Shuttered stages: Prague city-operated theaters closed until 2021

The city is encouraging theater companies to present productions online and to prepare for next year's season.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 11.11.2020 15:46 (updated on 11.11.2020)

Theaters established by the city of Prague will remain closed to spectators for the rest of the year.

City Councilor Hana Třeštíková (Praha sobě), agreed with theater companies that, despite possible changes in government measures, the theaters will send a clear message to spectators and their employees that they will open on January 1, 2021 at the earliest.

Until then, the theater companies will focus on preparing their programs for after the COVID-19 measures are relaxed and also broadcast events online.

“For theater operators and spectators alike, the current instability is devastating. There are so many possible government scenarios that, as a result, one cannot prepare well for any. That is why, together with the theaters established by the capital, we decided to send a clear message and keep our theaters closed until the end of the year,” Třeštíková said.

“In the meantime, the theaters will be intensively rehearsing to be ready to reopen the stages, while staying in touch with their audiences through streams, online broadcasts or podcasts,” she added.

The theaters plan to announce in December more information about what they are planning for early 2021.

The theater scene has been hit hard by coronavirus measures and is looking for alternative ways to stay open and ensure stability for their employees and co-workers. Some Prague theaters have moved some of their programs online and are also offering the option of purchasing gift vouchers with extended validity.

For presenting productions online, theaters have been cooperating with new services. Divadlo Na zábradlí, Divadlo Minor, Divadlo v Dlouhé, Švandovo divadlo, Divadlo Pod Palmovkou have all explored various streaming options such as Dramox or social media live feeds. The Prague City Theaters — which include Rokoko, ABC and Komedie — will launch their own streaming service called “televizi” in December.

Some theaters will also take part in Theater Night (Noc divadel), which takes place online this year on its regularly scheduled date of the third Saturday in November. This year that falls on November 21. The theme this year is Theater and Sustain-Long-Ability, which was chosen before the pandemic crisis.

Other important theatrical events supported by the city include the 25th Prague International Festival of German Theater, which is currently being prepared. The productions will be viewable on the festival’s website. The program has not yet been published.

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Another festival supported by the city that will be online is Akcent, which will be presented online November 18 - 24 from Archa.