The National Theatre Drama is the biggest company of its ilk in the Czech Republic. It performs on three stages, with the largest of them being one of the national emblems, symbols of Czech culture and independence of the Czech nation. We strive – also with regard to the space’s architecture – to include in our programmes works of the classical Czech and international repertoire (such as adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream). The National Theatre Drama productions are visually compelling and exquisitely staged.
The majority of our repertoire is performed at the Estates Theatre, a venue at which once Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself conducted his music. The historical Classicist building is suitable for staging of international classical plays (by Molière, Chekhov, and others), as well as contemporary Czech and foreign pieces (by Moira Buffini, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, etc.) and adaptations of books.
The most progressively designed is the building of the New Stage, dating from the 1980s, which mainly hosts the National Theatre Drama’s original projects and Czech premieres. Our company gives there seven to eight first nights a year, while also pursuing a host of accompanying activities and educational programmes.
Performances are preceded by dramaturgical introductions and followed by debates with creators. We have introduced the “ND Talks” platform, consisting of meetings at which we discuss with the audience and specialists topics closely related to our productions’ focus. The “ND Talks” are streamed. Another platform, the “ND Dialogue”, serves to provide scope for the audiences’ discussions following performances. We also offer critical writing courses and playwriting classes, under the guidance of leading local specialists. We collaborate with theatre school students, who get actively involved in our programmes. And we also focus on the spectators who cannot speak Czech – many of our productions are performed with English surtitles. By and large, we do our very best to make the National Theatre an open and vigorous institution.
We are of the opinion that contemporary theatre should preserve the cultural legacy of the Czech lands, in line with the National Theatre preamble. At the same time, it must afford scope for vivid gatherings, and thus naturally respond to the current social issues.
After having crystallised our programme in dramaturgical and ideological terms, we are now aspiring to place the National Theatre Drama company in the international context, aiming to establish co-operation with other theatres throughout Europe, not only by means of hosting each other’s productions, but also on the basis of experience and knowledge (through joint workshops, meetings, colloquia, etc.). We would like to present our work to foreign professionals, while also wanting to share their experience.