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Theatre in Celetna

Miroslav Melena

alias Disk, Theatre Manhardský dům, Franz Kafka Theatre
Historia del teatrosuplementodatos técnicosEquipamiento histórico

eventos importantes

(Detalle)1968 | Reconstruction of historical building
1967-68 – reconstruction of the building based on the design of ak. arch. Aleš Moravec for the Institute of Scenography
(Detalle)1992 | Adaptation of the hall
The hall was converted to a theatre based on Miroslav Melena’s design and reopened in May 1992 under the name Divadlo Manhardtský dům.
(Detalle)1995 | Adaptation of subsidiary space

(Detalle)2003 | Adaptation of subsidiary space

(Detalle)2004 | Adaptation of subsidiary space


(Detalle)Miroslav Melena |arquitecto principal

A stage designer, an architect and a teacher died on August 8, 2008. He studied at the College of Pedagogy in Cyril Bouda’s and Karel Lidický’s studios and later at Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under František Tröster. In 1967 he started working as a stage designer in Ostrava Theatre of Petr Bezruč, from 1969 he worked in Liberec Naive Theatre and later on he cooperated mainly with Prague Theatre Y. In the years 1980 to 1981 he was a head of stage design in Maribor. In 1972, at Serbian Novy Sad Triennale he was awarded a winning price for a setting designed for a play The Earl Monte Christo. Among the outstanding features of Melena’s stage designs belongs blending of scene and costumes in their almost provocative variability calling up reminiscence to surrealistic performances of the 20’s. However, next to scenography Melena gradually expressed himself more and more as a theatre designer – mostly as a head of multi-member team. Thus he gave a new resemblance to auditoriums and scenes of Brno Municipal Theatre, Prague Theatre Fidlovačka, Horácké Theatre in Jihlava, Municipal Theatre in Sokolov, Brno Reduta and lastly to Semafor Theatre. All of his stages distinguish themselves by ingenious stage design, and by dispositionally functional and smart to sight, sometimes also lively colourful appearance of the auditorium. The most salient among his projects was a solution of Prague Theatre Archa where a system of movable tables which fill the whole space enables a free open arrangement of the stage and the auditorium according to individual stage designer’s needs. As an exhibition designer Melena gave a very rich inventional shape to an exhibition of his teacher František Tröster’s life-work in 1991. Melena worked as a Head of Architecture Department at Faculty of Architecture and Arts, Technical University in Liberec. His creed of a theatre architect was expressed in an article he published in a cultural weekly magazine A2 (2007, issue 24). Here he confessed his love to Classical Theatre for its perfect solution of an audience and actor relationship, but also mutual relationship among spectators and their art experience. Melena did not agree with Baroque theatre’s introduction of stage portal which he called “absorber of theatricality”. However he did not hesitate to take over from the Baroque heritage a system of boxes or side slips. He believed their implication lead to a desired contact among the audience during the performance and to reach such goal a consistent arched tract of rows were to be used. Death caught Melena by surprise in the middle of his work on plans of a new Ostrava Theatre of Petr Bezruč, New Scene of Prague National Theatre and Brno Janacek Opera. (Jiří Hilmera)

Más teatros

Aleš Moravec |arquitecto


The theatre is situated on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the north wing of the Manhart Palace (Prague Old Town, no. 595-I, Celetná 17, Štupartská 12). Its reconstruction in the period 1967-68 based on the design of ak. arch. Aleš Moravec was financed by the Institute of Scenography. An „experimental studio“ with the attached premises of the Institute of Scenography were established on both floors of what today is the main theatre hall. The documentation dated end of 1977 shows a record of a shallow stage which could be disassembled plus a fold-up screen. The final building approval records dated 15 September 1980 reveal the presence of multi-purpose hall with a control room on the upper floor. The hall was later converted to a theatre based on Miroslav Melena’s design and reopened in May 1992 under the name Divadlo Manhardtský dům. The theatre company Divadlo Franze Kafky played here shortly after the reopening and was succeeded by the theatre Disk in September 1993. The next theatre group was Kašpar which gave the theatre its current name. Further renovation was done in 1995, 2003 and 2004 focusing on the facilities for actors and administrative staff and the renovation of the foyer including the café.

The access to the theatre is through the court yard staircase situated in the west wing of the building under the baroque stucco-decorated vault. The visitors then continue through a short court-yard porch into the entrance hall with the foyer on both sides. There is a larger room with a bar on the left. The bar’s ceiling is covered with baulks and renaissance ornamental paintings; there is a red statue of a naked woman with horns before you enter the foyer on the right from the main entrance. On the right from the entrance there is a corridor leading to the cloak room and ending at backstage entrance. The access to the auditorium is through another entrance which you enter through a double-wing door situated in the middle of the foyer.  There are two access staircases each leading to the auditorium and ending at the eighth row level. The auditorium has a steep elevation with 184 seats in twelve rows. Fixed seats are from the fifth row, the four front rows form chairs. This is due to the variability of the space, for example, if the acting area with two traps needs to be expanded with a proscenium composed of six adjustable tables. There is a control room with a large window above the last row. There are two walls with slant opening attached to the control room. There are vertical adjustable panels along these side walls. The entire interior of the auditorium is painted black with red-upholstered seats.


Building Archive MČ P1 595-I, Celetná 17. – http://www.divadlovceletne.cz



Autor: Jiří Hilmera

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