Archa Theatre

Art discipline: Theater
Participated in ICAF in: 2011

Archa Theatre strives to be a place that is open to various and unexpected encounters. Its purpose is to examine art's possibilities, to provide a space for innovative ideas and in various ways to reflect life at the beginning of the third millennium. Archa Theatre does not have a permanent ensemble, but operates instead as a production house that provides space to artists for their creative work. This enables the theatre to create its own projects as well as host ensembles and artists both from the Czech Republic and abroad.

At least one original project is created at Archa each year. Archa engages artists who are provided with space to create a theatre production. It is then presented in a series of performances, e.g. over the course of one month. In this way, artists such as Peter Schumann, Min Tanaka, The Residents as well as other Czech and internationally famous personalities and ensembles have created original works under the production umbrella of Archa Theatre.

Recent projects include the visual-musical performance Dance Through the Fence, which deals with immigrants in the Czech Republic and was directed by Jana Svobodová, as well as the acclaimed world premiere of the new play Leaving by former Czech president Václav Havel and directed by David Radok. The VerTedance group, made up of choreographers and dancers Veronika Kotlíková and Tereza Ondrová, created the Emigrantes project, which examines the phenomenon of refugees through the eyes of children. Archa's original projects, which often reflect contemporary social issues, are also created and presented outside the usual spaces of the theatre building.

A new initiative from Archa Theatre is Archa.lab. As its name suggests, Archa.lab is an artistic laboratory, whose aim is to create the optimal conditions for continual creation and artistic development, placing emphasis on artistic exploration and experiment in the face of routine and traditional theatrical approaches. The performances created in the lab move beyond the boundaries of traditional theatre, make original use of modern multimedia and elements of computer communication and are also aimed at those who might not usually chose to come to a traditional theatre performance.

Pavel Koutecký (1956-2006), director of "I'll Have a Beautiful Life"
Pavel graduated in 1982 from FAMU in Prague. In 1988 and 1991 he made study trips to the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield in England. From 1982 to 1989, he was employed at the ČVUT video studio, and from 1990 to 1998, at Kratký Film, Prague. He collaborated on a regular basis with the Association (formerly, the Foundation) of Film and Sociology. He has worked on a number of documentaries for the association, as well as long-term collection projects.

Pavel's main focus was documentary filmmaking, but he also experimented with animation. He has also worked on multimedia projects (Carousel Theatre, Theatre of Music). From 1991 until his untimely death in 2006, he taught at the Documentaries Department at FAMU, where he ran one of the creative workshops. His films and videos have received many awards at film festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad. He usually filmed in creative collaboration with the cameraman Stano Slušný. In April 2006, Pavel died in an accidental fall from a tall building under construction in Prague while preparing a documentary about the risks taken by people who climb skyscrapers.