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Howard Lotker

(*1973)

An American performer, director, pedagogue, actor and translator based in Prague, CZ.

Teaching & Studies

Lotker currently works as Head of Performance at Art of Place – Theater Creation in Non-traditional Spaces at The Department of Alternative and Puppet Theater at the Theater Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, CZ (UMM – DTNP at KALD DAMU), the country’s main state theater academy. He has held that position since 2011. He is also Coordinator for the new English language Authorial Acting Master’s Program (AAMP), opening in fall of 2015 at the Department of Authorial Creation and Pedagogy (KATaP) at DAMU. At DAMU he teaches subjects like: Site-specific Performance; Devising Theater; Performance; Acting; Dramaturgy for Site-specific Performance; Psychosomatics; Movement; he is also a long time teacher of Professor Ivan Vyskočil’s unique self-dialogical improvisation discipline: Interacting with the Inner Partner (IwIP – Dialogické jednání in Czech), which he has been spreading abroad in recent years, giving talks and teaching workshops with Vyskočil and other faculty members at Yale University, Columbia University, Czech Center New York, UCB in Boulder Colorado, USA, at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and at the In Dialogue conference in Nottingham, UK, among others. Lotker also teaches Stanislavsky technique in the Prague Film School’s Film Acting Program. Lotker studied Political Science and Acting at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he received his BFA (summa cum laude), he recieved his MFA at KATaP DAMU in Prague, studying there in the Czech language.  

HoME theater

Lotker is the founder and Artistic Director of HoME, a Prague based theater company that examines contemporary life through the lens of theater. This international, experimental group was founded in 1996 on the basis of their first project together, DoMA / at HoME, a site specific meta-theatrical project that takes place in a different urban apartment each time, and always tells the story of the inhabitants of that apartment; the inhabitants are collaborators during the creation process and also during the performance itself. The project received the award for Performance / Project of the Year from Příští vlna/Next Wave Festiveal in 2006, since then it has been touring regionally and internationally, and has been performed on three continents. For HoME, Lotker has directed three other theater performances that further develop the highly interactive, absurd yet serious style the group discovered in their first performance together: Oedipus (complexly), a playful, interactive retelling of the Oedipus myth, story, and tragedy that looks at differences between contemporary and ancient views of tragedy; Little Man, an interdisciplinary, interactive one man show looking at the life of Freud’s disciple Wilhelm Reich, Lotker’s own life, and the relation between humans’ minds and bodies; and T.H.R.O.U.G.H., a look at what happens when our heroes fail us, told through the lens of  sci-fi. Lotker has directed, co-created, or performed in all of HoME’s performances and projects created for theaters festivals, schools, political protests, and other events, like Passing By / Bypass - Moral Hygine at 4+4 Days in Motion festival Prague in 2008, or Experts for Automat – a day without cars in Prague in 2006.

In 2009 Lotker and HoME created the exchange program Change / Exchange (Změna / Výměna) as a platform for facilitating international collaborations, touring, and workshops in the field of experimental and interdisciplinary theater in order to create more opportunities for cross cultural fertilization among artists and pedagogues. The program focuses on deepening ongoing successful international collaborations of this type between artists based in the Czech Republic and those from abroad. Change / Exchange 2009 – New Physical Theater was created in partnership with the Flying Actor Studio and Marsh Theater in San Francisco, and Alfred ve dvore theater and HoME in Prague, and it featured directors and performers like James Donlon, Charley Oats, Števo Capko and Vojta Švejda with premiers and workshops taking place in Prague and California. Change Exchange 2010 took place in Mexico City and Prague in collaboration with Mexican artist, performer and choreographer Cristina Maldonado. Change Exchange 2011 brought a series of workshops in Interacting with the Inner Partner (IwIP) to Czech Center NY, Yale University, and University of Colorado Boulder, which was also where Oedipus (complexly) had its US premiere. Change / Exchange 2012 – Exchange Committee brought a series of workshops and performances by Cristina Maldonado and HoME to some of Mexico’s most prestigious festivals and educational institutions (Transversales Festival, Festival de Teatro de Alas y Raíces, and UNAM). HoME had 2 Mexican premieres that year, of DoMA / at HoME / en HoGAR at Transversales, and Oedipus (complexly) with local company Luna Avante that ran at Teatro la Capilla for over a year. Beginning in 2013 through 2015 Change / Exchange has been focusing on spreading HoME’s site specific practices and IwIP workshops across Europe with lectures, workshops and performances with partners like: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK), In-Dialogue Conference (Nottingham, UK); Norwegian Theater Academy (Fredrikstad, NO); SOS Village DoMA / at HoME workshop for children village residents (Vilnius, LI); and Assistej festival in Kaunas, LI.

Other Theater

In Prague Lotker has worked with a wide variety of Czech theater makers (both as a director and actor), such as: KREPSKO, Miroslav Bambušek, Nora Sopková, Krištof Kintera, Tomáš Žižka, Jan Nebeský, Vojta Švejda, Stage Code and Misery Loves Company.

He has worked with international companies like: Lotte van den Berg (NL) – Cinema Imaginaire 2014 – currently touring worldwide; Dogtroep (NL); Joao Fiadero (PT); Carol Brown (UK); DAH Theater (RS); Sachiyo Takahashi (JP). In the US he worked as an actor at theaters like Utah Shakespeare Festival, PCPA Theaterfest (CA), and the Lobero Theater (CA); he has appeared in films alongside actors like Robert Carlyle, Heath Ledger, Scott Walker etc. He also has extensive voiceover and voice acting experience in documentaries, commercials, audio books and video games. 

Other Activities

Together with Sodja Zupanc Lotker he translated three of Egon Tobiáš’s plays into English and Bliss by Vojta Švejda. He also translates books and articles about theater and psychology, etc..

He frequently gives talks about HoME theater, site specific theater, contemporary Czech experimental theater, and Interacting with the Inner Partner internationally and at conferences, recently at: In Dialogue 2014 (Nottingham, UK) - Keynote Speaker and workshop leader; Gnothi Seautan - Know Thyself (No Paper Conference, 2014 Prague) – Keynote Speaker, topic “Know thy Phenomenological Position.”

A photo-essay about the “Found Scenography of DoMA/at HoME” appeared in the June 2013 edition of Performance Research Journal,

 howardlotker@gmail.com - +420 777 303 289 – Divadlo Home

 other links: (Inter)acting with the Inner PartnerUmění místa / Divadelní tvorba v netradičních prostorech