Drama Category at prix Bohemia Radio 2016

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The Drama category was entered by thirty-six radio works. In the first round the jury of experts chose seven finalists. The jury members agreed that the finale selection should consists of such works whose literary as well as production quality is high. The main selection criteria included the theme (and its development), dramaturgy, direction, acting, sound design and general impression.

Eva Blechová: Pro patria mori, using Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce et dekorum est

The British poet, Wilfred Owen, was twenty-five when he was killed in combat in November 1918, only a week before the end of WWI. He could have avoided returning to the battlefront as he had been wounded before but he felt obligated to capture the experience of his comrades in arms. His poems – cruel images of the war inferno – are still appallingly vivid today. What could war mean to today’s young men, who would probably have had to join the army a hundred years ago?
The micro play Pro patria mori also has a Czech and English version, which represented Czech Radio in the European Broadcasting Union’s project called Europe 1914 and was awarded second prize in the short forms category at Prix Marulic 2015.

Petr Pýcha: Dehtov Petrol Station

A black comedy about life as a game and about a game in which life is at stake.
Robert, Karlos, Arny and Komár meet under not very happy circumstances – they are successful neither at work nor in personal relationships, lacking money or stamina. However, not so long ago excitement was not uncommon to them and they would not even have thought of doubting the meaning of their very existence. Everything used to be great until one night when they arrived at the petrol station in Dehtov. Their night adventure turned into a nightmare and a shadow that keeps following them wherever they go. And they do not even know yet that the series of sudden changes, unexpected encounters and crazy events is only beginning…
Petr Pýcha was awarded second prize for Dehtov Petrol Station in Czech Radio’s drama competition in 2013.

Gabriela Preissová: Její pastorkyňa

A new radio adaptation of this tragic story of the beauty of both the face and the soul, self-love and love.
This 1890 rural play belongs among the crucial works of Czech drama. The story of the proud widow, Kostelnička, and her stepdaughter, Jenůfa, in which pride and the fear of being condemned by the society destroy the destiny of several people, can still be convincing and connect with both producers and audiences even after more than a hundred and twenty years due to its dramatic impressiveness.
The directors of the new radio adaptation did not rely on realistic miniature but concentrated on the power of the word, the essence of the dramatic situations and on the relationships among the characters. An essential contribution to the new adaptation is Marko Ivanovič’s musical conception, which turns its polymorphic character into an appropriate sound form.

Pavel Molek: My Temporarily Occupied Country

National Theatre, 5th June 1939.
The most famous Czech cycle of symphonic poems My Country by Bedřich Smetana, broadcasted live by Czechoslovak Radio and rebroadcasted by radio stations in Paris and Oslo, is the peak of the Prague Musical May Festival – a special festival born from the initiative of conductor Václav Talich. Two and a half months after the start of the German occupation, Czech citizens feel an ever more agonizing grip of the “protective hand” of the Protectorate and they have to get used to measures that are in direct contradiction to all principles of democracy. A music festival is thus a unique opportunity to raise the nation’s determination and self-awareness. This real historical framework including some real characters served the author Pavel Molek as the base for his fictitious story placed in the moment of the last rehearsal before the live broadcast. What happens when three musicians decide to fight for freedom and dignity by other means than music?
The play includes an excerpt of the real historical recording of the above-mentioned concert – a unique recording discovered more than sixty years later in Norwegian Radio archives.

Marek Epstein: Pescho

The year 2055. Not too distant future. The planet has lost its crucial source of life, i.e. water. It has been replaced by gelatine produced from the flesh of a turnip bred for this purpose by a multinational corporation, Pescho. However, the corporation not only owns hectares of turnip fields but it also penetrates the whole society and controls it because due to its water substitute it has the very human existence in its hands.
That is what the world of the generation after the next one looks like according to Marek Epstein. Will the main character of his story, Dan Gál, succeed in it? So far he has just managed to go through life inconspicuously but he will have to face up to it unexpectedly…
For Pescho Marek Epstein won an honourable mention in a radio drama competition in 2013. The play won the Drama category at Grand Prix Nova in Bucharest in 2015.

Zuza Ferenczová: Jump Out Of Skin

How long is 84 days? It depends on what you’re going through. Our almost-sixteen-year-old protagonist asks many basic questions about life and death. She has a problem. A problem as big as the biggest highrise in the middle of the world’s largest tower block, as big as the largest hunk of whatever you can possibly imagine. Though, in reality, it may be smaller than a stupid piece of snot...
She is pregnant and can‘t afford to have a baby, but at the same time she can’t have an abortion without knowing: WHATWILLHAPPENAFTER.
Her thoughts and reflections are comical, at other times chilling, but definitely useful. Whatever the case: IFYOUHAVEAPROBLEM, make sure you don’t give it a name.
A play about growing up too early.

Eva Blechová: Audies. Up to your ears.

Yesterday selfies were still cool but today they are not! After a public scandal photographing one’s own face is banned for moral and security reasons. Using the motto “the face is not the choice, find your own voice” a new phenomenon is unexpectedly born ­– audies. An audie can also be made by anyone and anywhere and it can be sent, shared and commented on. And the voice seems to be able to offer a new, deeper dimension. However, could the obsession of sound hunters not have disastrous results as well? The play Audies. Up to your ears was created in autumn 2015 as part of a project called Bleskový kabinet.