The Graduate

Karol Spišák Old Theatre in Nitra, 2011
Author: Terry Johnson
Directed by Jakub Krofta

about the production

The piece is based on a drama version of a film adaptation of a novel, which suggests that this story provides sufficient matter for literature, cinema and theatre alike. At the time  of its release, the movie The Graduate was considered scandalous for its straightforward handling of a love affair between a young man and a mature woman and its open exaltation of the then passion for young, internally torn people.

In his play of the same title, the Czech director Jakub Krofta artfully skirts period clichés and uses the subject matter only as a stimulus. As if the lively narration, vaudevillian hyperbole and vivacious pace of the original story – that of a young man who loves a woman, or at least believes so, until he meets another woman – were reduced to a basic anecdote only to resurge as the eternal archetypal story of enchantment and disillusionment, so intensely experienced by young people that they are unable to take distance. The relationships among the characters are viewed through the eyes of the protagonist as a quick sequence of events, excitements, individuals, meetings, and places. The authors relate the story with humour and captivating lightness until the very last moment when we suddenly realise that disillusionment is inevitable. Czech director Jakub Krofta was invited to stage the production as a guest artist.

“The inclusion of this title into the dramaturgical plan of the Karol Spišák Old Theatre in Nitra is just a continuation of a trend which was set up by the theatre dramaturgy in the past seasons. The production of the play “The Graduate” follows the trend of introducing valuable and demanding titles for adults and youth which have become iconic outside the theatre (e.g. in literature and film). At the same time they are plays with a strong moral message but not moralising.

... (it is) our Slovak present circumstances, ... a part of the middle class who have earned money in the new social conditions, faithfully imitating the manners of the American society – running parties, enjoying forced merry-making, outrunning each other in superficialities, accepting a change in dominant values from ethical to material, artificially enforcing middle class conventions and their acceptance... Krofta’s production is a young production for a young viewer who finds himself in a similar situation of the first runner, presently solving (or in a short time) his first sexual experiences. The production will certainly help him to overcome the taboos in so far as he will be able to talk about them.”
Ida Hledíková, Theatre Monitoring,


direction and adaptation: Jakub Krofta
translation: Danica Haláková
dramaturgy: Veronika Gabčíková
set design and costumes: Zoja Zupková
stage-manager and properties: Juraj Schramek
music: Vratislav Šrámek
accompanist: Eugen Gnoth
lighting design: Juraj Grác
sound design: Peter Brat
characters and cast: Benjamin: Andrej Šoltés; Mrs. Robinson: Oľga Schrameková; Elaine,chambermaid: Lucia Korená; Mr. Robinson, messenger boy: Rudo Kratochvíl; mother, Mrs. Braddock, stripper: Danica Hudáková; father, Mr. Braddock: Roman Valkovič; Carl, receptionist: Miloš Kusenda; cleaner, psychiatrist, priest: Ivan Gontko; wedding guest, chambermaid, violinist: Katarína Petrusová; drummer, wedding guest: Radovan Hudec; pianist: Eugen Gnoth; guitarist: Michal Lorinc


Jakub Krofta (1971), a Czech director, author of theatre scripts and texts, graduate from the Prague Academy of Performing Arts in direction and dramaturgy, attendant of professional stays in the USA, Great Britain, Sweden and France.  He is developing his own author’s type of the theatre understandable to children, youth and adults combining the elements of a clown theatre with visual and puppet theatre, while emphasizing music and sound. Since 1995 he has been the director and since 2008 also the artistic director of the DRAGON Theatre (Divadlo      DRAK) in Hradec Králové. He also cooperates with significant Czech drama stages (Klicpera Theatre, Hadivadlo and Theatre On the Balustrade).

He has been working with the Karol Spišák Old Theatre in Nitra since 2008, when he staged a play on the motifs of Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye under the title Bloody Christmas. In 2010 he co-directed and co-staged the international Czech-Slovak-Polish production Jánošík in the same theatre.