Research at the Prague Theatre Night by Rebeka Kunej

ZRC SAZU has conducted a research in Prague during the Theatre night – Noc divadel 2019, which took place on November 17th. The Theatre Night is organized within the European Theatre Night project and took place also in 30 Czech and Moravian towns and cities, where theatres and ensembles prepared special programme for visitors of the event.

The topic of Theatre Night 2019 was theatre and freedom, with purpose to commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. The topic had been announced by the Arts and Theatre Institute – the Theatre Night coordinator – earlier in spring 2019, and became even more relevant due to the Czech political scene at the time. On that particular day two events coincided: Theatre Night and Letná for democracy again demonstration organized by Million Moments for Democracy. That opened the question and the opportunity for theatres to express their attitude towards the current state of society.

The intention of the research was to make participant observation and to conduct interviews with different stakeholders involved in creative process in participating institutions in Theatre night, in order to get insight into how artists directors, managers and administration manage the situation. On the other hand, interviews with the participants of the events reveal the individual motivations for attending events. The results of the research have shown that Theatre Night 2019, in spite of very up-to-date political topic, was once more an excellent place for promotion of theatres, their role in society, and the same time to get different, fresh, diverse experiences and insights into theatre for a permanent and newly acquired theatre audience.