The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague bestowed the doctor honoris causa degree on actor, director and university teacher Martin Huba on Friday, 22 October 2021. He received the degree on the basis of a proposal from the Theatre Faculty, which used this opportunity to honour his mastery of drama acting, directing, and acting instruction. Martin Huba has joined 17 other luminaries who AMU named honorary doctors in the past.
The ceremony was held in the Martinů Hall of the Music and Dance Faculty of AMU in the presence of the Rector of AMU, Vice-Rectors, the Dean of the Theatre Faculty of AMU, Vice-Deans, and former Dean Doubravka Svobodová. Guests of honour to the event included the rectors and other representatives of Czech universities, Ambassador of Slovakia Rastislav Káčer, Director of the Slovak Theatre Institute Ľubica Krénová and the representatives of Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts where Martin Huba worked as a teacher for many years.
Professor Jaroslav Vostrý, a leading Czech playwright, theorist, director, dramaturge, and teacher of the Theatre Faculty of AMU (DAMU), delivered the laudatio speech after Ivana Michalovičová from the Music and Dance Faculty (HAMU) had opened the event playing the Czech and Slovak national anthems on organ. In the laudatio, he pointed out Martin Huba’s pivotal role in Bratislava’s Divadlo na korze, a generation-defining theatre whose aesthetics he helped form along with his colleagues Milan Lasica, Július Satinský, Marián Labuda, and Magda Vašáryová. Professor Vostrý also analysed Huba’s “spontaneous yet intellectual” acting style that made Huba unforgettable among Czech theatre and film audiences as well. “Our students seek role models, and the school should point out examples for them. Martin Huba never wanted to serve. I believe he would refuse to serve as a role model. But he will have to come to terms with the fact that he can stand as an example. We can point him out as a potential example with a clear conscience and to the best of our knowledge”, professor Jaroslav Vostrý justified why Martin Huba was nominated for the honorary degree.
Martin Huba dedicated his thank you speech to the university as well as to the entire Czech theatre community, thanks to which he has been honoured with the honorary doctorate. He told the audience the story of his life, calling it humorously “the fairy tales of my life”: “The most intimate, most private, and most personal things can very often illustrate an age, epoch, or historical society-wide macro-shifts and patterns in the most poignant and, paradoxically, objective way”, Huba said. The principal topic of his speech was “spontaneity” which, “confronted with the ratio”, has always accompanied him in all his life and theatre journeys.
Jaroslav Vostrý’s laudatio and Martin Huba’s doctoral speech are available HERE.