Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater revives ‘Johannes Dokchtor Faust’


Vit Horejs and the cast of Hamlet, 1998.
Vit Horejs and the cast of Hamlet, 1998. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Vit Horejs, an emigre from Prague, founded Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre in 1990, utilizing century-old Czech puppets, which he found in the Jan Hus Church on East 74th Street. His trademark is using puppets of many sizes, from six-inch toy marionettes to twelve-foot rod puppets, which double as scenery. CAMT is dedicated to preserving and presenting traditional and not-so-traditional puppetry. Horejs is well known for innovative re-interpretations of classics. At La MaMa E.T.C., the company has performed “The Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald” (2004), “Don Juan or the Wages of Debauchery” (2003), “The Prose of the Transsiberian and of the Little Joan of France” (2001), “Johannes Dokchtor Faust” (2000), “The Little Rivermaid Rusalka” (1999) and “Golem” (1997). The last was featured in the 1998 Henson International Puppetry Festival.

“Johannes Dokchtor Faust” was featured in CAMT’s first season (1990) and was restaged in 1994 as part of NADA’s Obie Award-winning “Faust Festival” in Soho. It was revived at La MaMa in (2000). Other NYC productions include “A Christmas Carol–OY! Hanukkah–Merry Kwanzaa,” “Kacha and the Devil,” “The White Doe – Or The Piteous Trybulations of the Sufferyng Countess Jenovefa,” “Snehurka, The Snow Maiden,” “Twelve Iron Sandals” and “The Historye of Queen Ester, King Ahasverus and the Haughty Haman.” CAMT has performed its “Hamlet” at the Vineyard Theater, in outdoor venues in NYC, and in the 2004 Prague Summer Shakespeare Festival in the Lord Chamberlain’s Palace Courtyard at Prague Castle.

CAMT’s “The Bass Saxophone,” a WWII fantasy with music based on a story by Josef Skorecky, played 11 weeks at the Grand Army Plaza Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch in Brooklyn during the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006. In January 2007, the company performed “Once There Was a Village,” an ethno-opera with puppets, found objects and music by Frank London, at La MaMa E.T.C. in its large Annex Theater.

The Company has also appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center, the Smithsonian Institution, The World Trade Center, the Antonin Dvorak Festival in Spillville, Iowa, the Heart of the Beast in Minneapolis, the Lowell Folk Arts Festival in Massachusetts and in international festivals in Poland, Turkey, Pakistan, and the Czech Republic

This event has been made possible in part with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and private donations.

Show will run August 23 through September 9, 2007 at the Bohemian Hall, 321 E. 73rd Street, Manhattan, presented by Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre ( and GOH Productions. Productions are Thursdays through Sundays at 8:00 pm plus Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm. The show runs 80 minutes.

Tickets for previews August 23-26 are $15/$10 kids (under 12) and seniors. For shows August 30 through September 9, tickets are $18/$12 kids (under 12) and seniors. For tickets and more information visit, 212-868-4444.

Jonathan Slaff is a New York publicist in the specialty of international cultural events. Jonathan and his writers keep us ahead of the curve in the world of the arts and culture.