chapter  1
19 Pages

K. H. Hilar

Karel Hugo Hilar was the single strongest Czech director during the last twenty years of his life.2 Along with Karel Cˇapek he brought Czech theatre to world attention as Czechoslovakia itself began to experience national independence after World War I. Unlike many modern directors, Hilar never worked in small theatres or studio facilities; his more than seventy productions were equally divided between Prague’s two largest Czech theatres, in which he was not only chief director but also chief of all drama activity, which is to say that he had final word concerning which plays would be performed and who would direct them. From 1910 through 1920 he established an outstanding reputation at the Municipal Theatre, a large, modern theatre in the Vinohrady section of Prague. Then, leaving Vinohrady, he assumed the leadership of drama production at Prague’s National Theatre, a position he held until his death in 1935.