Ondrej Spišák

Ondrej Spišák graduated in direction and dramaturgy from the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre in Prague. Already as a student, he drew attention with his unconventional interpretation of the musical Painted On Glass staged under the title Jazzinbed. After graduation, he worked briefly for the AKABAL theatre ensemble and later for two seasons at the Puppet Theatre in Žilina. In 1990, Spišák left for Bratislava where he joined what was then the State Puppet Theatre. There, he created productions that were to set the theatre’s artistic trend for a long time and became its trademark shows. Spišák has closely cooperated with numerous puppet and drama theatres in Slovakia (Bratislava Puppet Theatre, Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre in Nitra, Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, Radošina Naïve Theatre in Bratislava, later also Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre), in the Czech Republic (Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava, Moravian-Silesian National Theatre, Tešín Theatre) and in Poland (Lalka Teatr in Warsaw, Białostocki Teatr Lalek, Teatr Nowy in Lodž, Teatr Narodowy in Warsaw). In Poland, he became famous for his work in puppet and drama theatres – among his most outstanding productions were Our Class and Merlin. The Other History and Prophet Ilya. On those productions he closely collaborated also with Polish playwright Tadeusz Słobodzianek. In 1990, together with stage designer František Lipták and several actors, Spišák founded the Teatro Tatro nomadic theatre which has become a free company of directors, stage designers and actors. In 1992 he started working as a director for the Old Theatre in Nitra (today known as Karol Spišák’s Old Theatre in Nitra) and became its director in 2007. He worked there as a director until 2016. At present, he is a freelance director and is active in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland. Several of his productions won a number of domestic, but mostly international theatre awards.