NYU Washington, DC and the Embassy of the Czech Republic hosted a two-night engagement of The Stand In (Záskok) preformed by the Cimrman English Theatre Company. A humorous play within a play of an actor who cannot remember his lines, this run of The Stand In was the first English language production of this popular, intelligent and witty play.
Cimrman English Theatre
Performed in English with native English-speaking actors
This brilliant comedy, set in 1910, tells the story of a small Czech theatre company who, having lost some company members, recruits the renowned Czech actor Karel Infeld Prácheňský as “The Stand-In” for the premiere of the new play Vlasta by Jára Cimrman. As Karel is unable to remember his lines, as well as the names of the other characters and even the play in which he is performing, chaos inevitably ensues. The play is an authentic, hilarious translation of the Czech comedy classic.
Jára Cimrman is a fictitious personality, sometimes called the Czech Monty Python, created by Zdeněk Svěrák and Ladislav Smoljak. He is a poet, philosopher, inventor, musician, mathematician, intellectual, athlete and a prolific playwright. He is esteemed for his immense contribution to the progress of humanity. In 2005, the ficticious charactor won the poll for the “Greatest Czech.” His character has become an intrinsic part of Czech folklore. Quotes from his plays are often used in everyday life. Last year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the “discovery” of his legacy, which has inspired 15 plays, in the town of Liptákov.
Cimrman English Theatre is a company composed of English and American actors living in Prague, who fell in love with the poetry of Jára Cimrman's plays. The company has been successfully performing The Stand In (Záskok) and Conquest of the North Pole (Dobytí severního pólu) on the stage of the original Jára Cimrman Theatre in Prague.