017 / The 2017 Radio Devín Prize for radio text Squat

 

Contact: dusanvicen@gmail.com

 

 

Videos from productions:

DIE, CROAK, AND DROP DEAD...!!!, 2005

archive of the Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava

 

DEAD SOULS (PICTURES FROM THE NEW WORLD), 2008

archive of the Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava

 

THE BUGGERS AND SUCKERS, 2011

archive of the Theatre SkRAT, Bratislava

 

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