Jindrich Honzl

Honzl, Jindřich

 

Born May 14, 1894, in Humpolec; died Apr. 20, 1953, in Prague. Czech man of the theater, director, theater scholar, and critic. Member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from 1921. A teacher by profession.

After World War I (1914–18), Honzl wrote on cultural questions in the left Social Democratic press. In 1921 he directed the Workers’ Drama Ensemble (Dèdzasbor). In 1920 he was one of the organizers of the association Devétsil (the Communist Avant-garde of Art Workers), and he led the progressive group Liberated Theater, which was founded in 1925 under Devétsil. The Liberated Theater became well-known after it presented many satirical revues, whose casts included the famous Czech actors J. Voskovec and J. Weric. In the 1930’s, Honzl presented and adapted for the stage the works of V. Nezval and V. Vančura, as well as national drama classics. During the fascist occupation he illegally directed the anti-fascist Theatricum for 99 in Prague (1940–41 and 1943). After the liberation of the country in 1945 he was director of the National Theater and art director of its studio, and from 1948 he was art director and director of the theater company of the National Theater. After 1950, Honzl gave up directing.

Honzl and J. Fučik were among the most advanced members of the Czech Theater Avantgarde. In scholarly works on the theater, which were published in various collections, Honzl dealt with problems of theater aesthetics and the history of the Czech theater, and he wrote on the Soviet theater. He founded and from 1945 to 1950 was editor in chief of the journal Otázky divadla a filmu, and he was editor in chief of the Czech journal Sovétské divadlo. Honzl worked in education, serving as a professor from 1951.

WORKS

Moderni ruské divadlo. Prague, 1928.
Roztočené jeviŝtě. Prague, 1925.
K novému vyznamu uméni. Prague. 1956.

L. P. SOLNTSEVA

References in periodicals archive ?
Those who explicitly joined the group included the composers Jaroslav Jezek, Erwin Schulhoff, and Jaroslav Svoboda, the librettist and writer Jiri Maranek and the natural scientist and music journalist Ctibor Blattny, but its meetings were also attended by the poet Vitezslav Nezval, the director and translator Jindrich Honzl, the director and writer Jiri Frejka and others.
Some Prague school theorists, most notably Jindrich Honzl and the early Veltrusky of the 1940s, hold that from the semiotic standpoint the body is no different from an inanimate replica.
Here he met Jiri Frejka, and with him and Jindrich Honzl came to form the "trio of the most audacious" as it was later called.
It found supporters among both poets and people in theatre (for example in the directors Jindrich Honzl and Jiri Frejka, with whom Burian worked closely), painters and also composers (apart from Burian himself, Bohuslav Martinu, Jaroslav Jezek and Erwin Schulhoff).
The appointment of Jindrich Honzl as Brno repertory director meant a shift of focus, but the theme of America and jazz lived on in the Brno theatre, as shown by productions like Broadway(1928), Jazz (1929) and ultimately even the Beggar's Opera (1930), Bar Chic (1930) and the Jazz Five (1931).