Czech amateur puppet theatre founded in 1914 in Prague by the members of an Artistic and Educational Association whose aim was to reaffirm the principles of a modern puppet theatre in opposition to the folk tradition. This could be seen in the staging of František Škroup’s opera Dráteník. Prominent visual artists (Ladislav Šaloun, Ota Bubeníček, Vít Skála and others), writers (Karel Mašek, Karel Driml and others) and musicians were invited to participate.
In the 1920s, the Loutkové divadlo Umělecké výchovy together with the Umělecké loutková scéna Říše loutek (Empire of Art Puppets, an Artistic Puppet Theatre) and the Loutkové divadlo Feriálních osad (Puppet Theatre of Vacation Settlements) became the prominent Czech puppet theatres particularly with their responsible creative work for children. In the 1930s, the directors Erik Kolár and Jan Malík in cooperation with the visual artists Bohumil Buděšínský and František Vojáček introduced a change in the staging style where they emphasized the metaphoric and poetic feature of the theatrical event as opposed to the former illusionist-realistic perception. Among the most important performances belong Pohádkový zákon (Fairy Tale Law) by Karel Mašek (1932), Míček Flíček (1936) by Jan Malík, Krysař (The Pied Piper, 1940) by Antonín Hirsch.
At the end of the war, the theatre was demolished in an air raid. After several years of activities in various temporary theatres, the ensemble fell apart in 1954 and a number of its members joined recently established professional theatres.
(See Czech Republic.)
- Dubská. Alice. “Umělecká výchova ze zorného úhlu historie” [Art Education from the Historical Angle]. Československý loutkář [Czechoslovak Puppeteer]. Vol. 25, 1975, pp. 7-9.