Department for Czech Theatre Studies

Since 1993, the Department for Czech Theatre Studies has been a research department of the Theatre Institute, focusing on Czech theatre history. Prior to that period of time, it was part of the Institute for Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.


The Department for Theatre Studies has worked on the theatre history in the post-war era in accordance with the basic orientation: Czech Theatre 1945-1989 in Dates and Context (Vladimír Just, and others, Prague: Theatre Institute 1995, in Czech)

It is currently working on the four-volume project, Czech Theatre Encyclopaedia. The first volume Czech Theatres - Encyclopaedia of Theatre Companies (Eva Šormová ed.) was published in November 2000 and contains entries of Czech theatre companies who have worked in the Czech lands between the second half of the 17th century and today. It includes those companies from all theatre genres, including drama, opera, dance, pantomime, as well as puppet performances. (In Czech)
The second volume Dictionary of Ballet, Pantomime and Dance (ed. Jana Holeňová and Vladimír Vašut) specifies information about individuals and their works in Czech movement theatre in its keyword syllabus was published in June 2001 (in Czech).
Additional volumes are currently underway and include:
Biographical Dictionary: Older Czech Theatre (ed. Ondřej Hučín, Alena Jakubcová) - includes biographies of Czech theatre personalities from the middle ages to the end of 18th century. It is oriented toward all significant types of theatre and theatrical professions (to be published in Czech in 2002).
Biographical Dictionary. Music Theatre in Czech Lands in 19th Century (ed. Jitka Ludvová) - is a continuation of the first volume, Biographical Dictionary: Older Czech Theatre, and focuses on those personalities from opera and ballet during the 19th century. It also includes theatre artists of other nationalities (German, Italian), who performed here (to be published in Czech in 2004).
Biographical Dictionary: Dramatic Works in the 19th Century - is a continuation of the second volume of the Biographical Dictionary and focuses specifically on the dramatic theatre. This edition is currently in its initial preparation phase.
In addition to the lexicography, the publication team create have created the edition, Essays, Critiques and Analyses, whose individual volumes present a selection of essays by Czech theatre professionals - theoreticians, critics and practitioners - and are supplemented by a bibliography and introductory study. Terezie Pokorná and Barbara Topolová are responsible for the concept and managing the editing of the individual volumes. The first volume, devoted to director Karel Hugo Hilar (editor Eva Šormová), will be published in Czech in 2002. The second volume will contain a selection of essays of Sergej Machonin (editors Terezie Pokorná and Barbara Topolová) will also be published in 2002. The publication team is also currently working from texts of Jan Kopecký, Václav Tille and Ferdinand Břetislav Mikovec. Research of German theatre in the Czech Republic and the relationship of the Czech and German theatre cultures broaden the orientation of Czech studies. The results of the present research include the openings of international conferences, being organised under the title Deutschsprachiges Theater in Prag. Begegnungen der Sprachen und Kulturen in Geschichte und Gegenwart was a symposium that took place in June 2000 in Prague; a journal of the same title was published in German (Praha: Theatre Institute 2001).
Parallel to these works currently being prepared are other individual studies (musical dramatic work of the 18th and 19th century, scenography of the 20th Century, Czech-Russian theatre relations, etc.)

Theatre Review

Since 1990, the Department for Theatre Studies has published the theoretical and historical quarterly journal, Divadelní revue, (editor-in-chief Vladimír Just, executive editor Štěpán Otčenášek), aimed at those interested in the Czech theatre. In addition to original studies and essays, each issue contains encyclopaedic entries, reviews of new theatrical publications, historical material and other documents including unknown or little known dramatic texts.
The journal is distributed by Theatre Institute (Subscriptions can be obtained from Mrs. M. Kmochová, Individual issues are on sale at the Theatre Institute bookshop, Prospero, and in the Fišer bookshop (Kaprova Street in Prague).

International Cooperation

The Department for Theatre Studies is an institutional member of the International Federation for Theatre Research. It participates in conferences organized by this institution and, with its co-operation, has prepared two symposia held in Prague: in 1995, in connection with the Prague Quadrennial exhibition of stage design on the theme "When Theatre and Fine Arts Meet Together", and in 1999 on the theme "Theatrical Space in the Post-modern Times". Chosen excerpts taken from the conferences are available in the report "Space and Theatre Design" (published in 2000 and available in English).

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