I enjoyed the mysterious Black Light Theatre performance last night! It was a masterful presentation of 10 humorous skits combining talented actors, dancers, mimes, and dancing objects – all with perfect stage effects and music. Black Light Theatre creates seemingly magic visual illusions using black curtains, a darkened stage, UV light, and fluorescent costumes. “A key principal of Black Light Theatre is the inability of the human eye to distinguish black objects from a black background. The result is invisibility of objects not illuminated by the ‘black light’. The second optical principle behind Black Light Theatre is the effect of UV light on fluorescent objects. Black lights omit as much light as ‘normal’ lights, but at a frequency that humans cannot detect. Designers can make objects appear as bright as if the room were fully lighted, while making other objects appear as dark as if the room were completely dark.”
An employee at my hotel is a puppeteer who performs all over the world. He recommended the Srnec Theatre and has helped stage their productions. Known as the first black light theatre in the world, founder Jiri Srnec was awarded the highest Czech state decoration – Credit of the State in the Field of Culture and Arts Medal.
“The origin of black light theatre goes back to ancient China where people with the help of candlelight, performed silhouettes shows over white sheet screens. Modern black theatre, founded in the nineteen fifties and mainly developed by French avant-garde artist George Lafaille regarded as the father of the black light theatre, is based on using technological innovations such as multimedia and linking up traditional theatre with ballet, pantomime, music, and circus.”