audio library
video library
theatre photos
theatre events
professional activities
oral history
Virtual Study
Database and on-line services
of the Theatre Institute
Oral history of Czech theatre

Orální historie - Rozhovory s osobnostmi českého divadla

Brodská Božena

Brodská Božena interview

(* 27 July 1922, Prague), known as Bíba. Dancer, critic, historian of ballet, teacher.

Studied music at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts and dance theory at the Academy of Performing Arts (AMU) in Prague. Starting in the second half of the 1940s, she was engaged with the Práce Theatre Cooperative (Karlín Theatre), D 45, and the Vít Nejedlý Army Artists’ Ensemble in Prague. In the early 1950s, she began to teach at AMU’s Dance Faculty, earning a professorship in 1982.

Her husband was the actor Vlastimil Brodský (1920–2002). She is the mother of musician, songwriter, artist, actor, and writer Marek Brodský (* 1959).

Císař Jan

Císař Jan interview

(* 28 January 1932, Hradec Králové), dramaturg, historian, theorist, critic, teacher.

Studied theatre sciences at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU). In 1959, he began working as a dramaturg at the State Travelling Theatre Company; he was also a contributing editor for Divadlo (Theatre) magazine and the editor-in-chief of Divadelní noviny (Theatre News). In 1970, he was briefly the artistic director of the Jaroslav Průcha Theatre in Kladno, after which he spent two years as the director of the Kolín Regional Theatre. In the 1980s, he was the dramaturg for drama productions at Prague’s National Theatre and Vinohrady Theatre.

In the mid-1960s, Císař began lecturing at DAMU, where he was made an associate professor in 1966. He was the school’s dean in 1970-72, and was made a professor in 1985, after which he headed the Department of Drama Directing and Dramaturgy and the Department of Theory and Criticism.

Černý Jindřich

Černý Jindřich interview

(* 20 June 1930, Čáslav), theatre historian and critic, playwright, translator.

After receiving a degree in aesthetics and comparative literature from Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, he studied theatre sciences at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU), where he met his future wife Jarmila Hrubešová – who would later go on to be the long-time head of the Theatre Institute’s library and documents department. In 1952, after having completed his studies, he was sentenced for participating in an anti-government student group. He did his military service with the army work brigades. He later worked as editor-in-chief at DILIA, as a night watchman, in the Theatre Institute’s documents department, at the Office for the Study of the History of Czech Theatre, in the National Theatre’s archives and at its PR department. In 1991, he was made the director of the National Theatre, a function he held for two years.

His son Ondřej Černý (*1962) is a theatre critic and translator, and was the director of the Theatre Institute in 1996-2007 and of the National Theatre in 2007-2012.

Eliáš Luděk

Eliáš Luděk interview

(* 29 July 1923, Slaný), actor, director, theatre director, writer, moderator.

At the start of the war, he was attending the real gymnasium (secondary grammar school) in Slaný. Three years later, he was interned at Terezín where, influenced by the “Kameradschaftsabend” theatre evenings, he decided to become involved in theatre. Also at Terezín, he met his future wife Eva Langerová (the niece of František Langer). He later passed through the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps as well. After the war, he did his military service with the Vít Nejedlý Army Artists’ Ensemble. He later acted with theatres in Slaný (1947-48), Písek (1948/49), České Budějovice (1950-55), and Ostrava (Petr Bezruč Theatre, 1956-80; director 1961-66). He also worked with the Ostrava television and radio studio and acted in many films and television programs.

Klosová Ljuba

Klosová Ljuba interview

(* 27 June 1929, Hlinsko), theatre historian and teacher.

In 1948 Klosová began studying theatre sciences and literary criticism at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in Prague, but theatre sciences was soon moved to the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU), where she worked as an assistant teacher after graduation. She was also the secretary of the Working Group of Czech Theatre Historians. She helped found the theatre studies department at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, whose mission was to write a History of Czech Theatre and a Dictionary of Czech Theatre.

She specialized in acting systems and in the history of Czech theatre in the 19th century.

Kolárová Eva

Kolárová Eva interview

(* 17. 6. 1929 v Praze), teatroložka.

Již během studia na gymnáziu v Táboře se rozhodla studovat literaturu, vedle toho se věnovala zpěvu, v roce 1947 vyhrála celostátní kolo Středoškolských her. Od roku 1948 studovala literární vědu na Filozofické fakultě Univerzity Karlovy (FF UK), seznámila se zde s budoucím manželem, literárním historikem a překladatelem Jaroslavem Kolárem. Druhým jejím oborem byla divadelní věda, která byla v roce 1950 převedena na Divadelní akademii múzických umění. Od roku 1966 byla odbornou pracovnicí a tajemnicí katedry divadelní vědy FF UK, kde v té době působili např. Jan Kopecký, Milan Lukeš, Dana Kalvodová, František Černý.

Podílela se mj. na publikaci Sto let Národního divadla.

Kovářík Miroslav

Kovářík Miroslav interview

(*15 August 1934, Prague), actor, reciter, moderator, author, teacher.

Kovářík studied at a special secondary school for future teachers, but his “poor ideological profile” forced him to work at the ČKD machine works before beginning his studies at Charles University’s Education Faculty. In 1962, he helped found the Pretty Small Theatre in Litvínov, which focused on stage interpretations of works by poets born in the 1920s and was inspired by Prague’s Semafor Theatre. The theatre was a success at the Jiráskův Hronov and Wolkrův Prostějov festivals, and also appeared at Prague’s Viola Theatre. The theatre ceased its activities in 1969. Kovářík also worked in the Ústí nad Labem offices of Czechoslovak Radio, moderated the Porta folk festival, and gave emerging artists a chance through his show The Green Quill (first live on stage and later on radio). He helped to popularize the work of Václav Hrabě.

Kronbauer Viktor

Kronbauer Viktor interview

(* 6 June 1949, Prague), theatre photographer.

Kronbauer graduated from the Secondary School of Industry in Prague. Originally a passionate amateur photographer, in the 1970s he became the in-house photographer for the Czech Philharmonic. In 1985-2000, he was employed as a photographer at the Theatre Institute in Prague. He considers himself a student of leading Czech photographer and graphic artist Jaroslav Krejčí. Today, he leads the Theatre Photography Workshop at the “Divadlo” (“Theatre”) festival in Pilsen.

He is the nephew of Jarmila Kronbauerová (1983-1968), an actress with the National Theatre in Prague.

Kröschlová Eva

Kröschlová Eva interview

(* 13 December 1926, Prague), dancer, choreographer, teacher, director, writer.

Kröschlová began to study dance under the guidance of her mother Jarmila Kröschlová (1893-1983), with whose dance troupe she performed in 1939-1949. She also took courses in kinetography, historical dances, and teaching. In Prague, she worked with the Music Theatre, the New Prague Madrigal Singers, the Jiří Srnec Black Light Theatre, and the La Fiamma ensemble. As a choreographer, she has worked on more than 80 productions with many different theatres. She taught at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU), where she was made an associate professor in 1990. She was also a member of the International Council of Traditional Music (ICTM) and is the long-time head of the Chorea Historica choral ensemble.

Křížková Jarmila

Křížková Jarmila interview

(* 23 September 1937, Prague), stage and costume designer.

Křížková is a graduate of the Václav Hollar School of Art (1953-57), and later received a degree in textile design from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (1957-60) and in scenography from the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (1960-63), where she studied under professor František Tröster. In 1963-1992, she was a permanent member of the Příbram Municipal Theatre, and in the 1990s she worked for Czechoslovak Television.

Křížková has exhibited at four Prague Quadrennials and at many other exhibitions, including twice at the Salon of Scenography in Prague.

Mikeš Vladimír

Mikeš Vladimír interview

(* 11 August 1927, Choceň), translator, critic, essayist, poet, writer.

Mikeš studied Czech language and literature, Latin languages, and comparative literature at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in Prague, from which he graduated in 1951. He worked freelance until 1992, when he began to lecture at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU), where he was made an associated professor in 1997. He was the school’s dean in 1997-2000. He became a professor in 1999, after which he headed the Department of Theatre Anthropology.

Miška František

Miška František interview

(* 27 August 1919, Prague, † 11 February 2017, Prague), director, actor, teacher.

Miška attended a business academy and was involved in theatre on an amateur level, including during his time in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. In 1945, he earned his first professional acting engagement with the Kladno Municipal Regional Theatre, and he later appeared on stage in Prague as well: Realistic Theatre, State Film Theatre, and the Prague Municipal Theatre, where he worked as a director in 1965-84. He also appeared in numerous films. In the mid-1980s, he left the country, working as a director primarily in Germany but also in Switzerland and France.

His wife was the actress Ludmila Píchová (1923-2009). Their daughter is the actress Michaela Mišková (* 1949), and their granddaughter Debora Štolbová (* 1981) is also involved in acting.

Pokorný František

Pokorný František interview

(* 23 February 1933, Okříšky), dancer, choreographer, director, librettist, scriptwriter, dance critic, and dramaturg.

Pokorný graduated from Charles University’s Faculty of Education (1956) and the Dance and Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (1962). In 1961, he founded the Charles University Artists’ Ensemble, a modern dance troupe of which he was the artistic director and choreographer. He resurrected Taneční listy (Dance News), a newspaper originally banned by the communists after their takeover in February 1948, and also helped found the Festival of Pantomime in Litvínov. In 1968-71, he worked as a choreographer at Prague’s Semafor Theatre, and in 1971-93 he was the head of ballet at the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec. In addition, he headed Czechoslovak Television’s ballet ensemble and taught at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU).

Říhová Lya

Říhová Lya interview

(* 26 February 1928, Prague), theatre scientist, editor.

Říhová originally studied musicology at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, but she soon switched to theatre sciences, which she completed along with art history. After graduation, she worked as an editor at the Orbis publishing house in Prague. In 1956-86, she worked at the Office for the Study of Czech Theatre – a division of the Institute for Czech Literature at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague – as head of the working group for the Dictionary of Czech and Slovak Theatre. Later, she was a member of the editorial team of the Dictionary of National Theatre Artists and also worked as the office’s secretary.

She was also a member of the executive committee of IFTR (the International Federation for Theatre Research) and a member of the steering committee of the International Institute for Theatre Studies in Venice.

Scherl Adolf

Scherl Adolf interview

(* 18 August 1925, Prague; 3 April 2017, Prague), theatre scientist, theatre critic.

Scherl studied aesthetics and musicology at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in Prague, receiving his doctorate in 1952. After graduation, he worked as an assistant in the aesthetics seminar, where he held the position of secretary to the dean. Later, he worked as a freelance theatre critic and collaborated with Divadlo (Theatre) magazine. From 1957 until his retirement in 1991, he worked at the Office for the Study of Czech Theatre at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Czech Literature.

He is a member of the Thalia Germanica international association.

His wife is the theatre theorist and radio journalist Slávka Dolanská (*1927).

Smutný Jiří

Smutný Jiří interview

(* 1 April 1932, Prague), composer, conductor, teacher.

Smutný studied music composition and conducting at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts. After graduation, he became a répétiteur for vocal and opera studies. Two years later, in 1957, he left for the National Theatre, where he worked as répétiteur and as assistant to the theatre’s conductor and director until 1980. He also worked at the Czechoslovak State Song and Dance Ensemble and taught at the People’s School of Art the Jan Neruda Gymnasium in Prague.

Šlezingrová Jiřina

Šlezingrová Jiřina interview

(* 12 April 1925, Brno), dancer, choreographer.

Šlezingrová began studying ballet as a five-year-old at the Ivo Váňa Psota school for ballet in Brno. In 1939 she became a soloist at the Brno Municipal Theatre, and in 1945 she was made a soloist at the Opava Theatre, but two years later she returned to Brno, where she was active with the State Theatre for the next 15 years. From 1962 to 1975, she was a ballet soloist and choreographer at the Oldřich Stibor Theatre in Olomouc.

Šlezingrová also taught at the Brno conservatory.

Štěpán Václav

Štěpán Václav interview

(*1935, Tišice), historian.

After completing secondary school, Štěpán studied history at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts. As a recent graduate, in 1958 he was given a position at the Regional Centre for Education in Ostrava. After this, he worked at the Military History Institute and the Institute for Czech Literature’s S. K. Neumann Office. He defended his dissertation in 1967. In November 1968, he decided to emigrate to the United Kingdom, although he returned soon thereafter for family reasons. He was the head of the Documentations Department of the newly established Miroslav Kouřil Scenographic Institute (1957-74), and later of Documentations Department at the Theatre Institute (1974-79), which he left to work at the National Museum’s theatre department (1980-92).

His daughter Bára (*1959) is an actress.

Šulc Bohuslav

Šulc Bohuslav interview

(* 5 September 1936, Mladá Boleslav), puppeteer, director of puppet theatre.

At age 17, after completing a two-year program of economics, Šulc became a student (and later, business partner) of Josef Skupa at the Spejbl and Hurvínek Theatre. He took over the task of controlling the Hurvínek character from Mrs. Jiřina Skupová, eventually mastering the art of puppeteering and enriching the character with many new comic gags. He also created several cabaret performances, for instance about Marcel Marceau or Louis Armstrong.

Trávová Hana

Trávová Hana interview

(* 10 September 1925, Bor/Tachov), movement teacher.

Trávová started secondary school in 1936, but the Nuremberg race laws prevented her from graduating. The same laws forced her to leave the Sokol athletic association. She was also a member of the Czechoslovak Scouts. She eventually did a requalifying course in physical education, but from 1939 until the end of the Second World War she was interned at Terezín concentration camp, where she worked in a woodworking shop. She also attended music and dance performance, and after liberation she took a three-month secondary school equivalency course so she could study history and physical education at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Education. After graduating in 1950, she began to teach physical education at the university’s medical and education faculties, and in 1953 she began teaching at the Academy of Performing Arts. She later joined the Department of Physical Education at DAMU, where she worked until 1988.

Veltruská Jarmila

Veltruská Jarmila interview

(* 22 June 1937, Prague), theatre scientist.

Shortly after the Second World War, Veltruská’s diplomat father was sent to work in London. Since he opposed the communist takeover in 1948, the family could not return home to Czechoslovakia. She spent seven years at a religious boarding school, after which she studied English language and literature at university in London. In 1959, she followed her husband, the aesthetician Jiří Veltruský, to Paris, where she found a new home. She attended lectures on 17th-century French history at the Sorbonne and began to take an interest in comparing medieval theatre in Bohemia, England, and France. With time, her interest narrowed to medieval liturgical theatre.

Her most important work was a study on the oldest Czech drama, Mastičkář, which she published in 1985 (Jarmila F. Veltrusky: A Sacred Farce from Medieval Bohemia).

Věžník Václav

Věžník Václav interview

(*1 August 1930, Brno), opera director, teacher

After completing secondary school in 1949, he began to study music and theatre sciences at Masaryk University’s Faculty of Arts in Brno, but a year later the new department of opera directing was opened at the city’s Janáček Academy of Performing Arts (JAMU), and so he went there instead. From 1954 to 1992, he worked at the opera of the Brno State Theatre. In the 1990s, he taught at JAMU, where earned his professorship.

He gained fame for his direction of the operas of Leoš Janáček. Overall, he has directed more than 150 productions at all operas in the Czech Republic, plus numerous foreign productions as well. He has collaborated with artists František Tröster, Ladislav Vychodil, and Vojtěch Štolfa.

Vítek František

Vítek František interview

(*14 September 1929, Brno), woodcutter, sculptor, puppet-maker, scenographer, puppeteer.

Vítek earned his trade certificate as a journeyman sculptor and woodcutter in 1948. For health reasons, he completed only one course at Prague’s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. In 1953-55 he worked as a woodcutter at the Regional Puppet Theatre in Mariánské Lázně, and in 1955-58 he was employed at the Radost Theatre in Brno. In 1958, he helped found the “Drak” East Bohemian Puppet Theatre in Hradec Králové, where he worked as puppet designer and scenographer until 1981.

His wife is the puppeteer Věra Vítková-Říčařová (*1936), and the couple has been an inseparable team in their professional and private lives since the late 1950s, when they met at Brno’s Radost Theatre.

Projekt, který vznikl v roce 2015, si klade za cíl zachytit vzpomínkové vyprávění významných osobností českého divadla, a to především formou audio záznamu (obvykle v délce čtyř hodin), ve většině případů je pořízen i kratší videozáznam (v délce 10–20 min). Dále je vyhotoven protokol rozhovoru, který rekapituluje v 15-20 minutových intervalech probíraná témata a osobnosti. K dispozici jsou také digitalizované fotografie či dokumenty osobní povahy, které pamětník poskytl.

Všechny materiály jsou určeny k místnímu studiu registrovaným badatelům ve studovnách IDU.

Modul Orální historie v rámci on-line Virtuální studovny poskytuje seznam narátorů se stručnými medailony a protokol rozhovoru.

Fond nyní obsahuje 18 záznamů.