DOROTKA

Magdalena Frydrych Gregorová

Cast: 3 men, 2 women

A story of two sisters Adela and Dorotka, who, after their father dies, become two lonely pub owners. Nobody comes to the pub, only a local priest who is drunk all the time, and a would-be singer, tenant called Kryštof. The older Adela feels that life is slipping through her hands, the only way she can find fulfilment is by „educating“ her sister and by visiting the church. Sixteen year old Dorotka is going through a rebel phase – questioning everything that up to now formed her little world. But in reality she goes through a journey of discovery refusing to let Adela, stereotypes of a girlie household and religion shape her life. A storm that pulls down the roof on the local church also destroys ideas, dreams and illusions. But it´s not a simple destruction: the less than heroic heroes discover wisdom that does not contain a cheap solution, although the „heaven“ found by Dorotka at the end of the play might look a little bit naive. Although Frydrych Gregorova uses many symbols, she follows a direct line of storytelling, a line that helps shape the specific form of her text. Audience might not be able to decipher everything that´s hiding behind a seeming simplicity of the story – but it might not matter, either. Few people will be thinking about the name Dorotka and its links to St Dorothea, or about number seven. But it will not ignore a fish pond, wind, a bleeding tree of starry skies. These are means to express themes of loneliness, distance, alienation; and to put them into the context of a specific reality of a dying village. Frydrych Gregorova in her play is not trying to be fashionable. Which contemporary play would so markedly proclaim the necessity of faith – the faith not necessarily linked to religion, and sometimes perceived as comical by the surrounding world? The author does not shy away from emotion and often builds her text on it. And without idealizing lives of her protagonists, she doesn´t deprive them of hope.

 

The way she consistently works with her theme sets her apart from many others of her generation. On top of that she manages to create a drama that is absolutely contemporary. Besides her handling of the theme, the originality of her language helps her. Lines sometimes are sentences with no punctuation, repeatedly thrown at the audience, repeated and multiplied in order to bind together the net of motives in the play. Dorotka by Frydrych Gregorova consciously vibrates on the borderline of the psychological, seemingly realistic, nevertheless strangely stylized drama. (Jana Paterova: Hledani nebe ve zmirajici vesnici, Lidove noviny, 5. 3. 2008)

  The play is available also in English translation.


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