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Progressive Dramaturgy Theatre
Season 49: The End of Illusions

Queer Runner (Labyrinth of Sensitivity / Paradise of Reason)

Dates

1 March     19.30
First performance
3 March     17.30
Authorial introduction
5 March     19.30
discussion
24 March     19.30
11 April     19.30
discussion
26 April     19.30
introduction

"Only machines are binary."

montage of attractions – pattern rules – tested subject – lusthaus of the heart – poisoned apple

Q makes a bet with itself on Alan’s soul. Alan undergoes several sophisticated tests and exams designed to determine his humanness. Alan makes a homunculus and uncovers nature's greatest secrets. Alan is love-struck and his infatuation bears a striking resemblance to a battle for imagination. Alan learns a few useful illusions. Who is the Pilgrim, who is Mr. Ubiquitous, and who is Delusion? Is there a limit to thinking? What lies beyond the limits of sensitivity? Is Alan a human, a machine or a queer? How would you do in a real life CAPTCHA* test?

* CAPTCHA = Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart

The central character of the play Alan finds inspiration in the works and life of British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and father of modern IT and computer sciences Alan Turing. During the Second World War, Turing worked on decoding German codes and designed and developed electromechanical cryptanalytical machines that managed to crack the codes of German encryption devices. Turing laid down theoretical foundations for development and construction of safe communication devices and modern computers (known as the Turing machine) and was also interested in mathematical laws of morphogenesis in nature (known as Turing patterns).

In 1952, he was accused and tried for homosexuality. To avoid prison, he agreed to "chemical castration" which caused him irreversible physical and mental damage. The sentence also stripped him of access to classified information and because of that he could no longer work and travel freely. He took his own life two years later at the age of 42.

However, Queer Runner is not a documentary play about Turing‘s life. Author and director of the play JQr builds an encrypted fantasy and allegorical world. The play is a collage of stories, quotations, references and authorial texts with elements of autobiography and biography, using both scientific facts and wild fiction. In a liquid and imaginative world on the verge of an initiation story, utopia and dystopia, laboratory, illusionist's arena, and wild bodily party, blurred characters are confronted with famous allegories, reality and visions of possible futures. In a loving struggle established codes are broken and illusions of artificially constructed boundaries overflow and transform.

I am rather afraid that the following syllogism will be used by some in the future:
Turing believes machines think.
Turing lies with men.
Therefore machines do not think.
Yours in distress, Alan

Season 49: End of Illusions

JQr
Poet, scout, director. He studied directing in Jan Špát’s and Olga Sommerová’s studio at the Department of Documentary, Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He made documentary films that were mostly broadcast by Czech Television, music videos, and other short and medium-length audiovisual works. In 2006, he came up with an original concept and was one of the creators and directors of the Q (later Queer) TV magazine broadcast from 2007 to 2022. He was interested in contemporary dance dramaturgy and worked with Belgian choreographer Stijn Celis. In 2007, he directed Doug Wright’s monodrama I Am My Own Wife in theatre Divadlo Letí. In collaboration with choreographer Jan Kodet, he authored and directed conceptual dance and dramatic production Camoufl(AGE) for National Theatre’s ballet. Since season 2016/17, he has made trailers for new productions for the drama section of National Theatre, and he has also directed trailers for HaDivadlo since Season 46: Resources -> Adaptations (2020/21). In 2019, he was one of the authors involved in choosing the official name of planet Makropulos (XO-5b) in the constellation of Lynx and its star Absolutno. His feature film 15 x 15 x 5 (minisalon 1984), a film essay on boundaries of freedom framed by a story of a unique Czechoslovak fine art experiment from the times of normalization, will premiere in autumn 2023.

Jan Matýsek
Intermedia artist and stage designer. He studied stage design at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts. He also graduated from the New Media 2 studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He had an internship in the experimental film studio at the UdK in Berlin. Today, he creates mostly video installations for immersive experience. He was part of the team of International festival PAF Olomouc and his work was also showcased at several group exhibitions in the Czech Republic as well as abroad (Germany, Poland, Greece, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine). He had solo exhibitions at the Kostka Gallery in MeetFactory in Prague, at the Art Space NOV in Pardubice, at the WTG in Hradec Králové, and at the Youth Gallery in Brno (TIC Gallery). He curated a number of exhibitions in the Umakart Gallery in Brno and was also in the curating team of Prague Quadriennale Czech student exhibition..

Natálie Pleváková
Music composer, sound artist and sound designer. She studied Multimedia Composition at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno, Interactive Media Theory at the Department of Musicology at Masaryk University Brno, and English studies. In her work she seeks a way out of the temporal determination of music and fragmented musical perception. Balancing on the edge of apparent chaos and precise composition, she invites audiences to discover new aesthetic categories in music and to increase listening sensitivity. She regularly collaborates on theatre productions performed at Studio Hrdinů in Prague (Zdání klame, Manželka publikovaného básníka, Nomi) and other theatres. She is the author of sound design of many podcasts (Respekt, Vlna of Radio Wave, Kvíření of the Institute of Anxiety) and collaborates on audiovisual works with visual artists (Jan Matýsek, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Adam Vačkář). She currently works as a dramaturge at the Sanatorium Sonorum festival of contemporary music and sound. She also teaches sound arts at the Centre for Audiovisual Studies at the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts and the Scholastika Higher Vocational School in Prague. .

Aleš Hrdlička
New circus performer, author and consultant specialized in magic, juggling and object manipulation. He graduated in circus arts from the Dutch Codarts University in 2020. He received a number of international awards, such as the BNG Award, CircusNext pre-selection, and the title of the Champion of the Czech Republic in modern magic 2014-2022. He is one of the original members of new circus company Cink Cink Cirk. As a member of French charity organisation Magiciens du Monde, he shares his artwork in hospitals, schools, and children‘s homes in third world countries. He performed at a hundred public and private events in various places, from Las Vegas through Europe to Shanghai and remote corners of Africa. At the moment, his work is centered on performative art and theatre. In the past year, he has worked with cultural centre Jatka 78 and NOD theatre in Prague, helping them with magic effects concepts for a number of independent as well as commercial projects.

PROGRAMME IN PDF POSTER IN JPG (Czech) podcast ponor
Premiere
1st March 2024
Ticket prices
380/260 Kč
Author
JQr
Director
JQr and collective
Dramaturgy
Milo Juráni
Assistant director and dramaturge
Diviška Rysová
Stage and costume design
Jan Matýsek
Music
Natálie Pleváková
Movement collaboration
Aleš Hrdlička

Cast



Parts of the text are generated in a controlled manner by OpenAI "DaVinci 003" text module from the GPT-3 series.

The production features an excerpt from Sergei Prokofiev's cantata for choir and orchestra "Alexander Nevsky, op. 78" (score for the film by Sergei Eisenstein, 1938)


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