A significant international campaign in recent years is the Seminar of Stage Designers of the Theatre for Children and Young People – the so-called PQ/ASSITEJ seminars held at the occasion of the international exhibition of stage design – The Prague Quadrennial.
Since 1987 at the PQ it has been organising international seminars of scriptwriters who work in the field of theatre for children and young people. Allow us to give you a brief description of previous seminars.
was held in 1987 /16th – 18th June/ with the participation of fifteen foreign guests /from Bulgaria, France, Greece, West Germany, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Canada and the Soviet Union/ and the heavy participation of other hosts of the larger PQ /artists, directors and theorists/.
Main tasks and problems of the present theatre for children and young people.
The opening paper was read by the important Czech scriptwriter Jaroslav Malina..
The meeting was augmented by a small exhibition of the work of foreign and Czechoslovak artists and their scripts for children and young people, an independent exhibition of a Hungarian participant in the Hungarian Cultural Centre and an exhibition by Jaromír Pátek in the Jiří Wolker Theatre, which specialises in work for children and young people. A visit to the larger PQ and various performances were also naturally a part of the programme.
took place in 1991 /17th – 22nd June/ with the participation of twelve invited foreign guests /from Denmark, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Poland, Australia, Sweden, Great Britain, France, Germany and Austria/ and other participants of the larger PQ /for example, from Singapore, Belgium and the Soviet Union). There were also many Czechoslovak representatives.
1. “The artistic element as the active factor of a performance for children”
2. “The transformation of the function and use of the artistic artefact in the contemporary theatre for children and young people.”.
The author of the introductory material was Sylva Šimáčková-Marešová, tutor of scriptwriting at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre of the Theatrical Faculty of the Academy of the Musical Arts in Prague. One part of the seminar was once again an exhibition of art by guests and Czechoslovak artists, space documents, video recordings of a performance of the theatre DRAK from Hradec Králové and the theatre Divadlo na Provázku from Brno. Naturally, once again there was also a visit to the larger PQ, various other performances and a trip to a puppet exhibition in Liberec and to the castle Kost.
was held in 1995 /3rd – 7th July/ with the participation of seven invited foreign guests /from Slovakia, Hungary, Great Britain, Poland and Finland/ and other guests from Belgium and Syria.
“The HOUSE non-traditional use of the scenic space – dynamism of the opened space”
The opening paper from the director Eva Tálská (accompanied by a video recording) about the preparation of a performance of Svatba (The Wedding) by the Brno company Studio DŮM was read by Eduard Uličný, a member of this studio. The second discussion paper was prepared by Zoja Mikotová, head of the studio Pedagogical Drama for the Deaf at the Janáček Academy of the Musical Arts in Brno. Her paper on specific and wholly unique work for the deaf and their integration into the “normal world” through drama education was greeted with great interest. The seminar was once again augmented by a mini-exhibition of the guests, a visit to PQ and performances.
Recordings were made of all seminars and their English versions sent to all of the seminar’s participants. Thank you for listening. I will now hand over to the chairman of our centre, Vladimír Hulec. I hope you all have a pleasant and fruitful discussion. Enjoy yourselves in Prague.
took place June 25, 1999 in the small Auditorium of the Theatre Institute under the participation of 3 guests from abroad Jerome MAECKELBERGH of Belgium, Olga REZNICHENKO from Russia and Kataarzyna PRONIEWSKA-MAZUREK of Poland and many local groups (stage designers, teachers, theoreticians, directors).
The topic of the Seminare:
“Scenography of the Theatre for Children and Young People in the Present and in the Future”
Doc. Miloslav Klima, pedagogue of DAMU and dramaturgist of the National Theatre, and Zoja Mikotova, director and pedagogue of JAMU were asked by ASSITEJ to present the major papers. An interesting contribution to the debate was made by Marie Jiraskova, a Brno creative artist and Iva Vodrazkova of Prague, a teacher and artist. All the guests from abroad in their discussion contributions reported on the situation of the theatre for children and young people in their country .
The 5th ASSITEJ seminar within the scope of the 2003 Prague Quadrennial took place on 28 June 2003 in the Small Hall of the Theatre Institute in the presence of 23 guests (8 from abroad). The seminar was graced in particular by the presence of Prof. Wolfgang SCHNEIDER from Germany (president of ASSITEJ International), Woo-Ok KIM from Korea (member of the ASSITEJ executive), Ivica SIMIC from Croatia (member of the ASSITEJ executive and art director of the Small Stage Zagreb), Stephan RABL from Austria (member of the ASSITEJ executive and director of the festival Szene bunte wähne), Joanna ROGACKA from Poland (art manager of Lalka Theatre), Prof. Henryk ROGACKI from Poland (theatre historian of the Warsaw Theatre Museum and pedagogue of the Theatre University in Warsaw), Patrick BANNWART from Germany (stage director) and Falco HEROLD from Switzerland (art designer).
The theme of the seminar with respect to the PQ 2003 motto was:
“The Labyrinth of Theatre for Children and Young People” with subtitles – Theatre in education – A shift in perception of aesthetics and the beautiful – Currently relevant hero of theatre for children. The following persons were invited by the ASSITEJ Centre to present the main papers: stage director and pedagogue of Janáček Academy of Performing Arts (JAMU) Mrs. Zoja MIKOTOVÁ, Doc. Josef VALENTA, pedagogue of the Theatre Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) and Charles University and Marek BEČKA, puppet player and stage director (he couldn’t participate personally in the seminar due to labour duties but his paper was read at the seminar). All the foreign participants took part in the discussion with short contributions. They responded with questions and comments to the papers presented but primarily they informed the participants on new projects, on their own activity and the activities of the ASSITEJ centres of their countries. President Wolfgang SCHNEIDER talked about the possibilities of co-operation of the national ASSITEJ centres and GS, Ivica SIMIC introduced the international project Epicentre, Stephan RABL informed on the festival Szene bunte wähne, Woo-Ok KIM on the situation of theatre for children and young people in Korea, Joanna ROGACKA informed on Theatre Lalka and the work of the Polish ASSITEJ centre, Patrick BANWART and Falco HEROLD presented the photographs of their staging productions and explained their artistic plans. The seminar was hosted by the chairman of the Czech ASSITEJ Centre Vladimír HULEC.
The professional programme of the foreign participants included visits to the Prague Quadrennial 2003 exhibition and to theatre performances. An exhibition of photographs and materials was installed in the seminar room documenting the hitherto three years of the Prague Festival for celebration of the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People and selected stage productions of the Theatre at Dlouhá.