This June, the traditional theatre festival Zlomvaz transforms into PQ Studio Stage, an exciting and vibrant series of performances by students and emerging artists as part of the Prague Quadrennial 2023. From 8 to 18 June, the programme consists of 26 performances, often crossing borders in an international collective effort. The project is organised by students of Arts Management at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) and curated by Canadian performance designer and professor Patrick Du Wors, Czech theatre lecturer and cultural manager Michal Lázňovský and the organising students.
“PQ Studio Stage showcases diversity of the art of performance, in a series of interdisciplinary works which promote a sharing of theatrical languages, technologies, and techniques in performance – a learning experience for both audience and artist,” says Patrick Du Wors, curator of the PQ Studio platform.
The performances will be held mainly in the DISK theatre, while some of them will take place in outdoor locations in Prague, giving students and emerging artists the opportunity to present their work for international and both professional and general audiences.
“Delving into a broad range of topics, PQ Studio Stage gathers works of art from a fresh perspective. I am particularly excited for performances exploring scale, motion and larger-than-life journeys through the scenographic magic of miniatures, namely ‘The Story of Lary’ and ‘River Room,’ Patrick Du Wors points out some of the highlights of the PQ Studio Stage programme.
Another group of performances is using the potential of outdoor spaces to connect to the environment with a socially and politically critical stance such as a walking performance: ‘Memory Police’ which examines the post-pandemic, late capitalist, populist, climate emergency era; inspired by a book of the same name by Yoko Ogawa.
‘A Chorus of Immortal Toxins’, an outdoor ritual confrontation takes a similar stand; the performance subverts traditional religious narratives and reveals the destructive consequences of industrialised greed and everlasting productivity by casting five of the most toxic and disastrous materials in existence: chromium, asbestos, lead, kerosene, and formaldehyde; and employing them as objects of worship.
PQ Studio Stage is organised by the Arts Management students at DAMU and is part of the curriculum during the second year of their Bachelor studies.
“PQ Studio Stage is a great opportunity for our students to experience the production of the Zlomvaz festival, which, unlike in its traditional form, is now part of a much broader, more diverse concept thanks to PQ. During the festival, students develop their skills and consider their work in a unique international theatre context, meeting interesting people, building a network and learning new things. DAMU is honoured to become an artistic hub within PQ, where new approaches will be explored, ideas will be formulated and interdisciplinary paths to scenography and performance design will be sought,” explains Michal Lázňovský, lecturer at the Arts Management department at DAMU.
Tickets for individual performances can be purchased now via the GoOut platform. The Festival Pass holders are entitled to a 50% discount. The whole programme of PQ Studio Stage can be found on the website pq.cz.
PQ Studio is an experiential educational platform for students, emerging artists, professionals, academics and anyone else looking for an embodied experience of performance design. It is divided into three sections: PQ Studio Stage, Workshops and Masterclasses, offering various educational opportunities and the [UN]Common Design Project, gathering projects from various universities under a unifying creative directive RARE.
For PQ 2023, PQ Studio engages in a wide array of poignant themes: social justice, decolonization, the global climate emergency, the impact of social media, physical, material, ephemeral design techniques, processes and craft, artistic strategies, collaborative structures, visual dramaturgy, design-led creation, immersive and text-based design.
An overview of the full PQ Studio programme can be found on the PQ website.