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Oral history of Czech theatre

Albertová Helena

activities Interview
Playwright/Dramatist; Director/Principal; Exhibition Curator (* 1941/9/1 Praha)

Helena Albertová graduated from the Secondary Technical School of Interior Design. She worked in the Youth (Mládí) Drama Ensemble as a director’s assistant, designer, and actress. Starting in 1961, she was a stage technician at the West Bohemian Theatre in Klatovy. After moving to Prague, she worked as an upholsterer at the Vinohrady Theatre, and in 1965, she began studying philosophy and sociology at Charles University. After graduating, she worked at Krátký Film, among others. In 1975, she began working in the scenography department of the Theatre Institute, where she was involved in many editions of the Prague Quadrennial, and from 1990 to 1995, she held the position of director. She has written many specialist publications on scenography and has curated many exhibitions both in the Czech Republic and abroad. She has written numerous theatre and radio plays.

Her husband was actor and playwright Pavel Landovský (1936–2014).

Bílková Ludmila

activities Interview
Dancer; Mime; Pedagogue (* 1937/8/24 Brno, † 2000/11/8 Praha)

Ludmila Kovářová-Bílková graduated from the Dance Department of the State Conservatoire in 1956, however her field of study also included pantomime. Her first engagement as a dancer was with the Kladno Municipal Theatre, but she has also performed with the Military Art Ensemble and the Czechoslovak Song and Dance Ensemble. In 1959, she became a member of the Na zábradlí Pantomime Theatre, where she was not only the leading soloist of Ladislav Fialka’s famous ensemble but, following Fialka’s death in the 1990s, also its leader.

Kovářová-Bílková has also taught movement and acting at the Department of Non-Verbal Theatre under the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She has performed in more than forty productions and choreographed sixty.

Brodská Božena

activities Interview
Choregrapher; Dancer; Publicist; Pedagogue (* 1922/7/27 Praha, † 2019/6/23 Praha)

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).

Brynda Karel

activities Interview
Stage Director; Actor (* 1935/11/4 Hřebeč, o. Kladno)

Císař Jan

activities Interview
Theatrologist; Dramaturge; Reviewer; Pedagogue (* 1932/1/28 Hradec Králové, † 2021/4/14 Unhošť)

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.

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Oral history of the Czech theatre

This project was launched in 2015 and seeks to capture the memories of important figures in the field of Czech theatre in audio recordings (usually around four hours long) and, in most cases, also in a short video recording (10–20 minutes long). The recordings are followed by a report of the conversation, which offers a summary of discussed topics and personalities, after every 15-20 minutes. Photographs and personal documents (both in digital format), provided by the narrator, are also available.

The Oral History Module provides a list of figures who have recorded their memories, along with a brief profile, current photograph, and the interview protocol. Full recording, including all the additional materials, is supposed to be studied by registered researchers in the Information and Documentation Department of ATI only. Feel free to contact Lucie Čepcová: lucie.cepcova(at) if you are interested.

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