Introduction to Aesthetics of the Puppet Theatre 1

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
204ELD1 Z 1 2T Czech winter

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

  1. Familiarising the student with the possibilities of the puppet and puppet theatre in today's theatre.
  2. Perceiving puppet theatre as an aesthetic relationship between the object and subject and understanding the possibilities resulting from this.
  3. A historical perspective on the aesthetics of the puppet and puppet theatre.
  4. Analysis of current trends in the development of world puppetry and the possibilities of inspiration for students' own artistic work.

Mode of study

Lectures, text analyses, essays, creative exercises, discussions, written work, creativity and knowledge tests, interview and exam, moderated discussion.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

  1. Creative ability.
  2. Capacity for analysis and synthesis.
  3. Capavity for reflection and deduction.
  4. General knowledge of theatre history and the history of puppet theatre.
  5. General knowledge of aesthetics, philosophy and theatrology.

Course contents


  1. Defining the basic terms puppet, thing, subject-matter, object/subject, sign, material, substance. Theoretical discussion O. Zich - P. Bogatyrev - O. Zich - P. Bogatyrev - E. Kolár.
  2. The puppet as a theatrical function.
  3. Illusive puppet theatre, theatre of the puppet and actor and the stage figure.
  4. Mimesis and puppet theatre.
  5. Semantics of the material.
  6. The principle of manipulating an object.
  7. The question of acting with a puppet.


Defining the term puppet is by no means as simple as it would seem at first glance. Neither is the terminology regarding puppet theatre itself any easier. Puppet theatre at present is a term which covers many different currents and trends that are difficult to assemble under just one term. This process probably began with the puppet actor's presence on the stage, which released the latent energy of this artistic genre (although this obviously existed beforehand). The actor's presence on stage meant that the autonomy of the puppet's material was perceived far more strongly and caused the distinction that applies in today's puppet theatre between two basic types of theatre: figurative and non-figurative. Each chiefly addresses the question of mimesis. The definition of puppet theatre acting is thus divided between „acting with the puppet“ and „acting to the puppet“ and both possibilities place different and new demands on acting as such. As is probably already evident, the subject doesn't aim to educate new theatrologists but rather to create space in the imagination with which the Department's students can work creatively in puppet theatre.

Recommended or required reading

František Sokol: The World of Puppet Theatre

Henryk Jurkowski: The Magic of the Puppet

Jan Císař: Theory of puppet theatre acting

S. M. Ejzenštejn: Camera, pencil and pen

Jan Mukařovský: Aesthetic Studies

Jiří Veltruský: Contributions to Theatre Theory

Miroslav Česal: The Live Actor in Puppet Theatre

Rio Presiner: J. N. Nestroy

Paul Pörtner: Experimental Theatre

E. G. Craig: The Actor and the Uber-Marionette

Miloslav Klíma - Karel Makonj et al.: Josef Krofta - production workinscenační dílo

Mircea Eliade: Mephisto and the hermaphrodite a androgyn

Časopisy Divadlo, Čs. Loutkář, Loutkář, Disk

Assessment methods and criteria

During the semester independent reading of assigned texts, their analyses at hoe amd preparations for participation in class discussions, one's review and development of regular creativity exercises which are a condition for sitting the test are required. The exam is written and oral. Credit is only for the written course paper. The overall grading is comprised of 50% for class and creativity exercises participation, 25% for the semester paper and 25% for the oral part of the exam.


Possible registration only for Directing-Dramaturgy, Set-design and Theory and Critique students.

Further information

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

room R210
Učebna R210 (DAMU)

(Karlova 26, Praha 1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Thu 12:00–13:30 Kateřina LEŠKOVÁ DOLENSKÁ Učebna R210 (DAMU)
Karlova 26, Praha 1

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans