Mgr. Marie Caltová

* 1944  

  • "The turning point came after November 17th. There was a big break, because we were supposed to have the premiere of Black Comedy then. It was directed by Václav Beránek. And the news came to us that they had stopped playing in Prague. They went on strike. Well, we did a drama meeting and we decided to play. That we will still play the premiere, but that Pavel Pavlovský will perform beforehand and say what is happening in Prague. So he got out and some people left the auditorium with a stamp, and most people applauded us. We also called the Big Theater, where the Beggar Student was on the next day, but the operetta did not join us. So it was up to the drama. There was no one anywhere, the students kept silent for four days. Technical components have joined us. And we've been canceling the show since the second day of the rerun of the Black Comedy, announcing it (in advance). We said we would return the entry fee. Of course, no one wanted the fee back. So the drama of the Pilsen theater went on strike from the second day, from the nineteenth of November. And on November 19, we wanted to do dialogue [actors] with the audience, but now the director didn't want that. So a betting committee was set up. The first chairman was Václav Beránek, I was the secretary of the strike committee and then Pavel Pavlovský took over. And a kind of a center had actually been set up in my tiny office of dramaturgy, [there] it was beginning to be concentrated. We received phone calls from Prague, reproduced materials, sent messages and hanged up signs. And I must say that the director knew about it and did not intervene. That meant he let us reproduce the materials. Most of the drama got involved. And then, after about four days, the organization of those performances (in the square) and of the actors' trips (to various villages) began."

  • "It was the Days of Bulgarian Culture, and none of the West Bohemian theaters had a Bulgarian play. So it was up to the theater to perform the Bulgarian play. So I went to Prague to see my friend Miloš Vojta, who was the editor of Tvorba, and he gave me a great play (from the Bulgarian writer Jordan) Radičkov, which was called Lidožroutka. So we put it on. Those party bodies were happy to have the Bulgarian game. It was a story from a retirement home, where a party official comes. And while everything works there and people like each other, when the party functionary comes there, everything is taken apart. Interpersonal relationships… everything stops working. It ends with a black nurse coming in and he has a heart attack. And everything in that institute will return to its harmonic lines. And there was a premiere and there were party bodies on it, and they completely screwed up. It was terrible because they suddenly had a game that was anti-regime. So a commission was set up to investigate what we dared to see. And I went to see Miloš Vojta, and he called the central committee, and there someone from that central committee called Pilsen and said what they were talking about, that it was not a critique of socialism, but a critique of the negative phenomena of socialism. And immediately there was peace. Nothing happened and the Ogre was played on."

  • "And immediately the trouble with my husband began, because after the year 1968, he did, for example, a performance called Philosophical History, where it was demonstrated. The spectators demonstrated there, stood up, there were chanted applauses. So his productions were actually demonstrated, and he was an incredible thorn in the side of party officials. [At that time] there was a deputy director [Karel] Křemenák… And they ordered him to fire [Jiří] Kout and Vladimír Heller. He refused, and even started drinking because he couldn't stand it, and then resigned rather than firing these people. Then [Zdeněk] Šnaiberg stepped in, and in his seventieth year he stated in his inaugural speech that these people had to leave the theater. And Vlada Heller even committed suicide because he couldn't bear it."

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    Plzeň, 12.06.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 01:16:24
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - PLZ REG ED
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I’m allergic to the Communist Party

Contemporary portrait photo
Contemporary portrait photo
photo: Archiv pamětnice

Marie Caltová was born on March 26, 1944 into a Pilsen artistic family. The mother worked as a photographer for many years at the J. K. Tyl theater. His father worked as a stage designer in Pilsen. During the war, his parents hid the director of Jewish origin, Alfred Radok. Marie´s grammar school studies were followed by studies in Theater Theory at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, which she completed in 1968. Already during her studies, she worked part-time in the documentation department of the Theater Institute. Immediately after graduation, she accepted an offer for the position of theater critic at the Prague Scenography Institute. Her parents and grandmother were expelled from the Communist Party after expressing their disagreement with the occupation of the Warsaw Pact troops, she never joined the party herself. In March 1969, she married Miroslav Doutlík, as a result of disagreement with the occupation, who was deprived of the position of head of the Pilsen operetta. For many years she worked as a dramaturg of the J. K. Tyl Theater. Immediately after November 17, 1989, she joined the strike together with the members of the play, became the secretary of the strike committee and the driving force behind the Velvet Revolution in Pilsen. She soon joined the Pilsen Civic Forum. In addition to her work as a playwright, she was also a lecturer in theater seminars and a juror for a number of amateur theater shows. In 2010 she received the Vendelín Budil Award, and in 2018 the Lifetime Achievement Award.