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Oral history of Czech theatre

Kratochvílová Zdena

activities Interview
Mime; Dancer; Choregrapher; Stage Director; Pedagogue (* 1936/11/14 Praha)

Mime, dancer, choreographer, director, and teacher. As a child, Zdenka Kratochvílová attended ballet lessons under Zdenka Zabylová. In 1952, she commenced studies at the Dance Department of the State Dance Conservatoire in Prague. Here, one of her fellow students, Ladislav Fialka, increased her interest in the art of pantomime. After successfully completing her final examinations and receiving her diploma, Kratochvílová taught dance at the Music School in Domažlice for a short time, before receiving Fialka’s invitation to join a new pantomime group that was being established at the Theatre on the Balustrade (Divadlo Na zábradlí). Their opening performance was in 1959 with the staging of Pantomime on the Balustrade. Kratochvílová remained with this theatre for the next sixteen years. In 1976, she and Lída Engelová established the Pocket Theatre (Kapesní divadlo). They enjoyed enormous success, both in Czechoslovakia and abroad, particularly with their fairy tales with the characters Animuk (Not-a-Word) and Anikrok (Not-a-Step), and with performances for adults, such as Šatna na pláži (Cloakroom on the Beach).

Zdenka Kratochvílová also taught at the Musical Drama Department of the Prague Conservatoire, and also at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, specifically at the Department of Drama in Education, and the Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy.

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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