Puppets, Dogs, and Vegetarian Angels: Ecocriticism in Jakub Krofta’s Polish Productions
This article explores the work of Czech theatre director Jakub Krofta in the context of ecocriticism. This discussion focuses on Krofta’s two productions directed for Polish puppetry theatres and aimed at young audiences: Daszeńka (Teatr Lalka, Warsaw, 2011), based on Karel Čapek’s book, and Pacan – historia o miłości (Pacan – a story about love; Wrocławski Teatr Lalek, Wrocław, 2012). My analysis is framed by Greta Gaard’s theories on ecopedagogy (GAARD 2009) and Paul Piris’s discussion on co-presence between the puppeteer and the puppet (PIRIS 2014). Building on their work, and combining it with performance analyses of both productions, this article explores how Krofta manages interactive relationships between performers, puppets, and spectators so as to engage his audiences with global discussions relating to human/environment relations. Krofta’s works achieve this through their exploration of the problematic status of animals in the contemporary world, invitation the renegotiation of relations between humans and animals, and facilitation of various degrees of engagement for both children and adults.