Disk 38 (December 2011)


Czech theatre theoretician and historian Jan Císař has been dealing with amateur theatre for a long time: his experi-ence is the basis for his study „Out of Institutional Territory“. He researches the relation of amateur theatre with possible official classification on the example of remarkable amateur theatre companies with original poetics which is unique in professional theatre and it is connected with their position of ‘outsiders’ (Hochy Hýsly with author and director Tibor Skalka, LÁHOR/Soundsystem with leader Petr Marek who is famous as an independent film director, V.A.D. Theatre Kladno, Geisslers Hofcomoedianten Kuks, DNO Theatre from Hradec Králové with Jiří Jelínek and the Kámen Theatre, Prague with author and director Petr Macháček). Cisař draws from an opinion that amateur theatre basically defies any institutionalization connected with canonization of tested procedures and attitudes en-forced and sometimes administratively exacted by the society. This non institutionalization is a condition for an unlimited span of staging in amateur theatre which can be administrated and regulated by itself. On the one hand, it leads to amateurism and non art we can use for a surprising point of view of reality, yet it allows breaching conven-tions and choosing unusual ways on the other hand; it can reach professionalization or it can strictly distinguish itself from official alternative which, however, depends on grants and is a foreshadow of its embodiment in an institutional system.

Contributions by Klára Novotná and Hana Nováková are dedicated to a short period when Karel Čapek worked in the Vinohrady Theatre in the early 1920s. Novotná’s essay „Dramaturgy at Vinohrady During Karel Čapek’s Period“ is focused on Čapek’s dramaturgical concept in the context of contemporary Vinohrady repertoire. Čapek’s dramaturgic effort can be pushed through only within director Jaroslav Kvapil’s ideas. In „Director Karel Čapek“, Hana Nováková deals with Čapek’s own production where his concept can be freely demonstrated.

Petra Honsová’s study about Jiřina Třebická’s art of acting has a lot to say about history of modern Czech theatre and acting – it focuses on the first period of the Činoherní klub/Drama Club from 1965 to 1972.

An important contribution to historiography of Czech theatre is a project of interactive reconstructions of per-formances where Kateřina Miholová, Zuzana Ježková, Vlasta Koubská and other collaborators had the possibility to get the support from the Science Foundation of the Czech Republic with guarantor Jan Dušek from 2009 to 2011. Miholová linked to her previous project guaranteed by Jan Dušek – its result is a reconstruction of the staging by Jarry Grossman Fára called Král Ubu/Ubu the King at the Theatre on the Balustrade from 1964 to 1968 docu-mented in a book. The author provides information about results of the terminating second project and the future of this research.

The background of the second part of Jaroslav Vostrý’s study „From Theatri(ci)sm to Scenology?“ is a publica-tion from 2010 which summarizes contributions from the conference called „Ad Honorem prof. PhDr. Ivo Osolsobě“ organized by the Theatre Faculty of JAMU in Brno three years ago. In the chapter called ‘Among Mimesis, Osten-sion and Performance’, the author analyzes the contents of these terms in relation to prof. Osolsobě’s concept of ostension as well as in the relation to so called „performative twist“ in humanities and theatre related concepts.

The chapter ‘From a Sign to a Bodily Action – or an Image?’ deals with attempts to extend validity of certain theatre attributes and ‘staginess’ to a wider scope of human communication. It uses a half parodic yet inspiring concept of Prof. Osolsobě’s theatri(ci)sm to oppose Prof. Fischer Lichte speculations as well as Umberto Eco’s semiologically reduced point of view (in Eco’s famous essay „Semiotics of Theatrical Performance“). Concerning applications of theories of performativity in theatrology, Vostrý rejects mixing of common and ritual performativity with theatre or staginess. According to him, a constructive quality of theatre (its staginess) is what distinguishes it from common yet opulent action and other cultural scenic productions. Another constitutive quality of theatre is what is represented by creation of a scenic image with participation of viewers; i.e. staging when the action is transformed in something else like Vondráček transforms in Hamlet.

Stanislav Slavický’s clearly arran¬ged essay „Scenic Traditions in South East Asia“ deals with scenic forms and scenicity in its knowledgeable introduction to this issue; Slavický had a chance to study these cultures ‘on site’ during his diplomatic missions.

Jitka Pelechová introduces a theatre map of Paris ‘on site’ (with an introduction dedicated to categorization of theatres in the local theatre ‘network’) in her essay „Paris Theatre Landscape – A Topography Attempt“; she focuses on institution from the category of „national theatres“, however, she also refers about ‘municipal’ Théâtre de la Ville and small Théâtre de la Bastille which is not a statutory theatre; she also briefly talks about the position of tabloid or boulevard theatres in Paris theatre landscape. According to the author, its profuseness is caused by various profiles of institutions and openness to tendencies of foreign theatres which has a stable place in programs of Paris theatres.

Július Gajdoš provides a sneak peek to the events in London drama when he writes about two performances in the National Theatre: A Woman Killed With Kindness by Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Heywood and an adaptation of Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters which was very popular in summer but he starts with a great performance of Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead directed by Trevor Nunn which keeps proving its long life – this time in the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

We print an article „A New Collection of Henrik Ibsen’s Works“ by František Fröhlich, the significant translator from Scandinavian languages and English and a former dramaturg in the Činoherní klub/DramaClub who contributed to the Disk magazine for the first time. You can also find several notes as well as a noteworthy play by Almir Bašović called Images from the Silver Century translated from Bosnian by Jana Cindlerová and Hasan Zahirović.

Translation Eliška Hulcová