In Memoriam: Petr Matásek

Aug 10, 2017

It is with great sadness that OISTAT passes on the news of the death of one of its respected members: Petr Matásek (17th April 1944 – 25th July 2017)  

Petr was a Czech authority in the field of modern Puppetry and an inspiration to many young and upcoming artists. He was an important OISTAT member, especially during the period in which OISTAT Headquarters was based in Prague. We will keep his memory alive.

Petr Matásek (17th April 1944 – 25th July 2017)     

Petr Matásek’s death closes the circle of activities of the exceptional generation of important puppet personalities, who formed the shape of modern Czech puppet theatre in the late 20th century until nowadays. Petr Matásek’s works were famous in Europe and all around the world among theatre audiences as well as the visitors of numerous exhibitions where he presented his own theatre works and un-commissioned works. Employees and fellows to the Arts and Theatre Institute had the honor to cooperate with Petr Matásek via the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) and to present his original artistic visions of puppets and theatre space in several exhibition projects dedicated to Czech puppet theatre to Czech and foreign audiences.

He was one of leading contemporary Czech stage designers, who was not engaged only in puppet theatre. He studied at the High School of Applied Arts in Prague and stage design at the Puppet Theatre Department at the Theatre Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He was the designer and the head of stage design of the Central Bohemian Puppet Theatre in Kladno and Children’s Theatre Alfa as well as the head of stage design in DRAK Theatre in Hradec Králové. He worked with Czech and foreign puppet theatres (USA, Australia, Japan), he made a number of stage designs for drama stages as well. He became famous in Czech modern puppet theatre with his productions he created with Josef Krofta in DRAK Theatre, Sleeping Beauty (1981), Cinderella (1982), Midsummer Night’s Dream (1984), The Song of Life (1985). He taught for a long time at the Scenography Cabinet at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre at the Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he educated a generation of Czech and foreign students. He was the most famous Czech visual artist in puppetry, his work for drama stages in the Czech Republic and abroad was noteworthy.