The long road to democracy

For the Theatre on a String, the years of the 1980s meant, above all, a constant struggle with persecution by the communist regime. Despite this, the ensemble managed to travel several times, namely to festivals in Amsterdam, Berlin or Sofia. Peter Scherhaufer and Petr Oslzlý represented the theatre in the creative team preparing the international project Together – Společně at meetings in Copenhagen, Lodz and Brno. In 1982, the second year of the Divadlo v pohybu (Theatre in Motion) festival took place, since the festival used to be held every five years.

From a large number of extraordinary productions, the production of Eva Tálská called Svolávám všechny skřítky! Královna. (I Call All the Elves! The Queen.) from 1984 stands out, in which the boundary between the actor and the viewer is completely erased. In 1988, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the independent state establishment, the Theatre on a String together with HaDivadlo created the first issue of a stage magazine called Rozrazil 1/88 O demokracii (On Democracy), of which the introductory part was written for the theatre by Václav Havel. The publication of the magazine in printed form was repeatedly banned, so it was finally published in this form.

In the eighties, the construction of a new theatre building was also very actively discussed. After many unsuccessful attempts, the design of Václav Králíček’s project was finally approved in 1985. It was designed to be situated on Zelný trh square and Petrská street and in the same year the foundation stone was symbolically laid. In support of this construction, a thirteen-hour cultural event called Všichni za jeden provázek (All for One String) was held despite a ban.

In November 1989, the Theatre on a String with HaDivadlo launched theatre strike as the first-ever in Czechoslovakia, which influenced the development of the Velvet Revolution and the subsequent fall of the communist regime.

Artistic director: Jaroslav Tuček (1980-1989)