“Unfortunately, on January 10 this year, the founder of our theater, artist, puppeteer and textile artist, Jaroslav Janiš, died at the age of 93. He and his wife Eliška founded Krnováček in 1952. At first it was a puppet theater circle at the Stanislav Kostka Neumann Competition in Krnov,” explained Práva Kleinová, who got into Krnováček quite by accident.
“I have always been close to dramatic education. I teach Czech language, literature and music education – now at the Krnov grammar school,” described the puppet theater lover. In 1996, she was on maternity leave when she went to a hairdresser and heard Eliška Janišová talking about Krnováčka. “So I immediately asked if I could come and watch the test. Word got around and I’ve been there for 27 years,” the woman smiled.
Currently, the Krnováček puppet theater has 13 members. “There is still an amazing group of enthusiasts who live fully for the theatre. Just like its founder, Jaroslav Janiš, who himself made puppets, scenes, backdrops for the theater, edited the texts of fairy tales and directed them. In addition, he created the book Little Puppeteer’s School, where there are instructions and drawings on how to make different types of puppets. They are drawn in detail,” she described, saying that they were sorry that the principal did not live to see the spring celebrations of the jubilee 70th theater season.
“We are trying to continue to develop the theater even without him and to maintain the tradition he founded. For example, there is always an exhibition of our puppets and scenes at the end of the decade. This year we have an exhibition of puppets in three rooms at the castle in Linhartovy,” pointed out Kleinová. The future of the marionette theater, which mainly plays fairy tales for preschoolers and children of younger school age, is trying to see itself in rosy colors.
“We would like to continue, but times are hectic. Our biggest task is to find two or three new members who won’t mind devoting their time to the theater,” said manager Krnováčka, adding that they currently have 80-year-old active members in the troupe, as well as two 20-year-old youths.
“The theater needs not only conductors and puppet speakers, but also props, lighting, sound engineers and skilled seamstresses who sew costumes for the puppets. It wouldn’t be possible without them. We are currently rehearsing the fairy tale Čert a Káča, which will premiere this October,” she summarized.
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