Adam Hruška: Openness is the key

Jihlavas DIOD is the open-door theater that has found a solid place in the regional town during its eight years of existence. It is an open-air center that features untraditional artistic programs and cultural events. In addition to the new circus, independent movement and dance theater, contemporary music, workshops for children and adults, it also gives space to the activities leading to the formation of an open society (e.g. PechaKucha Night, discussion evenings with the town representatives, etc.) Adam Hruška has been the centres member since its establishment. And at the same time, he has been the main “designer” and the main production manager determining the direction that DIOD moves in.

The DIODs program is quite diverse. How do you draw it up?
Openness is our key. By the way, we incorporated it in the name of the theater: DIOD - Open Door Theater. We listen to the needs of the local partners and try to meet their requirements as much as possible. Newly, the support from the Jihlavas municipality in the form of the operating grant has helped us to maintain this line as the municipality’s contribution isn’t anymore limited on the imported production.

Do you have any priorities?
We focus on the dance, motion and experimental theater which is occasionally supplemented by a film or a concert. The rest of the program consists of the local tenantry. As far the dramaturgy is concerned, we are a lab and that’s what we stick up to in the final drafting of the program.

Your offer of the cultural programs was enriched by another festival last year. In addition to the Tanec Praha and Fun Fatale, the second annual of the new theatre festival Malá inventura will take place at the end of September. In your opinion, what are the key factors affecting whether a festival or a production is successful or not?
This festival was a logical choice for us. If we have the echoes of the dance and acrobatic festival, then we also need the ones from the new theatre. Jihlava is still hungry for culture, so the audience will surely appreciate the festival. The number of spectators is rather influenced by the more common factors such as weather, other events around the town or whether the audience’s mood was hit while choosing the performance.

In addition to the productions of well established artists you also offer space to the local artists and organizations.

Exactly. Once more, we get to the just mentioned openness of our program. We do not want to have just the imported productions. Instead, we would like to be a place where the program is also created. And this can only be realized in cooperation with the local artists or clubs because due to the limited space DIOD can’t have its own ensemble.

DIOD fairly sticks out in Jihlava. Have you noticed any changes in the towns cultural climate that could be linked to the existence of your center?

We rank among about seven VIP projects to which the municipality provides a special care, so we are not alone as far the change of the towns climate is concerned. The change came hand in hand with the cultural strategy drawn up by an external professional company hired by the municipality. Many people in Jihlava have been activated by this step. In my opinion, it’s not the great theater productions invited from all over the world that have the greatest impact here. Rather it’s the credit of two projects from our production - PechaKucha Night and Debate. They both work with the Jihlava community and connect various social bubbles that would otherwise find it difficult to meet each other.

What is the DIOD audience composition?
A group of faithful spectators may be seen on our almost every event. Nevertheless, even after all those years, new people find the way to the DIOD for the first time. Our focus on motion workshops and childrens viewers may contribute to this phenomena. The children praise us at home and their parents then come with them the next time. And then there is the already mentioned interconnection of our production with the tenantries enabling to target a wide range of local and external spectators.

What is the DIODs staffing? Do you prospectively intent to expand?
Currently, there are four permanent employees dealing with the operation of the theater. Recently, the external staff has helped us with the more demanding projects. At the same time, we reorganize our parent organization Sokol Jihlava so that its management is more professionalized.

What has pleased you recently in the field of culture?
During the summer, we cooperated with the TEJP Theater on the site-specific project of the Stará plovárna (Old Swimming Pool). The fourteen-day hard work of up to sixty people, amateurs and professionals, generated three unique evenings and attracted, despite the summer time, more than seven hundred spectators.

What, on the contrary, has disappointed you?
We look ahead positively, so there is no room for any disappointment.

What are your wishes?
Less "decent" people in the theaters and in the politics.