Faculty of Theatre (Prague)

The Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) was founded immediately after the Second World War. The founders of the school – principally, Jiří Frejka, a director, and set designer František Tröster, along with Miroslav Haller – united their experiences from the avant-garde movement.

It was founded over 60 years ago.[1]


The backbone of the school is formed by two large departments – the Department of Dramatic Theatre and the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre.

The Department of Dramatic Theatre and the Department of Stage Design prepare students for the repertory theatre system and the interpretation of classical and contemporary texts using all the required skills. Their graduates often form the core of top Czech theatres, e.g. the National Theatre, yet many also become involved in independent theatre troupes.. The Department of Stage Design nurtures students’ self-reliance and professionalism, preparing them to work not only in theatres, but also in the media.

The Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre departs from the Czech Republic’s rich tradition in puppetry yet transcends it to include distinctively stylized theatre and contemporary understandings of the scenic arts, theatrical performativity, para-theatrical events, etc. The Department’s approach is characterized by close collaboration among actors, director and scenographer. Seeing as interdisciplinary scenic collaboration is of such importance to the Department, a subsection is devoted to scenography - the Division of Alternative Stage Design. Graduates of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre emerge as distinctive personalities involved in creating a collective poetic and have included internationally renowned Czech theatre companies (e.g. Drak, Studio Ypsilon). Graduating classes often establish new and successful theatre groups. Individuals also find work in children’s theatres.

The other departments at the Theatre Faculty transcend the theatre profession. Students at the Department of Authorial Creation and Pedagogy study acting as a mode of public existence (performing) and as a means of authorial and personal expression. The main subject at the Department is an improvisational acting discipline developed by Professor Ivan Vyskočil, “Acting with the Inner Partner.” The Department places great emphasis on psycho-physical training, especially in terms of voice and speech. The Department of Drama in Education focuses on the role of theatre in education. The Department of Theory and Criticism prepares its students for theatre criticism and is primarily responsible for the theoretical subjects studied at the Faculty. The Department of Arts Management educates theatre managers, who go on to work in all kinds of theatres as well as in other artistic contexts.

Recently, the Theatre Faculty has introduced doctoral studies in four areas: Stage Creation and the Theory of Stage Creation; Theory and Practice of Theatre Creation; Alternative and Puppet Art and Its Theory; and Authorial Acting and the Theory of Authorial Creation and Pedagogy.

Notable alumni

Deans of DAMU


  1. Various authors: AMU 60 years of existence (A book issued on the occasion of 60th anniversary of AMU´s founding), Praha, 2006, page 1-29, ISBN 80-7331-065-1
  2. 1 2 Actor Peter Haničinec († 77) - The life of a fight from the beginning, 11 November 2007, AhaOnline.com, retrieved 26 April 2014

External links

Coordinates: 50°5′9.6″N 14°25′2″E / 50.086000°N 14.41722°E / 50.086000; 14.41722

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