Important Czech artist Alois Mikulka has received the ASSITEJ Award

Laureate Alois Mikulka

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This year’s showcase for World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People ASSITEJ 2021 finished on 5 November. The performance of Aby se děti divily inspired by the Brno-based artist Alois Mikulka’s writings and pictures was the occasion to give him the ASSITEJ Award. The award is handed out annually to a figure who has made a special contribution to the development of theatre for children and young people. The showcase takes place regularly at the occasion of the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People we celebrate on 20 March. Due to the pandemic measures, the showcase took place from 2 September to 5 November this year. It ended with the performance of Closely Watched Trains by the Radar Theatre. The Czech ASSITEJ Centre has awarded the prize since 2002.

The Brno-based painter, sculptor, graphic artist, illustrator, stage designer, author of plays for children, fairy tales, poems, and fiction Alois Mikulka, who celebrated his 80th birthday this August, is often referred to as a living classic of Czech fairy tales. Since the 1960s, he has written and drawn many books for children of all ages from very young ones to teenagers and adults.

Adaptations of Mikulka’s books have been present on the Czech and Moravian stages for 60 years. Many theatre productions inspired by his writings, set designs or accompanied by his pictures and illustrations have been put on stage in Brno, Ostrava, Šumperk, České Budějovice, Zlín, Cheb, Prague, and other towns. There is probably no reader or viewer who has not seen any of his images.

The author has been awarded for his works several times. He has four Golden Ribbons (1996, 1998, 2004, 2006), which is the national award for books for children and young people. Besides the Albatros Award for the outstanding contribution to literature for children (2014), he has been awarded by his hometown Brno (1998) and the South Moravian Region (2014) for his merits in literature for children and young people. His work is also famous abroad, his writings and illustrations have been read, exhibited, or staged in Tallinn, Stockholm, Belgrade, Frankfurt, London, Rennes, and Mexico City.

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Photo: Laureate Alois Mikulka