Puppetness and Puppetlikeness 1

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
204LOL1 ZK 1 2T Czech summer

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

  1. Understanding the poetics of puppet theatre as the relationship between object and subject, between a person and a thing, the ability to reflect on this relationship and accept it in creative application.
  2. The creative use of historical, aesthetic and theatrological knowledge in personal artistic and theoretical work and in its self-reflecting synthesis.
  3. Realising the possibilities of the creative use of the mutual stage ostension between actor and puppet (object) in a mutual aesthetic tension.
  4. Ability to analyse acting possibilities in various types of contemporary theatrical practise.

Mode of study

Lectures, classes, exercises, text analyze, moderated discussion.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

  1. Creative ability.
  2. Ability to analyse and synthesise.
  3. Capacity for reflection.
  4. General knowledge of world theatre and puppetry drama.
  5. General knowledge of world aesthetics, philosophy and theatrology.
  6. General knowledge of the fundamental works of world literature.
  7. General knowledge of world art history.
  8. General knowledge of theatre history including puppet theatre history, the history of directing, dramaturgy and acting.
  9. Previous completion of the subject. Introduction to puppet theatre aesthetics; the specific characteristics of puppet theatre.

Course contents

  1. The specific nature of puppet theatre, the „puppetness“ of the puppet.
  2. The puppet as a symbol, puppet as a function.
  3. Subject, thing, puppet.
  4. Actor or puppet actor?
  5. Figurative and objective theatre, theatre of the actor and puppet, contemporary trends.
  6. Puppetism as the application of puppetness to the acting subject.
  7. Various acting systems from historical and theatrological aspects.
  8. Thematisation of acting.
  9. The mask - natural or half-sister of the puppet?

Syllabus (expand on the summary - max. 3000 symbols):

An original analysis of the puppet in light of historical and theoretical documents will help students to formulate independent thoughts and observations on puppet theatre, its specific nature and contemporary trends, which are enriching puppet theatre as a form of art. The broadening and enrichment of modes of expression in puppet theatre (e.g. by theatre of the puppet and actor, by object theatre and by the theatre of objects) puts puppet theatre actors in a completely new theatrical situation and causes them to enter other stage relations. This form acting is internally transformed into new relations and contexts regarding the puppet, which is now no longer seen mainly as an artistic artefact but as an autonomous object in an entirely specific functional theatrical application by the actor in his actual performance. This relational character between actor and object, which ceases to be merely a prop, also leads organically to changes in acting. By monitoring these transformations in puppet theatre acting and comparing this phenomenon with acting in theatre drama we discover new possibilities for alternative theatre as a whole, and find that these intentionally affect the psychophysical identity both of man and actor. The puppet, object, mask and actor's body acquire a new focal point in the performances of contemporary acting, and seek an identity of man which differs to those of traditional psychological acting methods, whose resulting stage form derives from the thematic drive of the acting performance.

Recommended or required reading

František Sokol: The Magic of Puppet Theatre

Henryk Jurkowski: Magic of the Puppet

The Puppet at the Turn of the Millenium

Jiří Veltruský: Contributions to Drama Theory

Rio Preisner: J.N. Nestroy

Bořivoj Srba: The Poetic Theatre of E.F.Burian

Zdeněk Hořínek: The Spiritual Dimension of Theatre

Peter Brook: A Moving Point

Heinrich Braulich: Max Reinhardt

Jindřich Honzl: The Foundations and Practice of Modern Theatre

Kazimierz Braun: The Second Reform of Theatre

Antonin Artaud: Theatre and Plague

Karel Martínek: Mejerchold

Jerzy Grotowski: K Chudému divadlu

Jiří Frejka: Laughter and the Theatrical Mask

Jan Hyvnar: The Actor in Modern Theatre

Sense or Nonsense (miscellany)

A. I. Tairov: Odpoutané divadlo

Paul Pörtner: Experimental Theatre

Jan Císař: Theory of Puppet Theatre Acting

Erik Kolár: Ke kořenům české loutkářské estetiky

Is Puppet Theatre a Form of Fine Art or Dramatic Art?

Miroslav Česal: The Live Actor in Puppet Theatre

Petr Scherhaufer: An Anthology of Theatre Direction History

Zdeněk Hedbávný: Alfréd Radok

Vladimír Mikeš: Theatre of the Spanish Golden Age

Michal Čechov: On Acting Technique

Jaroslav Etlík: Divadlo jako zakoušení

Miloslav Klíma: Jan Grossman

Mircea Eliade: Mefisto a androgyn

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

Miloslav Klíma - Karel Makonj et al.:

Josef Krofta: Production work

Magazines - Divadlo, Dramatická revue, Svět a divadlo, Disk, Čs. Loutkář, Loutkář

Assessment methods and criteria

During the course of the semester independent reading and review of assigned texts, preparations of the creativity assignments and participation in class discussions is required. The overall grading: 50% for class discussion participation, 25% for completion of the semester paper, 25% for the oral exam.


Registration only for students who have completed „Introduction to Puppet Theatre Aesthetics“ and „The Specific Nature of Puppet Theatre“. Only for Directing-Dramaturgy, Set-design and Theory and Criticism students.

Instruction schedule see: www DAMU / katedra ALD / Rozvrhy hodin

Further information

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans