Czech Theater presents Karel Čapek’s famous White Disease
The next Czech Theater play will be Čapek’s timeless and timely tale of pandemic and war.
Czech Theater, z.s. was founded in 2018 by three of Brno’s own expats. The goal of the theater? To perform Czech plays in English so that non-Czech speakers can learn something about Czech culture and so that Czechs can see their own culture through a slightly different lens. This amateur multicultural community theater performs two or three plays a year. Coming up this May 2023: Karel Čapek’s The White Disease, a play about the effects of pandemic and wartime stress on several levels of society: the very poor, the middle class, and the political and military leaders.
The play was written in 1937, just before Czechoslovakia was ceded to Nazi Germany. In the play, incurable leprosy is killing people over the age of 50; leprosy for Čapek represented decay and moral rot, and he saw this in some of the leaders of his time. The play also reflects his views of how some people in power will hold onto it at any cost and of the exploitation and money-grabbing that can take place in times of conflict and fear.
Karel Čapek is one of the best known Czech writers. He mostly lived in Prague, where he died on December 25, 1938, but he also lived in Brno briefly. He is famously credited with giving the world the word ‘robot’ in his play R.U.R. (Karel himself credited his brother Josef with the word).
Czech Theater is open to anyone interested; some cast members are regulars and some are stepping on stage for the first time. There are over a dozen different nationalities working together to bring The White Disease to the stage. This diversity is a reflection of Brno’s growing international community.
This is Czech Theater’s second show at Vesna’s space on Údolní 10. Vesna is a non-profit space for single mothers and families in need, which has been doing tremendous work for Ukrainian refugees over the past year and is a cultural hub in Brno. Tickets are available at smsticket.cz.
Get a ticket
20, 21, 27, and 28 May, at Vesna