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Dr Barbara Day MBE

Founder Governor

Barbara came to Prague to study Czech theatre in the mid-1960s, after graduating in Drama from Manchester University. She then worked in theatres in London, Bromley, Stoke on Trent and Bristol, and in drama in education, before completing a PhD at Bristol University on the Czech theatre of the 1960s. In 1985 she organised the Bristol Czechfest to celebrate independent elements of the Czech arts such as the Theatre on a String, Chorea Bohemica, Magdalena Jetelová and Jiří Stivín. After moving to London she worked for the Jan Hus Educational Foundation, which provided lecturers, books and other materials for the underground seminars in Prague, Brno and Bratislava, and supported the samizdat press (in 1988 the secret police described the JHEF as “a highly dangerous organisations of an ideologically subversive nature operating from Great Britain against the CSSR”.) After 1989 Barbara moved with the JHEF to set up its office in Brno, and since 1994 has lived in Prague, teaching at SIT, CERGE-UPCES and DAMU, translating for Prague Castle, Charles University, Museum of Czech Literature, Czech Academy of Sciences, National Gallery, and writing – alongside academic papers and articles her work includes Czech Plays (1992), The Velvet Philosophers (1999) and Trial by Theatre: Reports on Czech Drama. She received the Commemorative Medal of President Václav Havel in 1998 and an MBE in 2002 and one of USTR’s (The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes) awards for Freedom. Democracy and Human Rights for 2022.

Barbara is a Founder Governor of the English College and serves on the Education Committee.