Hana Heřmánková: A pioneering performer

Photo: Andrea Horská

Before 1989, when TV announcers might have been more popular than pop music stars, charming Hana Heřmánková (41) introduced the programs of the only TV station, Československá televize. Following the regime change, she also tried her hand at radio and competing TV stations. Her fateful meeting with Czech actor Karel Heřmánek, catapulted her into the role of wife and mother – and mainly that of manager of the private Bez zábradlí theater.

AS A 17-YEAR OLD high school student, she first succumbed to the magic of television. She won an audition and became a part-time announcer for live broadcasts, hosting the Youth Club, New Year’s Eve, Bratislava Lyre, and social events. She wanted to become a theatrical scholar, so she studied theater science at the Charles University Faculty of Philosophy for two years, followed by another two years of study production at FAMU (Film Academy of Performing Arts), but she didn’t have time for both her studies and her demanding work, so she dropped out. In 1992 she won the TýTý prize – a prestigious award based on viewer popularity. At the height of her fame she left her post, and a year later took part in the first broadcast of the Frekvence 1 radio network, where she emceed “Ladies’ Club F1″. Three years later she kicked off “Maxi Magazín for Women” on TV Premiéra, and then moved to Czech Television, where she still hosts the program for women, “Sama doma” (Alone at Home).
” I was always there when a new program began, and I always enjoyed it,” says Heřmánková, who also underlined her reputation as a chronic pioneer in 1998, when her husband convinced her that they should establish the private Bez zábradlí theater. “Karel’s the big boss, while I pull all the strings,” she says with a laugh. Her responsibility is the theater’s daily operation, along with soliciting funding from sponsors. Going to their theater has become a Prague tradition, and the plays there always sell out. “We appreciate our audiences’ interest, especially with such strong competition,” says Hana, who demonstrates her organizational skills on a daily basis. Keeping a private theater at the top and taking care of her three sons, the youngest of whom is only three requires lots of work and talent. “My dearest wish is that things stay as they are now, but I’ll bet that sooner or later Karel will come up with some other ‘crazy’ idea, and we’ll dive into something new,” she laughs.

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