North American Premiere: "Runners" by Cirk La Putyka (Czech Republic)

  • PS21 Open-Air Pavilion Theater

    2980 New York 66
    Chatham, New York 12037
Ticket Price $10.00-$45.00 This event is now over

SOLD OUT - Overflow seating available.  Email to reserve your seats.   

Featuring four circus artists and two musicians, Runners is a physical theater and new circus performance about racing with time, today's hectic pace of living, and how to slow down. With an exceptional international cast directed by Rostislav Novák and Vít Neznal, the show spotlights a unique set design consisting of a giant moving treadmill.

Praised by The Guardian as “a moving exploration of time . . . through dance, music, acrobatics and dialogue” and an instant hit at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Runners mounts a visually stunning metaphor for the frantic pace of modern life and its unrelenting pressures. The action takes place on A specially designed 10-meter long treadmill. As it moves, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, four performers run, cavort, collide, writhe around, somersault, ride bikes, and perform Cyr-wheel acrobatics with breathtaking skill and athleticism.


View the program


“It’s dynamic to look at, has easy to grasp metaphorical strength and is as engaging as a live-action cartoon to watch.” – The List


PLUS Join us for a post-show Q&A with the artists with PS21 Executive Director Elena Siyanko at our theater's Two Pauls Cafe


Join us for PS21's Nouveau Cirque Gala the night before to see Runners 

as part of our pinnacle fundraising event of the season.

Photo: Petr Chodura


The performers push past each other on their way somewhere apparently important; the inevitable drag of the machine is resisted as though it were death itself; a technician toys with the treadmill’s speed, testing the performers’ resilience and creativity. An emotionally heightened score performed by two musicians using violin, keys, guitar and voice cocoons the performers’ negotiations with each other and the treadmill. The choreographed movement is expressive rather than flamboyantly acrobatic, although there is an amazing feat of symbiotic human and object engineering involving a Cyr wheel. 


The ending escalates in a way you would never expect, allowing you to share in the performers’ determination to give that one last inch of yourself, and just when you think you can’t, you’ll find yourself cheering.


In 2008, a small group of circus enthusiasts created a single performance called La Putyka. Since then, the company has grown into a grouping of almost one hundred actors, dancers, acrobats, musicians, producers, technicians, doctors, make-up artists and other professionals.


Following the unexpected success of the debut show, the brothers Rosťa and Vítek Novák founded Cirk La Putyka. The brothers, artistic director and executive director respectively, have since charted the course of the experimental theater, dance circus, and music group, having performed in over 20 countries, with a network of over 300 collaborators of over 25 nationalities.





Dynamic, innovative, and  participatory, Circus Arts (Cirque Nouveau), which traces its roots to the streets of 1970s France, from its inception challenged genre boundaries and blended acrobatic physicality and athleticism with elements of theater, music, dance, new media, and the visual arts. Artistically-driven, politically astute, inventive, rebellious, hybridized: contemporary circus is reinventing itself as a new multidisciplinary genre. This is an art form for our times, provisional, improvisatory, but with the potential for forging a sense of common purpose and embodying community.


The inspiration for presenting this program in Contemporary Circus at PS21 was born at Montréal Complètement Cirque in 2020, organized by TOHU (Monteal's Mecca for experimental circus arts), where we participated in discussions devoted to commissioning, creating, presenting, and touring International Contemporary Circus Arts performances in North America and around the world. Since then, this collaboration has evolved into an international initiative of a group of dedicated presenters (including TOHU Montreal, Ruhr Triennale, and PS21, among others) that shares resources, opportunities, and expertise to support new creative work.



Direction, concept, Rostislav Novák Jr., Vít Neznal Choreography, Dora Sulženko Hoštová Dramaturgy, Petr Erbes, Viktor Černický Set design, Pavla Kamanová Costumes, NoN Grata, Mikuláš Brukner Music, Jan Čtvrtník, Veronika Linhartová, Terezie Kovalová, Jakub Ruschka Lighting design, Jiří (Zewll) Maleňák Sound Design, Jan Středa Physiotherapeutic support, Kateřina Mikynová Running coach, Ian Adensam Production, Pavel Uhřík Producer, Cirk La Putyka Photo, Jiří Šeda, Lukáš Bíba ,Technical support Daniel Hajtl, Oldřich Procházka, Matěj Pohorský Video, Jakub Jelen Graphic Design, Adam Willant

Duration: 70 minutes



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Venue Details

PS21 Open-Air Pavilion Theater

2980 New York 66
Chatham, New York 12037 PS21 Open-Air Pavilion Theater
PS/21 Inc

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About PS21

A vibrant center for contemporary performance in the Hudson Valley, PS21 “presents work that challenges and invites” (The New York Times): adventurous productions by leading and emerging American and international artists in music, dance, and theater, and visionaries creating entirely new genres. On our open-air Pavilion Theater stage, across our expansive, unspoiled grounds, and in the diverse surrounding communities, PS21 cultivates and presents productions that transcend aesthetic boundaries and revitalize existing artistic languages and grammars. Throughout the year, we host developmental residencies for dancers, musicians, actors, and creators of original, even unclassifiable new work. Rooted in community collaboration, PS21’s programming engages creatively with critical global and social issues. It is a mecca for innovative and original artistic voices, a destination for performance that can be experienced nowhere else in the region. PS21’s Pavilion Theater is a green-energy marvel surrounded by 100 acres of unspoiled meadows, trails, and woodlands that are a haven to wildlife and visitors across the region.  Integrated into our unspoiled campus, the theater embodies our commitments to the public: open, inviting, and optimized for their enjoyment and encouraging citizen expression and participation.


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