Eva Šormová, an eminent Czech theatre scholar, passed away

Eva Šormová, an eminent Czech theatre scholar, an extraordinary woman, and our dear colleague, passed away on Sunday, 10 December 2017. 

PhDr. Eva Šormová was born on 30 May 1944 in Český Brod. She specialised in theatre studies at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts and after graduating went to work in the Czech Theatre Studies Department, which she was connected to the rest of her professional life. She worked on all the department’s main projects and activities: she was there as an intern when the last two volumes of The History of Czech Theatre (Dějiny českého divadla) were being prepared for publication; she contributed to the work on Czech Theatre Culture 1945–1989 in Dates and Context (Česká divadelní kultura 1945–1989 v datech a souvislostech); and she co-founded, edited, and was contributing author for the unofficial critical journal Dialogue (Dialog) and then for more than twenty years also for Theatre Review (Divadelní revue). She became head of the Czech Theatre Studies Department in 1991. After the department moved from the Academy of Sciences in 1993 to the Theatre Institute, she reshaped its profile and launched the biggest theatre research project of the post-revolution years, namely, the Encyclopaedia of Czech Theatre series, and she served as its chief editor. For this series she prepared the volume Czech Theatre – An Encyclopaedia of Theatre Companies (Česká divadla – Encyklopedie divadelních souborů) and two years ago she published a two-volume encyclopaedia on 19th-century Czech drama. For three years starting in 1993 she was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation for Theatre Research. She was a founding member of the Theatre Research Society and worked on its board. As well as contributing to group projects, she published studies on K. H. Hilar and E. F. Burian and a monograph on theatre activities in the Theresienstadt ghetto. She was an accomplished editor and prepared plays by Václav Havel for publication in a collection of his writings published by Torst. She helped develop the concept for a publishing series called Essays, Criticism, Analyses (Eseje, kritiky, analýzy), for which she put together a collection of writings by K. H. Hilar. One of the last things that she worked on was a part of this series, as she edited an anthology titled Josef Kodíček: Criticism (Josef Kodíček: Kritické stati) that was published fewer than three months before her death.

Eva Šormová demonstrated great erudition, modest diligence, and natural excellence in her work, and she was a source of inspiration and enlightenment for her other less commonplace qualities: her intellectual integrity, critical mind, and ironic humour. A remarkable individual, she will be greatly missed by the Czech Theatre Studies Department and the Theatre Institute, and by the field of Czech theatre research as a whole. 

Friends and colleagues are invited to pay their last respects to Eva Šormová on Friday, 15 December 2017, at 11 am in the large service hall at Strašnice Crematorium.



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