Central Staff and Students Take Part in the 2019 Prague Quadrennial | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Congratulations to members of Central’s Staff, Student and Alumni community who took part in the 2019 Prague Quadrennial.

The 2019 Prague Quadrennial was the 14th edition of the largest international festival of theatre and stage design.  It took place from June 6 to 16, 2019 at Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds).  Over the course of eleven days, representatives of 79 countries presented, with over 800 artists from around the world, and over 600 performances, workshops and lectures. 

The Prague Quadrennial organizes an expansive program of international projects and activities between the main quadrennial events – performances, exhibitions, symposia, workshops, residencies, and educational initiatives which serve as an international platform for exploring the practice, theory and education of contemporary performance design in the most encompassing terms.

The concept for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial was loosely inspired by the sculpture of the Golden Triga, the grand prize which is traditionally awarded to the best exhibition at PQ.   Three thematic areas of interest were also interwoven throughout the program, representing the three different and cyclically repeating phases of the creative process: Imagination, Transformation, and Memory.

A large number of Central staff, students and graduates were involved in the Quadrennial, having been selected to exhibit their work.  In particular, Central’s Dr Kathrine Sandys, David Shearing and Andreas Skourtis were heavily involved with the UK’s national entry for the Quadrennial - Staging Places  - through their work on the committee of the SBTD (Society of British Theatre Designers).  Each country contributing to the Prague Quadrennial endeavours to take a professional exhibit and a student/ early career exhibit to the event, and the SBTD co-ordinates the UK exhibits.  For Staging Places, David Shearing was Associate Curator, Dr Kathrine Sandys was Curator for the daily Live Talks at the UK exhibition stand, and Andreas Skourtis was Associate Curator and Designer.  Through his work with the PDEC (Performance Design Education Collective), Andreas also led the student and early career national UK entry 'The Future Utopias Imaginarium'.

Staging Places celebrates the diversity of performance design and making practices today, to inspire young people to invent it for the future and to acknowledge its impact on a wider sense of place and community.  Exploring themes of regionality and place making, it celebrates what we make and who we make it with in towns, cities, villages, rural and remote communities both within the UK and around the world.

Through its Regional Hearts, Staging Places identifies areas across the UK where there’s an emergent pulse of design talent.  Led by a named Regional Design Champion working in liaison with a Higher Education Institution and a regional venue partner, the Hearts deliver activities that aim to strengthen and consolidate regional communities of design practice.  Andreas Skourtis is the Regional Design Champion for London, David Shearing is the Regional Design Champion for Leeds, and Central is the Higher Education Partner for the South East with Dr Kathrine Sandys as the lead.

An 8 month residency of Staging Places at the V&A will now follow.

Of the event Markéta Fantová, the Artistic Director of the 2019 Prague Quadrennial, said:

“PQ is a gathering place – it brings together the international community of scenographers, directors, students, and artists, as well as visitors from around the world who, throughout the 11 days of the festival, experience the contemporary world through the lens of stage design together.” 

The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space was established in 1967 to bring the best of design for performance, scenography, and theatre architecture to the front line of cultural activities to be experienced by professional and emerging artists as well as the general public. The quadrennial exhibitions, festivals, and educational programs act as a global catalyst of creative progress by encouraging experimentation, networking, innovation, and future collaborations. It aims to honour, empower and celebrate the work of designers, artists and architects while inspiring and educating audiences, who are the most essential element of any live performance.

The Prague Quadrennial is organized and funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and realized by the Arts and Theatre Institute.

PQ is a gathering place – it brings together the international community of scenographers, directors, students, and artists, as well as visitors from around the world who, throughout the 11 days of the festival, experience the contemporary world through the lens of stage design together.

Markéta Fantová, Artistic Director of the 2019 Prague Quadrennial