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Spring 2023: Prague, Czechia

THE 476: Theatre On Tour, Prague Quadrennial 2023
No Pre-requisites needed
On-campus Meetings: 1/2023 – 5/2023 & Travel component to Prague, Czechia: 6/7/2023-6/19/2023
Cost: Approximately $2880 
Professors: Kristen Morgan and Anya Sokolovskaya

This course will prepare students for a fully-engaged experience at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2023. The PQ is a two-week event that has taken place every four years since 1967 in Prague, Czech Republic. The PQ website describes the festival as follows:

Each on-site festival of PQ is a culmination of the efforts of the preceding 4 years: a celebration and an opportunity for the performing arts professionals from around the world to come to one place and share their work, ideas, and thoughts during the quadrennial festival. While celebrating the diverse forms of performance design/scenography around the globe, the Prague Quadrennial strives to present it as an art form concerned with the creation of holistic performance environments, not just decorative backgrounds; these performative spaces creatively respond to current issues of our world, ask important questions, and invite us to participate in unique moments.

Performance design/scenography can occur in an unbounded range of environments: from the traditional theatre stages, through experimental performance venues, to any type of found sites and spaces-from urban to rural, industrial to landscape, interior or exterior, physical, virtual, or mixed. A growing amount of creative work comprises a variety of new media and involves various other professions and disciplines- in applied settings, as well as in innovative experimental formats. Present day practice of performance design/scenography is one of the most exciting art forms and creative domains- in the innovative, fresh and holistic ways of engaging their audiences, participants, and the public.

PQ 2023 will be the second Global Field Studies course that Professors Morgan and Sokolovskaya have led, although they have each attended prior editions of the festival.This course offers students from a variety of majors an opportunity to explore the rich culture and history of Prague, while meeting fellow artists from all over the world.

Students will immerse themselves in demonstrations, workshops, country exhibitions, student exhibitions, performances, and volunteer opportunities. They will meet and collaborate with other practitioners; students who attended the last PQ created lasting relationships beyond the festival that resulted in presentations and publications of new research.

We will spend the spring semester studying the history and culture of Prague, learning drawing and painting techniques for creating an illustrated travel journal, and developing personal goals and itineraries for the festival. We will also create a walking tour, visiting sites of significance that we identify during the class. When we arrive in Prague, we will spend our first day taking our tour as a way to get to know the city. Subsequent days will be spent at the PQ, with two or three side trips including a tour of the Jewish Quarter, a visit to Prague Castle, and any other excursions that students would like to plan.

Students who participated in PQ 2019 reported that the experience was life-changing, and radically expanded their artistic horizons. Many of those students, who are now alumni, are planning to return independently to PQ 2023.