chapter  8
23 Pages

Twentieth-century Czech scenographers in the interwar era

As I briefly indicated in Chapter 7, an artist like Josef Svoboda did not develop without earlier roots, without previously established standards, without a tradition.1 These antecedents for Czech theatre were found in the 1920s and 1930s, when Czech theatre also achieved international recognition. It did so not only because of Karel Cˇapek, K. H. Hilar, and E. F. Burian, and ensembles like Burian’s D Theatre and the Liberated Theatre of Voskovec and Werich, but also because a group of notable designers contributed to the formation of dynamic, provocative theatre on both establishment and avant-garde stages. In this chapter I shall describe some of the work of these often neglected contributors to modern Czech theatre. I have had to be selective. For every one of the artists that follow, at least two or three others of consistently high quality might have been mentioned.