The Prague Summer Theatre School
The DAMU Summer School offers a unique chance to attend a series of workshops, which will introduce basic theatrical approaches taught at DAMU – especially in the departments of dramatic acting and puppetry.
This year the DAMU summer school will be focused around the dramaturgical theme of Faustus in Czech and European theatrical tradition. The workshops will centre on Marlow’s Doctor Faustus and Václav Havel’s modern rendition of the Faustian theme in his play Temptation.
Acting and Directing – Dramatic Theatre Workshop
The Dramatic Acting workshop focuses on actors’ conduct in dramatic situation and its metaphorical overtones. Based on the actor-director development of situations from Havel’s Temptation, the workshop will cultivate improvisational skills, introduce immediate acting with the inner partner and stimulate ability to work seamlessly with partners on stage. Staging individual scenic situations on basis of active analysis of the text provides a more holistic view of dramatic time-space and leads to creative solution of mise-en-scene as well as discoveries of metaphorical overtones of the play. The specific dramatic nature of Václav Havel’s Temptation is considered to be a unique quality, which offers impulses and creates a precondition for the formation of a dramatic persona through dramatic acting. As such, the workshop will provide an opportunity to experience and familiarize the participants directly with the theatrical thinking, poetics, style, structure and language of Václav Havel – the playwright, as well as with general principles of performing arts.
Alternative and Puppet Theatre Workshop
The alternative theatre and puppetry workshop places emphasis on specific interdisciplinary components of the puppetry and object-theatre, including their overlaps with and throwbacks to dramatic arts. The workshop is primarily focused on working with material (paper, plastic / foil, textiles etc.) and puppets from the departmental fundus. The participants will have the opportunity to examine the material and puppets, their characteristics and technological potential. All of this, naturally in close relation to space, light, sound and in tension with live persons. This concept will lead the participants of the workshop to think metaphorically and elaborate a given topics in this manner. We will focus on the interpretation of Faustus, which in the Czech tradition draws from Marlow’s text yet brings in more humour and further develops certain specific situations. The topics however may also stem from the participants themselves; active involvement can often bring a short production to life. The workshop thus opens an opportunity to experience non-verbal expression on stage for both actors and directors, where work with particular materials creates various situations and constellations in space.
The outcome of both workshops is a short public presentation.
The programme of the Summer School also provides other additional workshops focusing on scenography and dialogue with the internal partner as well as daily actors’ movement training. In addition the basic programme includes thematic theoretical lectures, visits to select performances, screenings and performance recordings, optionally thematic excursions and tours (baroque theatre in the Český Krumlov, The Museum of Puppetry in Pilsen).