The Prague Quadrennial

The Prague Quadrennial

The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space was established in 1967 to bring the best of design for performance, scenography, and theatre architecture.
The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space was established in 1967 to bring the best of design for performance, scenography, and theatre architecture to the front line of cultural activities to be experienced by professional and emerging artists as well as the general public.


The Prague Quadrennial is globally known as a two-week event taking place every four years since 1967 in Prague, Czech Republic. This model has been evolving. More and more designers now understand PQ as a platform: a continual stream of activities and collaborations happening across the globe with many different partners, creative professionals, artists, researchers, and theorists. Each on-site festival of PQ is now a culmination of the efforts of the preceding 4 years: a celebration and an opportunity for performing arts professionals from around the world to come to one place and share their work, ideas, and thoughts during the quadrennial festival.

While celebrating the diverse forms of performance design/scenography around the globe, the Prague Quadrennial strives to present it as an art form concerned with the creation of holistic performance environments, not just decorative backgrounds; these performative spaces creatively respond to current issues of our world, ask important questions, and invite us to participate in unique moments. Every four years, PQ’s central curatorial concept shapes the festival and offers its participants a fresh look at the artistic reflection of our times in performance designs and scenographies.


Since 2007, the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute has been the producer of Polish exhibitions within the main PQ program.



The 15th edition of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space will be held on 7-18 June 2023, on the premises of the Holešovice Market.

In 2023, the motto of the exhibition of the participating countries and region is “RARE Visions”, while the motto of the student exhibition is “RARE Stories of Unique Places”.

The artistic concept penned by Markéta Fantova available at

We live in unprecedented times when the forms of art are changing. In unparalleled ways, the epidemic has affected the entire world, with different societies and communities impacted differently to a degree not yet fully acknowledged. Much of our activity and contact has moved online, changing our social and cultural habits, redefining our expectations and outlooks, and forcing us to re-evaluate and rethink our priorities. People have creatively striven to overcome the difficulties, restrictions, distancing, frustrations, and even traumas brought into their lives. Our understanding of physical distance has shifted. Sharing of spaces and ideas has moved into the virtual world. More so than ever, many of us realized the vital importance of live cultural events, their meaning for our humanity, for the cultivation of our social lives, and also how invaluable these experiences are.

The crisis has made us reflect on our human vulnerability, reconsider the significance of distance, of things close to us and far away, our relationship to the immediate environment and to the environment of the world, and our own mobility – how necessary it is at times and impossible at others.

As theatre buildings stand empty and public events are restricted by safety measures, many creators have sought new possibilities for practising and experiencing creativity, art, and the contact between humans. It is on the human level that immediate encounters between people have become rare, even unique. It is on this human, personal, simple, vulnerable, intimate level that art is born.

For PQ 2023, we would like to invite you to share the RARE: art springing out of ideas, materials, artistic approaches, and design practices that connect to the human level from within your environment, with its genius loci and unique situation. In the current state of precarity, uncertainty, and epochal change, we call on performance designers, scenographers, and performance practitioners to use their RARE imagination and creativity to help us envision what the world and theatre could look like in the post-pandemic future.

This is a unique moment to use our art, imagination, creativity, and ability to create environments that others may come to enjoy in the future – at PQ 2023 and beyond. Since we have all been deprived of meeting in the same physical space for quite some time, let’s turn PQ 2023 into the RARE opportunity to move from virtual spaces into specific places offering an in-person experience, in which physicality and materiality of scenography become central: where your senses and predicaments will be taken into account.

Written by Markéta Fantová, Spring 2021.

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