National theatre management calls for culture minister’s dismissal

The management of Prague’s National Theatre has called for the dismissal of Culture Minister Alena Hanáková, over Friday’s unexpected sacking of the theatre’s director Ondřej Černý. The management questioned the move in an open letter to the prime minister and criticized the culture minister’s decision to appoint her deputy Martin Sankot as a temporary replacement. The culture minister has agreed to meet with theatre representatives on Tuesday but made it clear that her decisions regarding the theatre were irrevocable.

Minister Hanáková on Friday sacked the theatre’s director without forewarning, later saying that she was not happy with the pace of the ongoing merger of the National Theatre and the Prague State Opera. The theatre head has rejected the stated reason for his dismissal saying his sacking and the manner in which it was undertaken reflected “arrogance of power”. Černý’s mandate was to have expired in March of 2013. A number of Czech actors, playwrights and theatre directors have sighed a petition against his dismissal.

Author: Masha Volynsky