The Department of Theatre Studies


University education in the field of theatre studies has developed since 1945 at the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University in Brno (Frank Wollman and his students). The field of the Theory and History of Theatre was institutionalised in 1963 (The Department of Slavonic Literatures, of Theatre and Film Studies; Artur Závodský). However, theatre studies had its separate institution as late as in the 1990s when the Institute of Theatre and Film Studies was founded by Bořivoj Srba; the Department of Theatre Studies is its successor. The department was conceived as a research workplace focusing on issues from the field of theatre and film studies, i.e. mostly theatre and film history and theory. After Bořivoj Srba left in 2002, the institute was divided into two independent research and pedagogical departments. The Institute for Theatre Studies and Interactive Media was founded under Július Gajdoš´s supervision. In April 2006, the management of the department was changed and this later led to the change of the name and temporary connection with the Department of Aesthetics. In 2011, the Department of Theatre Studies of the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University was re-established. It was led by Pavel Drábek for the first two years, then by Margita Havlíčková, today´s Head of Department is David Drozd.

The Present

The Department of Theatre Studies provides bachelor and master study programmes in the field of the Theory and History of Theatre, and together with the Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture it offers PhD studies in the field of the Theory and History of Theatre, Film and Audiovisual Culture.

The research and teaching of the Department of Theatre Studies focuses on Czech and world theatre history, on the research of theatre aspects of non-theatre events in all areas of human life and society, on the reflection of contemporary drama and staging practice, on translating drama texts and theatre criticism.

There are two journals issued at the Department of Theatre Studies: the professional reviewed journal Theatralia and the web journal focusing on theatre criticism called Kritické theatrum (KriTh). The department organizes a series of public lectures Horizonty teatrologie (Horizons in Theatre Studies) and also two summer schools – School of Classical Studies and Jaroměř-Josefov Summer School.

Since Autumn 2017 David Drozd, PhD is the Head of Department of Theatre Studies and Šárka Havlíčková-Kysová, PhD is his deputy.

Concept of Studies

The studies of the Theory and History of Theatre, or theatrology, leads to understanding theatre art in all its forms, genres, styles and functions, in which it has appeared in the art history from Ancient Times, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Classicism and throughout the whole of the 20th century up to the present day. It is necessary to understand the past in theatre studies not only in itself but also to be able to understand contemporary theatre, dance, movement and music-theatre platforms.

This field primarily focuses on theatre production and its examination both from the point of view of aesthetics and its function in the socio-political discourse, of which it is a part. Theatre as an inseparable part of every society in history requires and at the same time offers an understanding of a work of art from the point of view of aesthetics.  Moreover, this angle also gives us an insight on the social, political and psychological facts to which theatre work necessarily bears witness.

The aim of the bachelor studies is to acquaint students with the history of Czech and world drama, Czech and world production practice and theories describing typical features and rules of theatre genres, while looking at possible ways how to study theatre. During the bachelor studies, emphasis is put on guiding students to appreciate that theatre as an art form primarily offers statement about man and society in various contexts, besides simple entertainment. Thus theatre production becomes an important engrossed commentary of reality and helps show living reality in a different aesthetic form.

Students of the follow-up Master study programme are led to independent research and, apart from deepening their knowledge acquired during their bachelor studies, they are expected to gain advanced knowledge of theatre studies disciplines, from work with archives, historiographic skills, criticism and reviews to potential work on productions.

Graduate Profile

Graduates of bachelor studies gain not only appropriate knowledge in the field, but they also acquire a number of practical skills they can use in any other field of humanities and also in their private lives. These include working with texts and evaluating them critically, the basics of professional and journalistic writing, cultural-historical knowledge, orientation in contemporary social-political issues, ability to produce deep and complex thinking about various issues. If graduates are interested in working in the field they are strongly recommended to continue in the follow-up master studies and then possibly in PhD studies. Successful graduates of theatre studies have a vast range of employment in both theatre and general cultural journalism, as editors in various types of publishing houses, in theatre production, in archives and museums, in PR positions in culture institutions, in organizing theatre festivals, promoting contemporary theatre and last but not least in academic areas.

Graduates of the follow-up master studies can primarily find their employment in creative and critical-analytic activities in the field of arts, specifically in theatre in its various forms. Graduates can find their jobs in scientific research institutions, museums, archives, theatre archives, theatres, the press, radio and television. Graduates are qualified to work in public relation fields in both the state and private sectors, in state and private administration of culture and art, the administration of cultural policy and cultural industries, dramaturgy, journalism specialized in culture and the arts, editorial activities, criticism and management of culture and the arts. Graduates can also work in media or in institutions specialized in the performing arts and the protection and promotion of cultural heritage.

Graduates of PhD studies can work as top experts in scientific research, education and other professional institutions, even at an international level. Graduates are ready for highly qualified and specialized work in professional, research and academic positions at universities, archives, museums, media, theatres, film industry (production, distribution, festivals, cinemas, television etc.) and other cultural and creative industries, cultural management and policy, dramaturgy, journalism, editorial and publishing practice, etc.

Academic staff


Areas of research


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