Petr Matásek

In 1962 Petr Matásek graduated from the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Prague, between 1958 and 1962 he attended the Puppetry Department of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts. His first engagement after completing his studies was at Divadlo Alfa, where between 1967 and 1974 he worked as a designer and chief set designer. In 1974 he became (and remained for a quarter of a century) a set designer of Hradec Králové’s DRAK theatre. He was the spiritual father of the avant-garde studio Beseda in this city (1980-84), whose liberty inspired him for action set design. Since 1990 he has taught at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre of Prague’s Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts and been professor of puppet set design. He has also taught abroad, in Oslo and Melbourne for example. He has regularly worked as a guest at theatre festivals and led set-design workshops worldwide (in Denmark, France, Australia, Iceland, India, USA, Canada, Japan and other countries). His workshops are noted for their singular visual action. Petr Matásek has participated in set-design exhibitions, such as Prague Quadriennale, Biennale Brno, and independently displayed his work at Prague’s National Gallery, in Plzeň, Ostrava, as well as abroad. He has won several awards for his creation, with perhaps the most significant recent accolade being the Alfréd Radok Award 2001 for the best set design of the year for Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus at Divadlo Komedie, Prague. Out of more than one hundred marionette, drama and opera sets, let us mention, for example, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Bartered Bride and La Belle et la Bete for the DRAK theatre, the productions Candide for the Beseda studio (1980), The Three Musketeers, Mowgli and The Phantom of the Opera for the theatre in Odense, Denmark, Andersen’s fairy tales in Iceland, the productions Bouquet of Flowers and The Tempest for Naivní divadlo Liberec, Romance for Bugle, Silver Wind, Cyrano de Bergerac for the Ostrava drama, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus for Gorlice at Prague-Vyšehrad (2001). He has collaborated with the drama section of Prague’s National Theatre since 1992, when he created sets and costumes for Kleist’s Das Käthchen von Heilbronn. Furthermore, in 2003 he designed for the National Theatre the non-traditional theatre space The Shed and designed sets for the three plays that were performed on this stage: Heiner Müller’s Die Hamletmaschine, Sarah Kane’s Phaedra’s Love and Werner Schwab’s Faust:: Mein Brustkorb: Mein Helm. His most recent work for the National Theatre is the production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (2006). Update: January 2008


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