With Museum Night and Church Night having already become a tradition in Prague and some other Czech cities, this weekend the Czech Republic will live through its very first Theater Night. Theater halls and performance groups will offer a whole variety of programming indoors and in the streets on Saturday afternoon. For this week’s Arts, we had a chance to speak to Petra Pavlová, the director of the Arts and Theater Institute in Prague, which is organizing the country-wide event.
The 18th annual German-language theatre festival begins in Prague on Monday. The festival brings ten plays and projects by German, Austrian and Swiss ensembles to the Czech capital; the festival kick offs with the performance entitled Oedipus – The City, by the Deutches Theater Berlin, at the Vinohrady theatre on Monday evening. The event continues until November 10.
Greenpeace activists began a protest against the breaking of mining limits on Tuesday morning in front of the National Theater in Prague. They wanted to draw attention to issues concerning coal mining in the Czech Republic before Czechs head to the polls for early general elections on Friday. Signs held up by the activists showed the politicians running in the general elections who support the abolition of limits on coal mining. A few of the protesters attempted to climb up the theater building in order to place their banners there.
The annual multi-discipline and multi-venue contemporary art festival called 4+4 Days in Motion begins in Prague this Friday. Now in its 18th year, the festival looks at some of the controversial and problematic topics surrounding the modern city, through dance and theater performances, an exhibition, public lectures and discussions. In today’s Arts, we speak to the festival’s producer, Markéta Černá, who talked about why they chose a vacant palace, situated on Wenceslas Square, as the main venue.
The National Theater in Prague has announced that it will present a special international project called 1914 on 30 April of next year to mark 100 years since the beginning of World War One. The play will be directed by the American director Robert Wilson and the script was inspired above all by Jaroslav Hašek’s novel The Good Soldier Švejk and the satirical play The Last Days of Mankind by the Bohemian born writer Karl Kraus. The creative team of the project also includes theater professionals from Slovakia and Hungary. The first round of rehearsals, which began in mid-September, will conclude this week, while the second round will take place next spring.
With barely a month to go until the New Scene theatre on Prague’s Národní třída turns 30, an art installation from Aleš Hvízdal, Marek Volf and Dominika Nettwallová has transformed the piazza underneath the theatre into a giant camera obscura. Until the 4th of October spectators can view the square and the surrounding street through a warped projection in which unassuming passers-by become the central characters of an impromptu virtual stage.
The renowned Brno theatre Husa na provázku has marked the 45th anniversary of its establishment with a nine-day festival that came to a conclusion on Sunday. A representative of the theatre said most of the events in the Theatre in Movement festival – including at unusual venues such as the Moravian capital’s Villa Tugendhat – had been sold out, adding that it was still pushing to have a nearby alleyway renamed after the late playwright and president Václav Havel, who had a long association with the theatre.
The Next Wave festival of independent theater and art is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Starting on Thursday, new and established performance groups and independent artists will show their works in Prague, Brno and Pardubice during the 12-day festival. The festival’s director, Jakub Matějka, spoke about some of the highlights for this year.
The month of August was nothing if not turbulent for the Czech National Theatre, which saw its new director recalled from his position on day one by the government, before uproar led to his hasty reinstatement. His return – and the guarantee the theatre will retain its independence – means most actors who quit in protest came back for the new season.
The Letní Letná international festival of new circus and theatre gets underway at Prague’s Letná Plain on Sunday evening. This year’s edition kicks off with a free show in which leading Czech artists in the field will come together for a one-off performance. Among the main attractions at the 10th Letní Letná, which runs until September 3, will be two circuses from France.
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