Štěpán Šimek has been a faculty member at Lewis & Clark College since 2001. Previously, he taught at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and at Reed College in Portland, OR. Originally from Prague, Czech Republic, Prof. Šimek lived in Switzerland where he worked as a director and assistant director at various theatres there, including the “Zurich Schauspielhaus,” and he came to the United States in 1987.
Areas of Specialization: Acting and Directing, Playwriting, Theatre History, Contemporary Czech and Eastern European Theatre, Translation.
MFA in Directing, University of Washington 1995, BA in Theatre, San Francisco State University 1991
At Lewis & Clark College, Professor Šimek teaches a wide range of courses ranging from the history and literature of the theatre, to acting, directing and playwriting. He also directs main stage productions at the college, and he continues working professionally in the Portland theatre scene.
In the United States since 1987, Prof. Šimek received his MFA in Directing at the University of Washington in 1995. He has directed more than 40 productions both professionally and in college settings in both the United States (Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Portland) and in Europe. Fluent and literate in five languages, he translated number of contemporary and classical plays from Czech, German, French, and Russian into English, and adapted several novels for the theatre including Oscar Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Gray,” Franz Kafka’s early “Amerika,” François Villon’s “The Testament,” and others. His work as a director was honored by the Drama League of New York with the “Drama League Directing Fellowship,” and his translations of two contemporary Czech plays earned him the “PEN America Translation Award,” and the 2018 “Eurodram translation Prize.” As one of the authorized translators of the body of work of the former Czech President and playwright Vaclav Havel, Prof. Simek continues working on creating new American translations of contemporary European plays, and recently he has completed a set of new, modern American translations of Anton Chekhov’s major plays. In addition to teaching, directing in professional and college settings, translating, and adapting, Professor Šimek has published numerous articles on contemporary Czech theatre in the journal of international performance, “TheatreForum,” and the journal of “Slavic and East European Performance” and his translations appeared in a number of anthologies.
Together with his wife, Esther, he is a proud owner and operator of a small theatre and creative space, THE 2509 that fosters a new community-based, locally focused, and human-centric model of theatre, music, and art making in an intimate and welcoming setting.