The whole day will be characterised by taking the audience behind the scenes. Photo Credit: MMB. 

Brno, Sept. 30 (BD) – Brno’s active experimental theatre scene has been innovating for 30 years. Theatre as an art form has infinite potential, and endless possibilities of expression, coordinated in Brno by the Centre for Experimental Theatre (“Centrum experimentálního divadla”; CED).

This year CED celebrates three decades on the Brno stage. The anniversary celebrations will begin on 1 October at the CED’s headquarters on Zelny Trh. All the information about the event is available here. An exhibition will be set up in the foyer of rare objects from the theatre workshops, and lectures, performances and a final meeting will be held in the great hall. 

The project to unite Brno’s most experimental theatre groups into a single organisation dates back to 1986. Intensive preparations, especially with regard to the organisational structure and the possibilities of actual operation, began the following year. After the Velvet Revolution, the entire process was accelerated and CED was founded in 1992. The first deed of incorporation was issued by Brno City Council, with effect from 1 January 1992. Petr Oslzlý became the first director, and since 2018 Miroslav Oščatka has held this position. The organisation is one of the contributory associations of the city, and is a loose union of three artistic entities: Husa na provázku Theatre, HaDivadlo, and the youngest part, the Terén artistic platform.

Previously, the Centre of Experimental Theatre comprised three stages, with the U Stolu Theatre, in addition to Husa na provázku and HaDivadlo. U Stolu was located in the intimate stage of the Hauspersky Palace of the Fanal (pictured) on Zelny Trh. Its central figure was the actor František Derfler. The specific characteristic of the theatre was the performance of literary texts, both poetry and prose, on stage, and originally also dramatic plays. U Stolu ceased operations in 2019, upon the death of its founder.

The history of the Husa na provázku Theatre began in the 1960s, and the venue flourished during the Prague Spring. Despite the persecution of the regime, the darkness of the 1970s and 1980s was regularly interrupted at the theatre, such as with the production by Brno’s only theatre artist Eva Tálská, ‘I Call All the Elves! The Queen’. 1985 marked the beginning of the reconstruction of the new stage in Zelný trh, which now houses not only the theatre but the entire CED.

The second key stage of the Centre for Experimental Theatre is HaDivadlo, which moved from Prostějov to Brno in 1982. After several moves, it settled in the space of the former cinema in the Alfa Gallery. Creative personalities associated with HaDivadlo developed a unique environment for innovative theatre. In November 1989, the two theatres in Brno were the first theatres in Czechoslovakia to strike and join the Velvet Revolution. After the establishment of CED in 1992, both theatres were protected by the continued support of the city without losing their creative and expressive independence, and the organisation is now an indispensable part of the cultural map of Brno.

The newest part of CED is the performing arts platform, Terén, which focuses on connecting different types of art. Terén creates theatre and boundary art projects and places individual performances, shows or happenings in unusual settings, using the city for inspiration.

More information at ced-brno.cz.

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