The seventh edition of Theatre Night will focus on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

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The third Saturday night in November will again belong to Theatre Night, which is now open to registration for companies and theatres. The seventh edition, on the theme of “Theatre and Freedom”, takes place on 16 November 2019, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Theatres will once again offer non-traditional programming such as evening tours and scavenger hunts, theatre workshops, thematic discussions and lectures, exhibitions and performances, all offered free of charge or for a nominal entrance fee. The event is coordinated by the Arts and Theatre Institute.

The biggest theatre celebration in Europe will once more offer remarkable experiences, prepared each year especially for this occasion. This year’s Theatre Night will be devoted to the theme of the Velvet Revolution, which the theatre played a significant role in catalysing. The commemoration of the political changes across central and eastern Europe calls for a look back at the ideals and hopes of the 1990s.

Through the theme of this year’s Theatre Night we would like to invite theatres to reflect on the significance of freedom for artistic creation and for the whole of society  and also how this is understood, both immediately after 1989 and today. We’re already looking forward to seeing how theatres address this issue in their programming,” explains Viktorie Schmoranzová, on behalf of the organisers, the Arts and Theatre Institute.The seventh edition of this theatrical event will also include discussions with eyewitnesses and participants in the social and political changes after 1989, along with lectures, exhibitions, installations, performances and other events on the theme of Theatre and Freedom.

Thanks to financial support from Creative Europe, since the beginning of this year Theatre Night has been part of ASSET (Audience Segmentation System in European Theatres), an international project researching the theatre-going public. The project’s lead coordinator is the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, which is carrying out the research in collaboration with the Arts and Theatre Institute and partners from five other European countries. In four Prague theatres, as in theatres in four other European capitals, extensive research is now on-going, aimed at a better understanding of spectators and their needs. Prague’s Jatka78, National Theatre, Švanda Theatre and Studio TWO are collecting data on spectators. All of these theatres will take part in the Czech Republic’s Theatre Night or have done so in the past. The project also includes a symposium that took place in February of this year at the birthplace of European Theatre Night, Croatia’s National Cultural Centre Dubrava. “It was quite moving to participate in the historic first meeting of the coordinators of Theatre Night and similar projects focused on public engagement from 12 countries across Europe, which have only communicated at a distance for over a decade of this project’s existence. The presentation showing what Theatre Night looks like in our colleagues countries near and far really demonstrated the huge diversity of this event, from the highly sophisticated business and communication models of Hungary and Bulgaria to the community and social aspects in Finland and Poland, the support of national and social reconciliation in the Balkans or educational activities in Austria,” summarisesMartina Pecková Černá of the Arts and Theatre Institute, on behalf of ASSET’s project management team.

Czech Theatre Night is part of the international project European Theatre Night, which began in 2008 with Croatia’s Noc Kazališta. The concept of a collective theatre celebration gradually spread to more than a dozen European countries. Last year 40,000 visitors took part in the Czech Republic’s Theatre Night at 190 cultural institutions across 30 cities. In Prague alone, a total of 52 theatres and companies contributed to the program, making Czech Theatre Night, held since 2013, the largest project in European Theatre Night.

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