Black Light Theatre Srnec founder celebrates 90th birthday

Black Light Theatre Srnec

Jiří Srnec, a theatre director, stage designer and composer, who was born on August 29, 1931, is enjoying success all over the world with his unique Black Theatre.

Black Light Theatre Srnec was the first such theatre in the world. It became an international success in 1962 at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Since then, it has travelled to 68 countries, performing at nearly 90 theatre festivals.

Jiří Srnec | Photo: Jindřich Nosek,  Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY-SA 3.0

Black Theatre uses the black box principle: on a darkened stage, black-clad actors cannot be seen against a black background while props illuminated by ultraviolet light or moving spotlights glow in the dark and create their own stories.

Some of the most famous productions include The Striped Dream, Legends of Old Mother Prague, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Labyrinth, The Week of Dreams, and The White Pierot in Black.

Jiří Srnec, who graduated from the Prague Conservatory, the puppetry department at DAMU and the graphic design school, has also collaborated with other theatres, such as Semafor, Laterna Magika, the Spejbl and Hurvínek Theatre and the State Opera in Munich. In 2011, he received the highest Czech state award – the Medal of Merit in the field of culture and art.