At first you’ll start laughing — it will all sound ridiculous. But then your smile will freeze on your face as you realize that what you’re seeing on stage may not be far from real life. Welcome to one office’s microcosm. Welcome to the play My Boss Is Dumb.
Did you click on this article’s title because:
a) you’re desperately seeking a way to survive a boring meeting?
b) you’re preparing an analysis of behavioral samples of social interaction in the workplace environment as per a basic archetypal classification?
The play My Boss Is Dumb should answer both of these questions. This chamber play, which premiered in autumn of 2018, uses dialogues between two actors to present the sometimes laughable, sometimes twisted, sometimes even dangerous world of today’s corporations.
It starts with her — a young university graduate who is entering her first full-time employment full of convictions, ideals, and a natural taste for changing the world for the better. In the boss’s chair, welcoming her, is him — a man with experience not only in how to build up an e-shop, but also in how to speak in buzzwords.
Then come 90 minutes packed with the most important things that employees care about at all levels of every business — changing the logo, working from home, aching backs, sex with workmates, and above all running out of coffee.
The managerial and personal relationship between this marketing specialist and her boss gradually takes on colors as bright as an Excel pie chart. Meanwhile the pair manages to overcome a variety of barriers, from ineffective customer support to a lack of towels in the company bathrooms. And when the two do start to run aground, you hear: “If we can’t talk normally, then send it to me by e-mail.”
A Workshop for the Successful
“Educational workshop units” by the protagonist, the manager Roman, are scattered among this piece at irregular intervals as “cigarette breaks.” PowerPoint slides projected against the wall fill you in on his tips for successful people. For example: the best-motivated employee is one with zero motivation.
The creators of My Boss Is Dumb have managed to capture a sort of social Esperanto of business based on true testimony and their own experience. It’s comprehensible for audience members no matter what their gender, age, profession, or business sector. And you could feel this after the final applause faded away, as attendees’ own memories of their corporate trials and tribulations sounded on the stage.
Run to the theater and enjoy it. That is, if you’re willing and able to laugh at yourself. Anyone who’s ever tried even just a short-term job at a company with just two employees will find some of their experiences mirrored there on the stage. After all, as one of the characters says: “The point of our lives lies in an office. Outside these doors there is but blankness.”
My Boss Is Dumb.
Written by: Monika Pulišová et al.
Dramaturgy by: Klára Elšíková
Choreography by: Michal Heriban
Stage design and costumes by: Daša Krištofovičová
Cast: Marta Sovová, Petr Reif
Directed by: Monika Pulišová