Otakar Zich on the dramatic acting

Source document: Theatralia. 2020, vol. 23, iss. 1, pp. 81-88
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
Type: Article
This study deals with Otakar Zich's conception of dramatic acting as defined in his 1931 The Aesthetics of Dramatic Art and the historical context in which the concept was formed, e.g. within the first generation of Czech Modernism in the 1890s of which Zich was a member. Zich's aesthetics were influenced by (1) experimental psychology, particularly the associationism Zich adopted from his professor František Krejčí; (2) a theory of the work of art developed by first-generation Modernists under the influence of Richard Wagner; and (3) Nietzschean individualism. Coming from this background, Zich could not fully anticipate the tumultuous developments in theatre during the interwar period, especially the latest practical and theoretical innovations in the field of anti-illusionistic avant-garde acting.
  • The paper is an outcome of a research project Divadlo jako syntéza umění: Otakar Zich v kontextu moderní vědy a dnešní potenciál jeho konceptů / Theatre as Synthesis of Arts: Otakar Zich in Context of Modern Science and Actual Potential of His Concepts (GAČR 2016-2018, GA16-20335S).
[1] BOR, Jan Jaroslav. 1907. Eduard Vojan. Praha: Hejda a Tuček, 1907.

[2] CARNICKE, Sharon Marie. 2009. Stanislavsky in Focus: An Acting Master for the Twenty-first Century. London: Routledge, 2009.

[3] CÍSAŘ, Jan. 2006. Přehled dějin českého divadla [An Overview of Czech Theatre History]. Prague: AMU, 2006.

[4] FINK, Eugen. 1968. The Oasis of Happiness: Toward an Ontology of Play. Yale French Studies 41 (1968): 19–30.

[5] GÖTZ, František. 1929. Několik otázek aktuální dramaturgie [Several Problems in Contemporary Dramaturgy]. In Miroslav Rutte and Josef Kodíček (eds.). Nové české divadlo 1928–1929: Sborník dramatického svazu [New Czech Theatre 1928–1929: Proceedings of the Drama Union]. Prague: Aventinum, 1929: 9–14.

[6] HILAR, Karel Hugo. (1932). O pramenech hereckého tvoření [On the Sources of Actors' Creative Work]. In Miroslav Rutte and František Götz (eds.). Nové české divadlo 1930–1932 [New Czech Theatre 1930–1932]. Prague: Aventinum, 1932: 5–16.

[7] HYVNAR, Jan. 2008. O českém dramatickém herectví 20. století [On Czech Dramatic Acting in the 20th Century]. Prague: KANT, 2008.

[8] KODÍČEK, Josef. 1926. Cesty nového divadla [Directions of the New Theatre]. In Josef Kodíček and Miroslav Rutte (eds.). Nové české divadlo 1918–1926 [New Czech Theatre 1918–1926]. Prague: Aventinum, 1926: 5–9.

[9] KREJČÍ, František. 1897. Zákon associační (pokus psychologický) [Laws of Association (A Psychological Experiment)]. Prague: Česká akademie císaře Františka Josefa pro vědy, slovesnost a umění, 1897.

[10] OSOLSOBĚ, Ivo and Miroslav PROCHÁZKA. 1986. Poznámky a komentáře [Notes and Commentaries]. In Otakar Zich. Estetika dramatického umění [The Aesthetics of Dramatic Art]. Prague: Panorama, 1986: 329–372.

[11] RUTTE, Miroslav. 1929. České drama a vývoj [Czech Drama and Its Development]. In Miroslav Rutte and Josef Kodíček (eds.). Nové české divadlo 1928–1929: Sborník dramatického svazu [New Czech Theatre 1928–1929: Proceedings of the Drama Union]. Prague: Aventinum, 1929: 21–28.

[12] RUTTE, Miroslav. 1946. O umění hereckém [On Acting]. Prague: Jos. R. Vilímek, 1946.

[13] STANISLAVSKI, Konstantin. 2010. An Actor's Work. Transl. and ed. by Jean Benedetti. London: Routledge, 2010.

[14] TAIROV, Alexander. 1927. Odpoutané divadlo. Zápisky režiséra [Liberated Theatre. Notes from a Director]. Prague: Orbis, 1927.

[15] ZICH, Jaroslav. 1959. Hudební svět Otakara Zicha [The Musical World of Otakar Zich]. Živá hudba [Live Music] 1 (1959): 227–246.

[16] ZICH, Otakar. 1921. Estetická příprava mysli [The Aesthetic Preparation of the Mind]. Česká mysl [Czech Ideas] 17 (1921): 150–162, 193–204.

[17] ZICH, Otakar. 1927. Jak se komponuje opera [How to Compose an Opera]. In Josef Kodíček a Miroslav Rutte (eds.). Nové české divadlo 1927 [New Czech Theatre 1927]. Prague: Aventinum, 1927: 86–89.

[18] ZICH, Otakar. 1986. Estetika dramatického umění: teoretická dramaturgie [The Aesthetics of Dramatic Art: A Theoretical Dramaturgy]. 2nd ed. Prague: Panorama, 1986.