One of the most influential Czech theatre-makers, the playwright, dramaturge, stage director, critic and essayist Karel Hugo Hilar (1885–1935), born Karel Bakule, joined the National Theatre in Prague in 1921, at the height of his creative powers. As historians have put it, he entered “a very turbulent and hostile territory”. Hilar himself wrote: “The endeavour to attain style in modern theatre is an endeavour to make it turn inwards. The coming to understand that the art’s only objective is to create beauty”.
By no means a dry biographic interpretation, its aim is to conduct a live dialogue with those who have established the Czech theatre tradition. Let us try to imagine what it could be like to be in K. H. Hilar’s skin…
Audience: adult, children 16+
About the company
THE NATIONAL THEATRE DRAMA PRAGUE is the biggest company of its ilk in the Czech Republic. In the pre-covid times, our company gave seven to eight first nights a year, while also pursuing a host of accompanying activities and educational programmes . We also offer critical writing courses and playwriting classes. We aim to make the National Theatre an open and vigorous institution. While keeping in mind that contemporary theatre should preserve the cultural legacy of the Czech lands, at the same time, it must afford scope for vivid gatherings, and thus naturally respond to the current social issues.
Theatre Outside Theatre.
While theatres have been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NT Drama searches for ways how to respond to the current situation and perform outside theatres. “Traditional theatre” is inconceivable without life performances and immediate contact with the audience, but is there any decent alternative? Is it possible to record a performance and still keep the spirit of theatre?
A play that is to be transformed into another medium must be “reinvented”: we take the stage performance as the basis but try to find a visual or acoustic expression that would communicate with the audience almost like if they were sitting in the theatre. On the other hand, we take it as an opportunity to break through the limits of the stage and create a riveting show outside the theatre building.
This is the essence of the “Theatre Outside Theatre” project: new experience, new theatre.
Daniel Špinar, director of the performance, is also Artistic Director of the National Theatre Drama Prague.