Czech director, composer, actor, visual artist and scriptwriter. Jiří Srnec graduated from secondary school specializing in design, studied piano at the conservatory, and then studied at the Department of Puppetry at the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU – Divadelní fakulta Akademie múzických umění) in Prague (1956-1960), where he experimented with the technique of black light theatre for the very first time. After briefly working at the Divadlo Semafor (Semafor Theatre), he founded a group at the Divadlo Na zábradlí (Theatre on the Balustrade) in 1961; many of the members of this group later continued to work under the name of Černé divadlo (Black Theatre), established in 1964 and existing to the present.

Jiří Srnec has created more than seventeen productions with this company, among them Metamorfory (Metamorphoses, 1963), Pruhovaný sen (Striped Dream, 1967), Létající velocipéd (The Flying Bicycle, 1975), Alenka v kraji divů (Alice in Wonderland, 1989), Ahasver – Legendy Magické Prahy 1993 (Ahasver – Legends of Magic Prague, 1993), and Peter Pan (1993), which were all presented in dozens of countries around the world.

Jiří Srnec combines in his work the techniques of black light theatre with film and motion. Since the end of 1996, the Černé divadlo has settled in a permanent building in Zbraslav, near Prague.

(See Czech Republic.)


  • Bárta, Peter. Sametové rovnoběžky černého divadla [Velvet Parallels of Black Light Theatre]. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1983.
  • Malíková, Nina. “S Jiřím Srncem o divadle a o životě nejen černém” [With Jiří Srnec. on Theatre and a Life that is not Only Black]. Loutkář [Puppeteer]. Nos. 1-2. Praha, 1997, pp. 36-37.