Only 4 more years to the next Prague Quadrennial

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Good morrow to you, sir! Art thee a theater-goer? Then thee must cometh to Prague! Thither art 1) many inexpensive theatrical opportunities and 2) some of the world's most meritorious scenography. Tis a silver bow. 

(Credits to Shmoop's online Shakespeare translator, which is good fun.)

Being lovers of all things thespian, colleague Scottswoman and I dove into the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, the largest scenography (stage/costume/lighting design) event in the world! As the name states, it's held in Prague every four years, and it includes performances, workshops and exhibits all over the city, put on by groups and schools from 78 countries. 

I attended 8 years ago and, boy, the whole thing has swelled into a massive cesspool of creativity and innovation. (Mamet in a digitally-produced rainstorm, anyone?) This year's event was June 18-28 and the theme was SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics.

We started with lunch on top of DAMU: The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. A woman spilled leek soup all over me when she tripped down the steps, but, hey - a person could be covered in worse things!

I enjoyed the costume exhibits, which were often accompanied by photos of their use in plays.

A soundscape made by freezing microphones in blocks of ice and recording the subsequent melting/dripping.

A mobile stage, built in a courtyard of the Naprstek Museum. 

A number of exhibits we saw had stage dioramas, some of them just conceptual and some with proof of performance. 

A courtyard break with olives, outside of one of the city's many palaces-turned-exhibition venues.

If I remember correctly, this macabre design was Brazilian. 

One of our favorite exhibits was a Canadian collection of outhouses decorated on the insides with various genres and periods.

Drama and scenography books for sale! I had to sit on my hands to avoid emptying my wallet. 

A Prague Castle view from the book room.

My junky phone photos don't do this spectacular event justice. Come in another four years and see it for yourself. Fare thee well! 

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