Nonverbal Theatre (N0215A310029)

Type of programme Mode of study Profile of the programme Standard study length Language Instruction Department
Continuing Master's Programme full-time academically oriented 2 years Czech Nonverbal Theatre Department

Since this programme is designed for Czech-speaking students an English description is not available.

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Programme objectives

The goal of the programme is to develop versatile creative personalities capable of asserting themselves in artistic production in the area of nonverbal theatre, and to do so comprehensively as a performer, author, director and dramaturg. The Master’s programme is focused on interconnecting practical experience with theoretical and historical knowledge of the field, building on the contents of the Bachelor’s programme at the Department of Nonverbal Theatre or of a Bachelor’s programme in a related field with a similar focus. In general, a cultural overview and the ability to contextualise contemporary themes combined with extensive knowledge and skills of the craft are prerequisites for creating a topical and lively artistic work which consciously reflects the cultural and moral values of society as well as the importance of nonverbal theatre as such.

The term nonverbal theatre refers to all theatrical currents based primarily on the internal and external movement of the body, i.e. bodily or mime expression. It underscores the bodily aspect of artistic production and the physical source of the impulse, but the emphasis on bodily expression does not exclude vocal expression. The field of study includes classical genres such as pantomime, mask work, clowning and grotesque, as well as a wide range of styles such as physical and dance theatre, circus artistry, improvisation, performance art and other contemporary artistic fusions that work with nonverbal theatre.

In practice, the programme of study is concerned with two basic ideas: complete mastery of both interpretive and artistic skills. Emphasis is placed on the distinctness of the individual student and on finding his or her own artistic path within the scope of his or her own creative work – all with an excellent level of movement technique and mastery of various styles in nonverbal theatre. The graduate is able to work professionally as a performer in this diversity of genres, thereby creating the potential to further develop contemporary nonverbal theatre, which builds on a longstanding tradition.

Emphasis is also placed on deepening the student’s theoretical, dramaturgical and directing work. The student learns to be a concept creator, dramaturg and director in the area of nonverbal theatre with a broad outlook and specialist knowledge in the field. He or she is able to provide a contemporary contextualisation of movement production in the most diverse branches of art – not only in theatre. The student is also able to find topical themes for artistic production, to analyse their significance in historical and societal contexts, and to confront audiences with them through his or her theatrical craft.

The core subjects of the Master’s programme are Physical Theatre, Dramaturgy and Directing, and Individual Creation.

Physical Theatre represents a space for collective and intensive physical production, Dramaturgy and Directing leads the student to authorial and theoretical work, while Individual Creation aims to deepen the student's training in the craft from the previous programme of study, enabling him or her to develop an individual profile in the Master’s programme. In this subject, the leading pedagogues in the programme divide students individually or into smaller groups with the aim of developing their personal focus according to the basic lines of the department’s instructional approach.

These basic lines of instruction are as follows: The mime line, which is built on perfect control of the body through the technique of Corporeal Mime / Mime corporel, encompasses imaginary and Marceau mime all the way up to the latest forms of modern mime, such as physical mime interconnecting contemporary trends and influences in this field. Conceptually, the instruction builds on the legacy of French pioneers of modern pantomime such as Étienne Decroux, Marcel Marceau and Jean-Louis Barrault. The line of clownery, comedy theatre and improvisation builds on the specific tradition of 20th-century Czech pantomime and comedy theatre with prominent representatives of pedagogy and production such as Ctibor Turba, Boris Hybner and Bolek Polívka. The department draws international inspiration for teaching modern clownery and improvisation from, among other things, collaboration with foreign creators and pedagogues from the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (such as Jos Houben, Ami Hattab and others). The line of physical theatre builds on the anthropological approach of Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret, the ideas and pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq, and the Viewpoints theory of Anne Bogart and Tina Landau. Within the scope of instruction of Physical Theatre, the department also focuses on mask work and object work. The line of circus artistry, acrobatics and manipulation of objects focuses on specific circus techniques being developed by current trends of new circus within the scope of authorial theatre.

In addition, the Master’s programme also provides instruction in Lighting Design and Stage Technology, Fundamentals of Film Language, and the theoretical subjects Dramaturgy of Authorial Theatre, Theory of Nonverbal Theatre, Psychology of Mimicry and Gesturing, and Preparation of the Master’s Thesis, which strengthen the student’s profile in authorial production. The programme is complemented by an offering of optional subjects, such as Contemporary Circus Theory and Rhythm and Musicality.

The programme aims, among other things, to deepen all of the student’s knowledge and skills within the scope of the Individual Creation subject. This course also constitutes preparation for the graduate artistic performance, and represents a space for synthesis of the student’s knowledge in craft and theory. Here, each student has the opportunity to explore and discover his or her specific approach to authorial production, i.e. his or her style. The practical subject Dramaturgy and Directing and the theoretical subject Dramaturgy of Authorial Theatre aim to synthesise all components of the authorial process – from selecting a theme to creating a libretto, the artistic component, lighting design, music, working with multimedia, to procedural dramaturgy, which encompasses the naming and development of an assigned theme. The student is led to become acquainted with and to actively work with the laws of drama, and to apply the principles of artistic production both in the theatrical space and in specific spaces. The student learns to develop situations by anchoring the theme in imaginary and real space. The student will acquire the healthy habits of systematically seeking out and defining his or her own approach to the principles of authorial thinking, and of subsequently applying this approach to solo or group work.

The programme is also focused on connecting with the professional scene, whereby students cultivate contacts and gain practical experience for their artistic careers. In addition to all the above-mentioned aspects of the programme, emphasis is also placed on the student’s independent thinking and on developing a creative personality that reflects contemporary events and the current societal context. Through a lively and sophisticated artistic work, the artist actively contributes to civil society and cultivates not only body and mind, but also cultural and moral values.

Profile of a programme graduate

A graduate of the Master’s programme in nonverbal theatre is a specialist in both the practical and theoretical areas of this theatrical specialisation. He or she is a performer trained in the craft of nonverbal theatre, and has extensive knowledge of a wide range of genres, styles and currents in this field. Both practically and interpretatively, he or she is highly skilled in pantomime, clownery, grotesque, mask work, improvisation, the basics of circus artistry, the principles of physical theatre, and the principles of performance. He or she also has well-grounded theoretical and historical knowledge in the field, and has mastered the specifics of nonverbal theatre, including dramaturgy and directing. The graduate is led to independent work and, in view of the nature of authorial work in nonverbal theatre, he or she can always assume the role of a creative author in both solo and group interpretation. In the role of a dramaturg or director, the graduate is able to respect the specifics of the performers, to sensitively perceive the needs of his or her collaborators, and thereby to steer a creative process that will lead to a common result.

The graduate has a broad historical overview, is aware of the role of theatre and culture in the societal context, and upholds these positive values with his or her entire being. The graduate perceives and understands movements of the body as a means of communication that must be continuously developed. Therefore, he or she is able to apply a high level of technical skill and expert knowledge not only in the area of artistic production, but also in the area of preparation and training in nonverbal theatre and in its diverse genres. The graduate is able to lead a team and to elaborate an artistic concept for a creative aim – from the formulation of an idea, to artistic and informational research, to the practical execution of an artistic work. At the right time, he or she is able to invite other collaborators to obtain the necessary reflection.

Furthermore, the graduate is able to work as a dramaturg, director or choreographer, and can assemble a functional team to execute an artistic project. His or her involvement extends to other artistic areas as well. In addition, the graduate is familiar with the basics of contemporary stage technology and the principles of lighting and sound design.

The graduate has an overview of the current professional ensembles and styles of nonverbal theatre both domestically and abroad, and actively cultivates a network of contacts and collaborators with a view to developing and expanding the possibilities of the field. The graduate has mastered the principles of production processes, is familiar with grant issues, and can independently secure all necessary resources to execute an artistic project.

Rules and requirements for creating study plans

General information about admission process

The contents and evaluation of the entrance examination for the Master’s programme in Nonverbal Theatre are as follows: The Department of Nonverbal Theatre requests that applicants send the written materials which are clearly defined in the admissions proceeding requirements well in advance of the entrance examination. These consist of a concept of the future Master’s performance, a concept of the future Master’s thesis, and a description of the applicant’s intended artistic direction.

For the programme of study in Nonverbal Theatre, the precise requirements of the aptitude tests are published for each academic year. These requirements are updated each year and posted in the relevant parts of the Studies section on the faculty website, and thus they are also available to prospective HAMU applicants.

An admissions proceeding has been organised for the continuing Master’s programme in Nonverbal Theatre, which consists of two parts: a practical part and an oral part. Both parts will take place in person. The examination committee has the right to interrupt the course of the entrance examination at any time.

The entrance examinations shall proceed as follows:

  1. Practical part:

The applicant shall present the structure and idea of his or her Master’s performance in a coherent, practical demonstration lasting 5-10 minutes. The practical demonstration must contain a distinct dramaturgy, a clear plot message, technical and interpretative skills, and a movement style. The demonstration must include a musical component, at least one prop or object, and a hint of a costume.

  1. Oral part:

In this part of the entrance examination, the applicant will be interviewed and asked to reflect on the presented demonstration, on the topic of his or her future Master’s thesis sent in advance, and on the written description of his or her intended artistic direction. The admissions committee shall evaluate the applicant with a comprehensive score, consisting of evaluations of the applicant’s level of movement and acting techniques with emphasis on authorial production (pantomime, corporeal mime, acrobatics, clowning, physical acting, improvisation), creativity and originality, general cultural overview and stage experience, all at least at the level of a graduate of the Bachelor’s programme.

After completion of round 2, the admissions committee shall rank individual applicants according to their average scores and shall recommend for admission those applicants who ranked within the admissions target and who earned the minimum score for the Nonverbal Theatre programme of study. The requirements of the admissions proceeding, including a designation of the method by which points are awarded, their range and the admissions target, are defined for each academic year by a relevant Decree of the Dean, which is subject to approval by the academic senate of the faculty. If not enough applicants receive the required number of points, the admissions target will not be met.

Applicability to other types of academic programmes

Parts of the state final examination and their contents

Other academic duties

Characterisation of professional practice

Anticipated job placement for graduates (typical employment)

Accreditation validity

Study programme valid from Study programme valid to
2021-06-24 2031-06-24

Programme study plans