An anonymous play of puppeteers
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre returns to the Jan Hus Playhouse, 351 East 74th Street, April 10 to May 4 with "Don Juan, or Wages of Debauchery," conceived and directed by Vit Horejs, adapted and directed from an anonymous play of itinerant puppeteers.
In 18th century Europe, Don Juan ("Don Shayn") was among the top "hits" of the Czech marionette repertoire. The only theatre truly available in small towns and villages were shows by itinerant puppeteers. Their plays were a whimsical mixture of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," heroic legends, and rudimentary pre-Shakespearean tragedies. There is nothing very glamorous about the character of Don Juan in the Czech puppet play--he ends up as a common robber, hungry, rejected by all his former conquests and riled constantly by his inept servant Kasparek, the earthy Bohemian cousin of Mr. Punch and Leporello.