Czechoslovak Theater

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Czechoslovak Theater

 

(full name, E. F. Burian Czechoslovak Theater), founded in Prague in 1933 by E. F. Burian as the D–34 Theater, the name being derived from the Czech word divadlo, meaning “theater,” and the first year of the theater’s operation.

The striving for modernity, underscored by the theater’s name, was also reflected in its repertoire. Among its finest productions of the 1930’s were Brecht’s Threepenny Opera (1934), Hašek’s Good Soldier Švejk (1935), Pogodin’s The Aristocrats (1935), and Klicpera’s To Each According to His Deserts (1936). The theater was subjected to police censorship and persecution for “propagating communism under the guise of art.” In 1941 the theater was closed by the fascist authorities, and Burian was imprisoned in a concentration camp.

In 1945 the D–34 Theater reopened under the direction of Burian. Over the next four years it staged memorable productions of Káňa’s Grinder Karhan’s Worker Team, Čapek’s Mother, Mayakovsky’s The Bedbug, and Shtein’s Hotel Astoria. After Burian’s death in 1959, the D–34 Theater was renamed in his honor, and K. Novak served as its principal director until 1973. Outstanding productions of the 1970’s included M. Bilek and V. Ron’s Play About Oton, P. Neruda’s Splendor and Death of Joaquín Murieta, Jirsíková’s May, Vampilov’s Elder Son, and Gorky’s Egor Bulychov and the Others. In 1976, the theater’s company included the directors E. Sokolovsky and J. Palla and the performers J. Něměček, J. Valla, J. Holy, J. Langmiler, P. Oliva, V. Zinková, K. Burianová, and Z. Podlipná. The principal director (since 1973) is J. Vétrovec, and the principal stage designer is V. Nývlt.

REFERENCES

Kočová, Z. Kronika Armádního uméleckého divadla. Prague, 1955.
Obst, N., and A. Scherl. K dějinám ceské divadelní avantgardy. Prague,1962.
Kočová, Z. Shest’ glav o teatre E. F. Buriana “D–34.” Prague, 1958.
Solntseva, L. Po teatram Chekhoslovakii. Moscow, 1958.

L. P. SOLNTSEVA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.