On the occasion of the ninth edition of the event, a Czech-English publication Theatre Day and Night is published. The book offers a look back at the past years of the event in photographs and texts. The publication is available in the PROSPERO e-shop for CZK 219 and will be available for purchase at the ATI Information Centre (Celetná 17, Prague 1) and in various theatres during the Theatre Night.
“We have prepared a look back at the past years of the Night of Theatres as a thank you for the immeasurable energy that hundreds of theatregoers and thousands of spectators have put into this project. It was a great challenge for us to put the biggest theatre festival in the Czech Republic and one of the biggest theatre events in Europe into one book. But I firmly believe that we have succeeded in capturing the whole event in its remarkable scope and diversity in the book Theatre by Day and by Night,” adds Martina Pecková Černá from the ATI, which has been coordinating the event since 2013.
This bilingual Czech-English publication offers Czech and international readers a look back at seven years of Theatre Night, coordinated in the Czech Republic by the Arts and Theatre Institute as part of European Theatre Night since 2013. Through word and image, its pages will transport you back to the exceptional programmes and experiences of the country’s biggest theatrical celebration, from its beginnings in 2013 to the final pre-pandemic edition in 2019. You’ll learn about the other countries where European Theatre Night regularly takes place and how it came into being and discover the themes that have united individual Theatre Nights in the Czech Republic, along with how the event is structured for its organisers and visitors. The main part of the publication offers information about the most active theatres associated with Theatre Night, a rich selection of photos that capture the atmosphere of the event and other useful information about the Cezch performing arts scene.
Subtitle: A Look Back at Seven Years of Theatre Night in the Czech Republic
Publisher: The Arts and Theatre Institute
Authors: Lucie Čepcová, Jan Jiřík, Klára Kadlecová, Martina Pecková Černá
Language: Czech, English
Year of publication: 2020
Edition: out of the edition
Department: International Cooperation Department
Number of pages: 233
Categories: History, Theory, Foreign-language products
The 9th Annual Theatre Night will take place on the third Saturday in November, which this year falls on 20 November 2021. The theme for this year is “Fresh Air.” Participating theatres are set to present brand-new stage productions and theatrical innovations as well as their reflections on the pandemic and the significant impact it has had on the performing arts. The Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI) is also set to open its doors as the festival’s primary information centre following a year-long hiatus. The largest theatre festival in Europe will once again offer night tours, theatre workshops, discussion boards with creators, plus shows and performances – all either free of charge or for a low entrance fee. The programme for the event will be made public on 1 November at www.nocdivadel.cz.
Every year on the third Saturday in November, more than 50,000 people in the Czech Republic flock to the theatres. Last year for the first time ever, Theatre Night took place entirely in a virtual format. This year, the event’s organisers are looking forward to the return of open theatres as the primary meeting space, just as the event was originally intended.
“For this year’s Theatre Night, we’ve chosen ‘Fresh Air’ as our motto. We believe that after more than a year of having to improvise due to COVID restrictions and lockdowns, performance artists and arts organisations are ready to showcase new messages, ideas, and innovations for Theatre Night. We’ve got quite the busy programme in store for you all, which is why we recommend planning for your visit in advance. Most of the programme’s events require advance registration, which will open up on 1 November,” adds Martina Pecková Černá of the Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI), which has been coordinating Theatre Night since 2013.
The Theatre Night Information Centre will be open in the main ATI building (at 17 Celetná Street in Prague 1) from 2pm to 5pm. In addition to catching a glimpse of the Baroque Manhart Palace, visitors can also look forward to a rich popular-educational programme for those interested in culture, as well as a scavenger hunt for families with children. Theatre Night forms a part of the international European Theatre Night project, which saw its start in 2008 with Croatia’s Theatre Night “Noc Kazališta.” The idea of a pan-European theatre festival has gradually spread to more than a dozen European countries, with the Czech Republic’s Theatre Night being the largest within the European Theatre Night programme.
The thematic focus had been chosen before the pandemic crisis, yet the performing arts have experienced the harsh impact of the preventive measures against SARS-CoV-2 and sustainability have acquired a new dimension than serious global problems, such as the climatic crisis, ecologically unsound behavior, or overproduction. The fact that these topics resonate in performing arts is demonstrated in the survey among Czech theatres, results of which are presented by the Arts and Theatre Institute, the event coordinator. More than 51% of approached companies stated that they have been actively trying to reduce the environmental impacts of their activities. The registration for theatres has been on since 1 September 2020 and requires no fee this year to allow participation of companies with existential problems in the state caused by the pandemic. The outputs of the survey and further information are available on www.nocdivadel.cz.
The results of the survey Theatre and Environmental Protection realized in spring this year have shown that the cultural sector – representatives of theatres and other subjects of performing arts – keep thinking about this topic. More than half of the respondents said that they actively realize the pressing ecological issues and try to mitigate the environmental impacts of their activities. The answers also say that these are random activities rather based on personal persuasion than a systematic approach. The ecologically friendly specific steps are mostly saving electric energy or waste separation. Most respondents try to apply “green procurement”. The theatres have made steps in more ecological transport and production of the sets and costumes. The methodologic help in processing the wording and results was provided by CI2, o. p. s. and the survey was then consulted with the working group consisting of the representatives of the ATI and Czech theatres and was established to discuss the topic of theatre and environment at the Theatre Night. The detailed report about the research can be found on www.idu.cz.
“When creating the survey, we were inspired by recommendations and manuals for sustainable operation of cultural and theatre subjects that are part of international organizations we work with at the ATI, such as Julie’s Bicycle or On the Move. The outputs of the research are presented in clearly arranged tables and graphs as well as specific measures the respondents have adopted to mitigate the impacts of their activities in operation, mobility, production, promotion, artistic programme, and communication with the public. We believe they can offer inspiration for other subjects in performing arts, not only for this year’s Theatre Night,” explains Martina Pecková Černá from the ATI that has coordinated the Theatre Night in the Czech Republic since 2013.
Apart from the Theatre Night as such, organizers have also prepared discussion webinars Green Thursdays, on which they will focus on ecological topics and examples of good practice in theatre operation, as well as the state-of-play in performing arts and the adaptation to survive in current critical conditions in social distancing. The options for economic operation and the way to handle the topic of the climatic crisis in cultural organizations will be discussed on the informal platform Culture for the Future initiated in autumn 2019.
The Theatre Night is part of the international project European Theatre Night, which started in Croatia in 2008 by Noc Kazališta. The idea of a shared theatre holiday has spread among more than ten European countries. Last year there were 40 thousand visitors in 109 participating institutions from 30 towns in the Czech Republic. Prague saw 52 participating theatres and companies. The Czech Theatre Night is thus the biggest project of the European Theatre Night.