Alena Lelková graduated in a double major in aesthetics and the Slovak language from the Faculty of Arts, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Prešov. After she completed her studies, she worked as a pedagogue at the literary and dramatic department in the Elementary Art School in Humenné. It was in this period that she founded the Children’s Theatre Ensemble called Masks which ranked among the top groups in Slovak national competitions of theatre ensembles every year. It also successfully represented Slovakia at international festivals in the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Lithuania, Finland, Germany and Japan. In 2008, Lelková graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava where she majored in theatre direction and dramaturgy. While still a student, she successfully produced such plays as Yurga’s Hana, Farms and Mayhem, and Eldorado. Yurga’s Hana was co-produced by the Bratislava-based Studio 12 and the Theatre Studio of the Academy of Performing Arts. At the 2007 Nová dráma/New Drama festival, it won the Award for best production of a contemporary Slovak play. In 2007, the production was included in the main programme of the Divadelná Nitra International Festival. For her direction of the production Silver Bowls, Excellent Vessels Lelková was nominated for the season’s theatre award Dosky 2015 in the Discovery of the Year category. As a director, she worked as a guest artist in several Slovak theatres (ASTORKA Korzo ’90 Theatre, Alexander Duchnovič Theatre Prešov, Jonáš Záborský Theatre Prešov, Puppet Theatre Žilina, Aréna Theatre, the Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre).
Director and dramaturg Alena Lelková is part of the middle generation of contemporary Slovak directors. While still a student, she directed the awarded production titled Yurga’s Hana that intrigued audiences mainly thanks to Lelková’s remarkable directorial method and ability to communicate both with the text and the actors. The thorough work with the ensemble of actors is a direct result of her experience with children’s ensembles – an intense experience of several years. As a director, Lelková gives the actor space for essential expression and gathers inspiration from the actors’ personality traits and distinct strengths. In her productions, stage settings and dramatic situations which make use of irony and humour are clean and natural. Even though her stage design is not complicated and spectacular, but rather the other way around – it allows flexibility of acting and almost always brings in meaningful symbols and legible metaphors. Many of Lelková’s productions are characteristic for their light expressivity – both formal and interpretational. The dialogue lines always hit the target and are comprehensible despite metaphors and allusions to the current world. A specific attribute of Lelková’s direction is sensitive coordination of the production elements of music, stage and costume design.
A separate chapter in Alena Lelková’s professional theatre work is dramaturgy which she does for other directors – Petra Fornayová (Girl From the Bed of the Sea, Studio 12), Anna Petrželková (Hedda Gabler, Academy of Performing Arts) and Michal Vajdička (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, State Theatre Košice). In recent years, she has invited visual artist Juraj Poliak to join her in a dramaturgical and directorial creative dialogue. When selecting texts, Lelková prefers Slovak drama, in particular contemporary plays.
- 2005 / Jonáš Záborský Theatre Prešov / Roald Dahl, David Wood: The Twits or The Great Upside-Down Circus
- 2006 / Academy of Performing Arts and Studio 12, Bratislava / Hana Naglik, Silvester Lavrík: Yurga’s Hana
- 2007 / Academy of Performing Arts and Studio 12, Bratislava / Marius von Mayenburg: Eldorado
- 2007 / Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava / Jozef Gregor Tajovský: Farms and Mayhem
- 2010 / Studio 12, Bratislava / Ivan Vyrypaev: July
- 2012 / Puppet Theatre Žilina / Roald Dahl, David Wood: The Twits
- 2012 / Bratislava Puppet Theatre / Hana Naglik: Ester and the Albatross
- 2013 / Aréna Theatre, Bratislava / Philipp Löhle: It
- 2014 / ASTORKA Korzo ’90 Theatre, Bratislava / Petr Kolečko: Icing
- 2014 / Alexander Duchnovič Theatre Prešov / Eva Maliti-Fraňová: Krcheň the Immortal
- 2015 / Studio 12, Bratislava / Jana Juráňová: Silver Bowls, Excellent Vessels
- 2015 / Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava / Jana Juráňová: The Quiet Whip
- 2016 / Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava / Zuzana Dzurindová, Júlia Rázusová, Kamil Žiška: Morals 2000+
- 2016 / State Theatre Košice / Elaine Murphy: Little Gem
- 2018 / Jonáš Záborský Theatre, Prešov / Ján Skála: Through Thick and Thin
- 2019 / Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava / Lucy Prebble: The Effect
- 2020 / State Theatre, Košice / Hana Naglik: Yurga’s Hana
- 2020 / Jonáš Záborský Theatre, Prešov / Božena Slančíková-Timrava, Silvester Lavrík: The Ťapák Clan
- 2022 / ASTORKA Korzo ’90 Theatre, Bratislava / Christopher Hampton: A German Life
- 2007 / Award for best staging of a contemporary Slovak play at the 2007 Nová dráma/New Drama festival for the production of Yurga’s Hana
- 2015 / nominated for the Dosky Award in the Discovery of the Year category for the direction of Jana Juráňová’s play Silver Bowls, Excellent Vessels