Initiated by the Theatre Institute, Studio 12 was founded in December 2001 as a unique theatre space designed to present new Slovak and international drama and contemporary art. The Theatre Institute is a contributory organization established by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. The main goal of Studio 12 is to offer a space for artists and audiences who are interested in contemporary theatre in a broader cultural-social context.
The programme dramaturgy of Studio 12 focuses mostly on residential and visiting theatre activities. The space presents the art of various Slovak and international theatre companies and ensembles, with a particular focus on original and contemporary drama, and new production approaches. It also supports the making of devised theatre projects by young artists. Studio 12 has contributed to the presentation and reflection of current theatre art and events, new tendencies, texts and authors from countries in Europe and the world. It also organizes workshops and other educational activities.
Besides theatre projects, Studio 12 offers space for all kinds of open discussions and seminars on topical issues, book and magazine presentations, festivals, projections, multi-genre events, music concerts as well as other cultural and social activities.
Studio 12 is an untypical theatre space. It originally hosted the recording studio of the Czechoslovak Radio. The studio itself is a technical historical sight, which is why the architectural structure and the interior have been preserved almost in their original state. Early in 1930, the Czechoslovak Radio moved in what was a brand new building on the Mayor Jakub Square. The functionalist building was designed by Alois Balán and Jiří Grossmann – two architects who gave Bratislava in the 1920s and 1930s its modern character. The building was called the Radio Journal Palace.
The building’s history is associated with film. In the post-war years, the studio became the first film studio in Slovakia. Interior scenes for several movies were shot there. The radio broadcast resided there until 1985. In the 1990s, the space gained cult fame as a music club called Rock Pop Jazz.