The Centre for Experimental Theatre (CET) operates in two locations in the historical centre of Brno.
CET headquarters is located on its own premises on Zelný trh square, which is also the location of two of its theatres: Husa na provázku and Terén.
Another CET theatre, HaDivadlo, is located in the passage of the functionalist Alfa Palace on Poštovská street.
House of the Lords of Fanal
The premises of the Centre for Experimental Theatre on the corner of Zelný trh square and Petrská street is made up of three separate, stylistically different parts. The complex consists of two main buildings – the Baroque building of the House of the Lords of Fanal and the New Stage building, between which nestles a unique outdoor Elizabethan stage.
Over time, various kinds of building designs have been realized, designed by the architects Miroslav Masák, Václav Králíček, Karel Hubáček, Jiří Hakulín and Jan Konečný.
In 1993, the designers of the complex won the first prize in the prestigious Grand Prix architectural competition in the category of new buildings.
The Grand Hall is the home stage of the Husa na provázku Theatre. The theatre hall has a rectangular floor plan. The spaces of the stage and the auditorium are connected by a wooden floor – there is no distinct border between them, the two spaces merge into one another and therefore the contact between the actors and the audience is closer and more intimate.
All the constructions used in productions are removable and portable. A different and original stage is built for each performance, thus fulfilling ‘the String’s’ [short for Goose on a String Theatre] idea of freedom and variability of space and scenery.
The auditorium consists of tiered rows and portable seats. The capacity of the auditorium can be adjusted according to requirements and the type of performance and can seat an audience of between 150 and 300 people.
The Cellar Stage is housed in the cellar of the House of the Lords of Fanal, where the theatre Divadlo U stolu used to stage performances. It is currently used by the theatres Husa na provázku and Terén.
This intimate theatre space in the subterranean part of the building was created by connecting the original medieval cellars. The hall is has a longitudinal layout that ends in a barrel vault. In the middle, the space is intersected by a monumental vaulted passage that approximately delineates the areas of the stage and the auditorium. The stage has a wooden slat floor, on which rests the first row of an auditorium of wooden tiers with portable, free-standing seats.
The auditorium can accommodate around 70 people.
On the top floor of the New Stage building is the rehearsal room, sometimes referred to as Mirror Hall. Here, there are also occasional performances, theatrical and literary readings and other events. It can be reached by stairs from the lower foyer and there is a goods lift that ascends directly to the hall.
From the rehearsal room, through a large glass wall, you can access the terrace, which affords an impressive view of the dominant feature of the city of Brno – the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.
Studio is located on the first floor of the Baroque building. Formerly, it served as a base for Studio Dům, but today it is used primarily for holding public debates, as a rehearsal space and as a gallery space. Little Hall has a capacity of around 70 seats.
The House of the Lords of Fanal is directly connected to the outdoor Elizabethan stage, which is inspired by Shakespearean-type theatre. The open central space of the stage is surrounded on three sides by two-storey courtyard balconies, and the fourth side is closed off by the facade of the adjacent New Stage building.
This atrium stage serves as a summer café from May to October and is used for outdoor theatre performances, concerts and other events. When necessary, the uncovered area can be sheltered with an adjustable waterproof tarpaulin. This unique gallery auditorium can accommodate an audience of up to 250 people.
Deeper down beneath the Cellar Stage is an impressive tangle of medieval corridors called the catacombs. It was formerly used for gallery purposes, but is now used as venue for small concerts and other events.
Alfa Palace - HaDivadlo
The current seat of HaDivadlo Theatre is located in the Alfa Palace – a functionalist complex on the corner of the streets Jánská and Poštovská with a shopping arcade passage that leads to Náměstí svobody square. The Alfa Palace was built by František Hrdina (between 1930-1937), according to a design by the world-renowned architect Bohuslav Fuchs and is today a protected cultural monument of the Czech Republic.
The underground space where HaDivadlo stages its theatre programme and which also houses a café and bar and storage facilities functioned as a cinema up until 2003. The theatre has been based there since the complex was reconstructed in 2004 following a design by the architects Tomáš Rusín and Ivan Wahla. Its former home was the legendary Kabinet Múz [Cabinet of Muses] on Sukova street.