Professor Pavel Drábek

Professor of Drama and Theatre Practice

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

+44 (0) 1482 465206

The University appointed Pavel as Professor of Drama and Theatre Practice in 2013. His research and teaching interests range from Shakespeare and early modern drama and theatre in Europe to drama translation, adaptation and dramaturgy. He is also interested in music theatre, scenography and theatre theory.

Professor Drábek has published on translations of Shakespeare, 17th-century English comedy in Germany, John Fletcher, early modern marionette theatre in central Europe, and theatre structuralism and semiotics.

As a theatre practitioner, has written and translated opera librettos (mostly collaborating with composer Ondřej Kyas) and plays.


Research Interests

  • Theatre history and historiography (Shakespeare and early modern theatre in Europe)
  • Theatre theory
  • Drama translation theory and practice
  • Dramaturgy, adaptation and playwriting
  • Music theatre
  • Puppetry
  • Scenography

Research groups

  • Theatre without Borders
  • European Shakespeare Research Association


Drábek P, Bernátek M, Jochmanová A and Šlaisová E, 'Prague School Theatre Theory and Its Contexts (Afterword)' in Drozd D (ed), Theatre Theory Reader: Prague School Writings, 533–636, Karolinum (2016)

Drábek P, 'Circulation: Aristocratic, Commercial, Religious, and Artistic Networks' in Henke R (ed), A Cultural History of Theatre. Volume 3: a Cultural History of Theatre in the Early Modern Age, 93–107, Methuen (2017)

Drábek P, 'Shakespearean Tragedy in Eastern Europe' in Neill M and David Schalkwyk D (eds), Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy, 746–760. Oxford University Press (2016)

Drábek P with Katritzky M A, 'Shakespearean Players in Early Modern Europe', in Smith B R (ed), The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare, Volume 2, 1527–1533, Cambridge University Press (2016)

Radio plays

Princ Mucedorus a Princezna Amadina [Prince Mucedorus and Princess Amadina], commissioned and produced by the Czech Radio 3 Vltava (premiere broadcast October 2017)

Nissenův Korál [Nissen’s Coral], commissioned and produced by the Czech Radio 3 Vltava (premiere broadcast September 2016)

Opera libretto

Čaroděj a Jeho Sluha [The Conjuror and His Slave], music by Ondřej Kyas, written for the Ensemble Opera Diversa (premiere October 2016)


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Early Modern Drama in Europe
  • Theatre of Frivolity
  • Really Serious Theory
  • Theatre Practice
  • Approaches to Theatre
  • Research Integrity Training

Research PhDs

Professor Drábek welcomes postgraduate students researching in the fields of Shakespeare, early modern theatre and drama in Europe, drama translation and adaptation, and opera libretto studies.

Completed PhDs

  • Kačer T, New Messengers: Reportage in Late Twentieth-Century British and American Mainstream Drama (2012, Masaryk University)
  • Seibertová L, Translations as Original Works of Literature (2017, Masaryk University; supervision completed by Dr Michael Kaylor)
  • Bell H, Practice-Based Investigation into Young People's Response to Shakespeare in Performance (2016, University of Hull; as co-supervisor)
  • Tang R, Chinese Shakespeare: an Intercultural Study across Three Genres (2016, University of Hull; as co-supervisor)
  • Harrison T, "Guides Not Commanders": Imitation and Contamination of the Classics in the Comedies of Ben Jonson (2017; University of Hull; as co-supervisor)

Current PhD supervisions

  • Fielding L, An Investigation into the Current Uses of Russian Theatre Director Vsevolod Emilievich Meyerhold’s Actor Training System, Biomechanics, in the 21st Century (University of Hull; as co-supervisor)


Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • Associate Professorship (Habilitation) in General Art History and Theory; also accredited for Literatures in English by Masaryk University, Brno (2010)
  • PhD in English and American Literatures, Charles University, Prague; thesis titled Fletcherian Dramatic Achievement: a Study in the Mature Plays of John Fletcher (2002)
  • OSI/FCO Chevening Scholarship (12-month research fellowship) Magdalen College, University of Oxford (2000–01)
  • Masters in Mathematics and English, Masaryk University, Brno (1998)

External roles


  • Member of steering committee, Theatre without Borders Research Group
  • International Shakespeare Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Certified external evaluator for the Czech Ministry of Education for the EU Operational Programme Research, Development and Education
  • External Grant Reviewer for the German Research Society and the Czech Grant Agency
  • Member of the Prague Quadrennial International Board
  • Member of Advisory Board of Shakespeare en Devenir and Skenè. Journal of Theatre and Drama Studies; on editorial board of Theatralia (Masaryk University, Brno)
  • Member of International Advisory Board of new John Benjamins book series on Shakespeare in European culture

Publications projects

  • Contributing editor of The Routledge Companion to Theatre Historiography, Davis C T and Marx P W, Routledge
  • Editor of revised and expanded edition of What is Scenography?, Howard P, Routledge (forthcoming)
  • Editor of the complete tragedies of Seneca in three volumes (first edition in Czech), Stehlíková E, Čadková D and Eliška Poláčková E (trans), Větrné Mlýny (2017–)
  • Co-editor and translator of the first Czech anthology of English Restoration drama

Awards and accolades

  • Masaryk University Rector’s Prize 2008 for the practice-as-research element in the opera libretto Pickelhering 1607 aneb Nový Orfeus z Bohemie [Pickelhering 1607, or the new Orpheus of Bohemia]
  • Jiří Levý Prize 1999 for the translation of George Peele’s The Old Wives’ Tale

Professional highlights

  • Co-curator (with Dr Barbora Příhodová) of PQ Talks at the Prague Quadrennial 2019 (2017–)
  • Head of Department of Theatre Studies, Masaryk University (2006–12)
  • Founder, artistic director, manager, performer and librettist of the Ensemble Opera Diversa (2003–15)