"ZASKOK (The Stand-In)"
A Czech Comedy in English
The American Czech Theatre
“The Stand-In,” written by Ladislav Smoljak and Zdenĕk Svĕrák, features the fictional Czech personality, Jara Cimrman. This comedy centers around a traveling troupe of actors which finds itself lacking one player. They invite the famous Czech actor, Prachensky, to stand in for the part. However, Prachensky surprises his fellow players and chaos ensues.
The Jara Cimrman genre was created by Smoljak and Svĕrák as a radio show in Prague during the 1960s. It is often compared to the British Monty Python series and is considered an icon of Czech humor. Although the Cimrman plays have been performed for around 50 years, the genre still finds popularity with Czech audiences today. In 2005, the fictional character Jara Cimrman was voted "Greatest Czech." Until recently, many did not believe that the plays could be translated successfully to any other language because its humor is so typically Czech. Even non-native Czech speakers often had difficulty understanding the complicated wordplay, historical references and inside jokes.
This spring, The American Czech Theatre brings Andrew Robert’s translation of this unique Czech play to audiences. The production will tour across three Texas cities ending with a final performance in New York City. As a Texas based company, TACT brings artists from various backgrounds, hoping to connect audiences to their theatrical heritage.