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Sep 28, 2018 6:00 PM

Pankrác 45

Pankrác 45 is one of four performances in original languages with English supertitles which are presented within the Central European contemporary theater festival Rehearsal for Truth. Organized in collaboration with the New School for Drama, BBLA and VHLF.

Friday, September 28, 2018
Bohemian National Hall - CCNY Gallery, 2nd Floor 


Director: Stephen Brown-Fried 
Associate Director: Pauls Macs
Playwrite: Martina Kinská

Cast: Hannah Adrian, Jazmyn Boone, Riley Jo Payne, Carla Maureen Smith, Jackie Theoharis

1945 in Czechoslovakia was characterized by hope, happiness, and opportunity. After WWII, the country entered a period of “national cleansing,” to rid themselves of anyone and anything with susspected tied to Nazi Germany. So called "cleansing" entitled punishment unfathomable to the modern world.

However, soon enough, basic principles of justice and judiciousness became a quest of vengeance, There were daily tribunals and lynches in streets. Trials never lasted over three days, and two destimonials could lead to a death sentence. Jurors could outvoted the chair, and changes led to imminent executions.. 95% of the time. Exectuions were spectacles, documented, and sold in souvenir shops. The country carried out the bloodiest retribution of Europe, with laws pracically nonexist.

Accusations were brought upon the ordinary and the admired, from trade workers to film stars. The most famous being actresses Lída Baarová and Adina Mandlová. Baarová had a love affair with Joseph Goebbels, one of the highest ranking man in Nazi Germany, while there were rumors of a relationship between Mandlová and K. H. Frank, one of the most powerful man in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Both were imprisoned. Similarly, Hana Krupková helped the Silver A group, the people who organized the assassination of the Reich Protector Rienhard Heydrich, and found herself behind bars as well.

The play Pankrác is set during the “national cleansing,” Pankrác 45 encompasses the atmosphere of hostility and loss of morale. In a cell of Prague's Pankrác prison Adina Mandlová, Lída Baarová, and Hana Krupková are joined, in addition to the Jewish Julča, and a fifth woman whose identity is revealed only during the course of the plot.

None know how long they will be there, or if they will ever see the outside world alive. They don't know whether their meeting is entirely coincidental. They don't know who is truly guilty, nor know of their crime. Each reacts differently and each seeks to navigate the situation individually. The Jewish Julča and Hana Krupková have experienced concentration camps. Their experiances tell them to remain calm and save their energy. The unknown woman doesn't speak at all. Meanwhile the actresses continue to act, determined to compete for the attention of their albeit small audience. Their main task is to survive.

This is a play about guilt, the blindness of vengeance, responsibility for one’s actions, and remembering. About the struggle to rurvive within the machinery of history.

This performance is part of the 2018 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival, the second edition of a unique festival presenting in New York City the best in Central European theater.



Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Sep 28, 2018 6:00 PM


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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