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Click on any of the links below to read Reviews from Selected Productions highlighting some of Pavel Dobrusky's work:

bulletTanGhost (Based on Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen)
bulletFAR AWAY
bulletFABLES (A Multicultural Project)
bulletSTAR FEVER (Based on Bacchae by Euripides)
bulletSTORIES (Adapted from Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende)
bulletDownloadable/Printable copy of all Reviews:
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NEW YORK TIMES (by Neil Genzlinger)

... The carousel is revved up, the music (played live by Clifton Hyde on an assortment of instruments) grows more insistent, and you begin to see what Vit Horejs and Pavel Dobrusky, the directors, had in mind. When, as happens several times, the carousel carries a character inexorably away from the unfolding tragedy, it’s a perfect image. Think of any classic nightmare in which you can see something awful happening but are somehow unable to intervene.


VG — Throw of dice 6! (by Fran Heller)

... Ibsen’s torpedo only needed a new detonation charge. And ignition - and charge! This fabulous ensemble has enough of that to make fire on stage.

... The performance TanGhost has about as much in common with Ibsen’s original play as the Coppola film Apocalypse Now!” with Joseph Conrad’s novel “Heart of Darkness”, or “The Godfater” with the Greek dramatist Aristophanes. The fable is the same, the story is similar, but stands on its own.

... It is both sensual and frightening at the same time. A break with the past is also present in the language, which is no-nonsense realism, in contrast to the elevated dance. (…) every single dance is related to the performance. The tango sequences are an organic part of the totality, and both Anneke von der Lippe (Mrs Alving), Aksel Hennie (Osvald), Øystein Røger (Manders), and Stig Henrik Hoff (Engstrand) moves on the stage as if the blood in their veins were as Argentinian as that of Pablo Veron (Alving) and Alexandra Archetti Stølen (Regine).

... This touring company is soon coming to a stage near you. Be there – and take part in a rare experience of beauty.


... This is physical and psychological theatre, which is visually, with its atmosphere, and style of acting, something rare on Norwegian stages.

... TanGhost is an experimental and expressive performance, which manages to come under the surface of this merciless drama about the lies of suppression and the ghosts of the past. In a modern and rhythmical frame with dance, music, light and sound effects, the life of lies and the consequences of suppression are represented clear as crystal.

... That the actors are so dedicated to their task on stage, rubs off on the audience.


It’s cheeky. It’s magnificent. It’s thorough and wholehearted.

... Get on your feet and get going! The set design (Pavel Dobrusky) is simple, but works incredibly well. The lighting and the use of visual effects (Pavel Dobrusky and Torbjørn Ljunggren) are so exciting and different that the technical frame around the performance is also at an unusually high level. The music of Sverre Indris Joner is simply incredibly good, and last, but not least: the five actors and Pablo Veron make this an unforgettable experience.



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Far Away is theatrical coup  ...

It's like nothing you have ever seen before.

Far Away, Caryl Churchill's apocalyptic vision of a world gone totally mad, at The Cleveland Play House through April 25, is the theatrical coup of the season.

Only 50 minutes in length, Far Away will forever change the way you experience theater.

The play's absurdist elements and elliptical, spare dialogue can be difficult to grasp. Peter Hackett's inspired direction and Pavel Dobrusky's stunning conceptualization endow The Play House production with raw, powerful physicality.

I have waited all year long for this critically acclaimed play that has wowed both sides of the Atlantic. After seeing the mesmerizing Play House production, I can't imagine London or New York doing it any better ...

[In the second scene ...] The stage suddenly goes dark, immediately followed by the Parade of Hats. The ensuing spectacle is disorienting, like the rest of the play, leaving this viewer fascinated, repulsed and terrified at the same time.

In the third scene, the world has become a black inferno.

... There's a war going on, not only between human beings, but among the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Everybody has taken sides, families are divided, and nothing and no one can be trusted.

Even the weather is at war, on the side of the Japanese. On one level, it's absurd; on another, extremely ominous, as though the entire world has taken leave of its senses.

This surreal view of Armageddon presents a world in which everything has been recruited; the cats are on the side of the French, the Bolivians have marshaled gravity as the next WMD, and grass is burned because it won't serve.

... The play ends abruptly, leaving one with a sense of witnessing something mysterious and terrifying at the same time.

Far Away is like an incomplete jigsaw puzzle in which the viewer must find the missing pieces. Its multiple meanings continue to unfold for me even as I write this review.

The play is an urgent wakeup call regarding the increasing global chaos that is spreading throughout the world. The ironic title and surreal events startle us into thinking that Far Away may be closer than we think.

... The acting is uniformly excellent. But the two stars are Peter Hackett, who brought Far Away to Cleveland audiences, and Pavel Dobrusky, whose imagination and creative vision gives it form.

THEATRE (by Herb Heller)

Far Away ‘Far Away’ is a wrenching experience ...

Call it science fiction or something from George Orwell, though by the finish you find Orwell rather tame, Far Away gropes and drags then turns the world upside down. It’s an amazing piece of work, if not for everyone.


THEATRE & ART (by Dan Higgins, Entertainment Editor)

The most remarkable aspect of this production is the set. It is one of the most unique and intriguing sets I have ever seen. The complete opposite of the play. The lighting is amazing and provokes all of the necessary emotions. .


(A Multicultural Project)

Program notes from Barbara Sellers, the Denver Center Theatre Company Producer/Production Manager and the design department heads:

… the Americans at the Denver Center Theatre, who have not only accustomed to the Dobrusky way, they have learned to love it. The arrival of Dobrusky comes at the end of grueling 12-play season and hits the flagging company like an infusion of Ginseng.

Why? Because this is a process of spontaneous combustion. He conceives, writes, directs and designs his shows pretty much as he goes… For anyone who’s never worked that way, it can be terrifying. For those who have, it’s exhilarating.

I missed the structure first, but I finally learned to let go. It was not that hard, because there is no anxiety in his process. I appreciate that now, but, you do have to learn to have faith and believe that his plan has a direction and that you can go along for the ride.

It’s the kind of thing Pavel can pull off. It’s part of the thrill. He stays loose, flexible, comfortable and makes sure the visual elements are active characters in the story.

Ultimately the communication boils down to an instinctual trust. “The Pavel School of Design” – as vague as it can be, but on time. And on the budget. (Which is quite a compliment)

He understands how to use the staff and the collaborative process, but with great generosity. You can go to him and say “The pyramid just collapsed’ and he’ll find a way to work it into the script.

 Fables, a luscious experimental piece by those masters of the theatrical bizarre, Pavel Dobrusky and Per-Olav Sørensen. Weirdly funny and more challenging than most family shows, Fables takes folk tales from around the world and connects them in unexpected ways. A multifaceted cast with a multicultural heritage interprets the stories without sanitizing them, à la folklorist Joseph Campbell, and the result is quite a change from Disney.

… The stories can be dark: A lion who falls in love with a human woman and gives up his claws loses both the woman and his power; a man who leaves his wife and son for another woman – really a fox in disguise - comes to a pathetic end. An Eskimo tale pits an Odysseus-like her against ghosts, vampires and demons. … especially the older kids will enjoy the mystery and wonder of it all. And Dobrusky and Sørensen wisely follow the ghostly Eskimo tale (stylized and elegant as it is) with a really funny ghoul known as the Spoon Master rising out of a (real) lagoon.

… It’s all done with lavish foolery and good wit. Some of the tales do have implied sexual content, though nothing too objectionable …

… Dobrusky and Sørensen, a Czech and a Norwegian … use the talents of their extraordinary cast to provide some new thrill every few minutes. Like their other experimental work, this play had no script to begin with. The directors chose their performers for their skills and knowledge, and the whole company created the work out of thin air, old stories and their own souls.

… Fables brings wonderful stories to life. It delights the imagination and leaves viewers just a little goofy with the joy of it all.


(Graded four stars out of five, Review translated by Frederikke Aspöck)

The KIRSEBÆR HAVEN is a brilliant production with equivalently suitable scenography, served as a cherry soufflé. A little miracle of lightness, filled with meaningful theatrical playfulness and liberating fun.

… It has been a long time since one has seen such a lively cast. The production contains the whole ‘circus’ of life: from farce to tragedy, from touching to foolish aspects.

… You walk away from this theatre experience thoughtful but also very happy

(Based on Bacchae by Euripides)

WESTWORD (by M.S. Mason)

Star Fever was as outrageous a theatre piece as Denver has ever seen. It ridiculed America’s penchant for celebrity worship and borrowed the quick editing techniques of the movies to lambaste television – especially talk shows. Its main character, a scheming judge donned a pink chiffon gown, did a tragic (and ludicrous) ballet and was subsequently torn apart by his own mother and other crazed women (just as in Euripides’ Bacchae – the original model for S.F.). Most shocking of all, at the end of the play, a child picked up a gun to kill someone as the shortest road to celebrity. At the time, Jeffrey Dahmer (the mass murderer and cannibal) was fresh in public’s memory and O.J. Simpson (a sport and movie celebrity) was on trial for (very brutal ) murder (of his own wife and a friend). But the severed-head toss on stage was still too barbarous for many.

A Letter From an Audience Member, Season Subscriber:

Denver Center Theater
Director and Cast of “Star Fever”

Dear Friends …

Last night, my son (age 16) and I attended Star Fever – the first in our series for the season. My son’s first comment as we left the theatre: “That was a perverted play.” We ripped on it all the way home. Degenerate, perverse, unprofessional, lacking intelligence or plot, morality and dignity, -- man stripped of whatever honor he might have ever been bestowed with … Denver Center Theater -- reaching a new all-time low in a public display of depravity. The temptation to think we had made a mistake in renewing our season tickets this year was strong.

However, I awoke this morning with an entirely new perspective. One of my favorite books is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. Passages from pages 570-571 came to thought and now prompt me to write and thank you for the courage and honesty it took to portray elements of our society so boldly to human thought. Hopefully “Star fever’s” mirror image of growing tendencies in our society will startle and awaken us all to see clearly what’s going on and how far we’ve degenerated. Behold Denver,


the media circus which elevates to a spectacle – perversion, sensuality, death, accusation


the subtle influences which destroy the minds of politicians, leaders, “stars”;


ourselves, hypnotized to these idols of “civilization,” unwittingly sucked into mindless alternating emotions of mass hysteria, confusion, awe, deceit…


where a godless, egoistical, me-first, materially/sensually based society winds up …

Your honest investigation and portrayal of these tendencies, though shocking, was graphically accurate, a bitter pill to swallow. Thank you ...

Barbara S. Wallace, Evergreen, CO
(address details kept confidential by Pavel)

(Adapted from Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende)

VARIETY (by Allen Young, April 11-17,1994)

… The interweaving of deceit and hope, death and dancing, destruction and beauty, makes for a rich theatrical tapestry. While the approach can go to excessive lengths, it is always justified by the unknown that lurks in the wings.

There is magic in the air as well as underfoot in the Dobrusky-Sorensen production in which chairs, telephones and a monster in Nazi uniform fall from the stage rafters. A field of flowers suddenly blooms on the stage floor, and multiple trapdoors disclose other provocative wonders.

While design aspects are unique, the Dobrusky-Sørensen collaboration weaves its strange threads into an arresting fabric.


VIRGINIA GAZETTE (by John Shulson, V-8, 88)


Tempest with no scenery …  Aided by selected props, lighting, and electronic music and sound effects, imagination takes care of the rest. But so well done are the efforts of the set and lighting designer Pavel Dobrusky that the imagination has little work to do.

Portions of the set mysteriously come and go. The floor opens up and flames issue forth, spirited objects fly through the air, the red eyes of a thousand vicious animals stare from the dark and mystic fog envelopes the earth. And while we know these supernatural events are at the carefully directed hands of Prospero, wizard extraordinaire, and his spirited sprite Ariel, we also give full due to Dobrusky and the technical wizards behind the scenes.

Dobrusky’s design is the most imaginative I have ever seen at the Stage Company. It’s a tour de force that adds strength and beauty to the play and plot.


THE DENVER POST (by Jeff Bradley, XII-13,95)


In Beethoven ‘N’ Pierrot, the Denver Center Theatre Company’s surrealistic fantasy about the contents of Ludwig van Beethoven’s mind, the composer is a lustful, ranting egomaniac.

… The one hour, 45-minute show is performed without intermission, and the night I was there, it left the audience dumbfounded.

… A biography it is not. Instead, we are given a fantasized look at the maelstrom of people, events, aspirations and frustrations that made up Beethoven’s world of the early 1800’s.

… Like the workings of the mind itself, the show’s pacing is quicksilver, and only Beethoven scholars will catch all the allusions.

… In short, go to be stimulated more than informed.

… You may find yourself rushing to the nearest Beethoven biography.



Like all best resident theatre companies in America, the DCTC has offered a mix of classic and modern plays, commercial hits, and experimental esoterica – the stuff that brings in new ideas, keeps actors and designers on their toes, and generally opens windows to other worlds. Such is Mr. Dobrusky’s lavish and bizarre take on Cervantes’s 17th-century tale of a mad old man in search of knightly deeds and heroic adventures.

Close to the original, this version is nothing like Man of LaMancha (the musical). Littered with books, the set focuses on the power of the written word to invoke realities within fictions. Don Quixote’s illusions as a metaphor for the wisdom of folly: The old man’s ideals are better than the world he lives in, and he is nobler and kinder than all those who think themselves sane and yet are selfish and petty.
(Luan Schooler, co-creator)

LA VOZ HISPANA (Red Hot Chile Review by Rachel Carrasco-Mendoza, VI-3,98)

Playwrights Pavel Dobrusky and Luan Schooler had their hands full rewriting Cervantes’ masterpiece with a modern twist, however, they managed to preserve his whimsy. Dobrusky and Schooler also co-direct the well-staged production. The plot moves along at a fairly brisk pace ... The cast of characters, stage props, lighting and costumes (co-designed by Dobrusky and Milan David) provide a capricious and comical atmosphere. Actors descend from the sky and emerge from the floor, keeping the audience alert, waiting to see the next trick.

… The banquet and ball scene is reminiscent of Cirque du Solei with black lights and glitter, producing surreal vibrancy against the white costumes and white masks. When Don Quixote and Sancho Panza take flight, the stage transforms into floating clouds and the audience is there, experiencing the hapless adventures…

… The fanciful, interpretative performance keeps in line with Cervantes’ satirical style and many comical episodes, and it is appropriate for the entire family. It’s a good opportunity to encourage your family to read one of the world’s finest and most beloved works of Spanish literature.


THE PLAIN DEALER (by Marianne Evett, I-28,96)

Pavel Dobrusky’s fascinating design for The Enchanted Maze, …. Is both inviting and slightly sinister – blue sky, golden sunlight…What look like openings to further avenues are really mirrors, reflecting our own goggling faces.


Pavel Dobrusky’s set design (he also does the lighting and costumes) is magical. Rows of giant green hedges are fronted by a marble drinking fountain and a capricious Cupid. Leafy spheres suspended from (the auditorium and the stage) ceiling and Day-Glo lighting heighten the fantasy. A continuous wall of hedges encircle the theatre, including some well-placed mirrors to remind us that the playwright’s looking glass is none other than our own.

Warning: This comedy could be contagious. You might want to see it twice.


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