Czech actor and director. Karel Brožek was one of the first graduates of the Puppetry Department (Katedra Loutkářství), Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (Divadelní fakulta Akademie múzických umění or DAMU) in 1959. During his studies, he worked at the Divadlo Semafor (Semafor Theatre), then, upon leaving university, he worked as an actor in the black light theatre with Hana Lamková at Státní divadelní studio (State Theatre Studio). From 1964 to 1971, he wrote and directed several performances in the Laterna magica theatre in Prague. With the black light theatre company, he made several tours abroad, notably to Canada (Montreal International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67, 1967) and Japan (Osaka, 1970).
Karel Brožek is also known for his staging of Smrt Tintigalova (The Death of Tintagiles, 1969) by Maurice Maeterlinck, an original interpretation of this play, reset in the complex context of Czechoslovakia after the events of 1968. As a director, Karel Brožek also worked with the Divadlo dětí Alfa (Alfa Theatre for Children) in Pilsen (Plzeň) from 1971 to 1975 and was awarded the Skupa Prize for the productions, Pohádky matičky Rusi (Fairy Tales of Motherland Russia, 1974), Jan Ži žka u hradu Rábí (Jan Žižka Besieging the Rábí Castle, 1974), and Ze starých letopisů (From the Ancient Chronicles, 1976).
From 1975 to 1979, he worked with the Central Puppet Theatre, Ústřední loutkové divadlo (today Divadlo Minor) in Prague where he directed Zlatovláska (Goldilocks, 1977). In the following years, he worked with various traditional theatres, such as Divadlo Jaroslava Průchy (Theatre of Jaroslav Průcha) and Klicperovo divadlo (Klicpera Theatre) in Hradec Králové, where he directed several shows. Since 1990, he was the artistic director and director at Divadlo Lampion (Lantern Theatre) in Kladno. Česká mše vánoční (Czech Christmas Mass, 1992), Christopher Marlowe’s Faust (1996), Stvoření slunce (The Creation of the Sun, 1973 and 2001), the musical comedy Malováno na skle (Painted on Glass, 2003), and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (2005) are among the most important works of this period.
The work of Karel Brožek is characterized by his desire to synthesize the theatrical event through movement, singing, metaphorical expression, and the action of puppets. His concept of a symbiosis between theatre elements and the actors from the 1960s onwards had a significant influence on the evolution of Czech puppet theatre. Since 1991, his Don Giovanni by W.A. Mozart has been performed at the Umělecké loutková scéna Říše loutek (Říše Loutek, Empire of Puppets) with more than 5,000 repeats. Karel Brožek has also worked in Slovakia (Žilina, Košice and Banská Bystrica), in Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and Poland.
(See Czech Republic.)