Josef Skupa (StrakoniceJanuary 16, 1892 - January 8, Prague1957) was a Czech puppeteer.

Life Course[Edit]Edit

[1][2]Spejbl and Hurvínek, a monument in memory of Skupa in Pilzen

Skupa studied at the Faculty of applied arts in Prague and worked as stage designer in Pilsen at the City Theatre and as a designer at the automaker Škoda.

After the first world war , he founded the first professional puppet theatre of Czecho-Slovakia on. between 1919 and 1926 he created his famous puppets Spejbl and Hurvínek and in 1930 he opened the first modern puppet theatre. After a short break during the Second World War is the Spejbl and Hurvínek Theatre since 1945 based in the Prague Dejvicedistrict. In 1930 he started the first modern puppet theatre.

In 1933, he succeeded Jindřich Veselý on as second President of the International Federation for puppet theatre, Union Internationale de la marionnette (UNIMA) whose Skupa co-founder was. Due to the rise of national socialism , he was until a successor upon his death in 1957 with Max Jacob.

During the Second World War he made through his dolls criticism of the German occupiers. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1940 in the Gestapoprison in Dresden; the puppets were in the meantime by the Gestapo put under lock and key. During the bombing of Dresden by the Americans Skupa managed to flee.

After the war, the puppet theatre Spejbl and Hurvínek again continued and they were within short time in theatres in the Netherlands and abroad. After Skupa's death put his wife Skupova Jiřina (1895 – 1970) the theatre on.

Since 1966 is also a professional puppet theatre in Pilsen. This Alfa Theatre puppet theatre festival since 1967 is co-organizer of the Plzeň Skupova.