ExPats Theatre to stage gut-wrenching war drama Pankrác ’45

In a prison in Prague in 1945, five women stand accused of Nazi collaboration.

In partnership with the Embassy of the Czech Republic, Expats Theatre will present its third production, Pankrác ’45, written by Czech playwright Martina Kinska and translated by Barbara Day.

The play is set at the famous Pankrác prison in Prague, in summer 1945, just weeks after the German defeat: A short period of liberation euphoria is soon followed by a turbulent time of revenge and retribution. Nazis and traitors are prosecuted, public executions happen daily.

Sharing one prison cell awaiting their trial are five women accused of Nazi collaboration. Each of them has to testify knowing the gallows are waiting. Based on historical material, the play tells a gut-wrenching story of human relationships, asking questions about guilt, revenge, betrayal, trust, and survival.

In the cast—pictured above, from left—are Lisa Hodsoll (as Julča), Sara Barker (as Hana), Stacy Whittle (as Lída), Karin Rosnizeck (as Adina), and Aniko Olah (as Nová/ Karola). Melissa Robinson and Karin Rosnizeck co-direct.

Pankrác ’45 runs October 28 through November 21, 2021, presented by ExPats Theatre performing at Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lab II, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC. Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday matinee at 2:30 pm. Tickets ($35 adult, $30 senior, students $20) are available online.

For COVID safety, vaccination proof or negative test result and mask-wearing are required.

Accompanying the performance run will be post-show talkbacks with invited experts following the first two Sunday matinees (October 31 and November 7). Detailed information about post-show panels will be announced.

Codirectors: Melissa Robinson and Karin Rosnizeck
Assistant Director: Katelyn Foster
Set and projections: Johnny Dahm Robertson
Lights: Marianne Meadows
Costumes: Brandee Matthies

Pankrác ’45 is the third full-run production of ExPats Theatre (after Surfacing by Julya Rabinowich and Einstein’s Wife by Snezana Dijinidic). The theater is a 501 (c) (3) venture founded by Karin Rosnizeck and is devoted to connecting people across cultures through theater and the performing arts. Expats Theatre focuses on works (often in translation) by contemporary international playwrights.


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