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Theatre: Havel’s Trilogy

The Embassy of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with Alliance for New Music-Theatre, Ambassador Theater, and Fort Fringe-The Shop, will feature HAVEL’S TRILOGY, a series of performances and discussions connected to the “Vaněk” plays of Václav Havel as part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013 – Václav Havel, celebrating the life and legacy of the former president, playwright, and human rights advocate. The series delves into Havel’s theatrical works, presents premieres by Czech and American directors, features original works, gives unique insight into the life of Havel through photographic exhibitions, as well as offers a platform for further exploration into cross-cultural understanding.

Havel's Trilogy - featuring Antiwords, Protest and Unveiling
Note: Vaněk Plays
Audience (1975), Unveiling (1975), and Protest (1978) are short one-act plays written by Václav Havel. The three plays have a common character named Ferdinand Vaněk, who represents the dramatic alter ego of the playwright himself -- Václav Havel.

Václav Havel 
“The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him.”~Václav Havel   
 

Václav Havel (1936-2011) was a playwright, essayist, poet, dissident, president, and human rights advocate. In the 1960s, he became a leading playwright working at the Theatre on the Balustrade. Many of his plays show the absurdity of totalitarian rule through dark comedy and thus were banned by the communist regime. His plays served as a stage for his ongoing struggle with the regime, his life experiences, as well as his means of support during hard times. He was also one of the writers of Charter 77, a document that criticized the communist government for failing to implement human rights provisions. He was imprisoned by the regime and constantly under governmental surveillance. After the Velvet Revolution, Havel became the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic. He received numerous state decorations, honorary doctorates, and international awards, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.            


The performances are part of HAVEL’S TRILOGY, connected to the “Vaněk plays,” as part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013 – Václav Havel, celebrating the life and legacy of the former president, playwright, and human rights advocate. For more information about the festival, please visit: www.mutualinspirations.org.    


EVENTS:

September 13, 7 pm
Directors’ Café: Directors’ Approach to Havel    


The Embassy of the Czech Republic welcomes three prominent theatrical directors, including: Oscar-winning director Jiří Menzel, Czech physical theater actress and director Miřenka Čechová, and U.S. theater director Gail Humphries Mardirosian, for an intimate evening entitled the Directors' Café: Directors' Approach to Havel. Engage in the exploration of theatrical directing from the different viewpoints of each of the directors as well as get a sneak peek of upcoming theatrical shows as part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival.

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008
For reservations, e-mail: reservations@mutualinspirations.org and put “Director” in the subject line.       
Admission is free.        

September 21, 8 pm and September 22, 2 pm       
Antiwords (Preview)             


The Ambassador Theater presents the Spitfire Company's preview of Antiwords, directed by Petr Boháč and performed by prominent Czech physical theater actresses Miřenka Čechová and Jindřiška Křivánková in the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint on September 21, at 8 pm. The new work draws inspiration from the works of Václav Havel, especially his play Audience and its legendary film adaptation, in which the role of the brewer was played by Landovský with his ability to drink nine pints of beer while in character. Aside from the two actors, major roles are played by oversized heads authored by sculptor Paulina Skavova, and by Sivan Eldar's music composed specifically for this performance.

Under communism, Havel’s plays were banned in theaters; therefore, his work was performed in the living rooms, barns, pubs, and other unexpected places, which was often called “apartment theater.” In the intimate space of Flashpoint, enjoy this very special “apartment style” theater preview.        

The opening performance will be complemented by a special selection of photographs by Oldřich Škácha, a close friend and photographer of Václav Havel. The photographs give an inside look into Havel’s dissident life.   

At the opening show on September 21, savor a complimentary Pilsner Urquell, a favorite beer of Václav Havel, who spent some time working in a brewery during his dissident years, which served as inspiration for his own play “Audience.”   

Location: Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001   
Tickets: www.aticc.org/home/box-office | Admission is $20-$35 .

September 24 and 25, 8 pm 
The Václav Havel Project: Antiwords (US Premiere) / Unveiling          


The Alliance for New Music-Theatre will open The Václav Havel Project, comprised of the performances of Václav Havel’s Unveiling, directed by Miřenka Čechová, and Spitfire Company’s new original work Antiwords (US premiere), directed by Petr Boháč and performed by prominent Czech physical theater actresses Miřenka Čechová and Jindřiška Křivánková, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on October 24, at 8 pm. Both of the one-act plays draw inspiration from Václav Havel's famous "Vaněk" plays. 

This project is part of a larger series of works presented by the Alliance for New Music-Theatre called Radical Transformations that tells the stories of individuals and cultures caught in political, social, and personal transition through word, dance, and music. Engage in an evening of powerful theater performed by talented Czech and American actors.

The opening performance will be complemented by an exhibition of photographs by Bohdan Holomíček, a close friend of Václav Havel. The photographs offer an intimate portrait of Havel’s life.          

At the show on September 24, toast to the success of the premiere performances—Na zdraví! To your health!—with a complimentary Pilsner Urquell beer. 
                       
Location: Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002     
Tickets: www.atlasarts.org | Admission is $20-$30.   

September 26, 8 pm 
Antiwords (Theatrical Demonstration)      


Fort Fringe - The Shop features acclaimed Czech physical theater actress and director Miřenka Čechová in a theatrical demonstration of the original performance Antiwords, directed by Petr Boháč from the Spitfire Company and inspired by Václav Havel’s Audience. During her demonstration, she will decode the theatrical language she is employing, present sequences of her work with commentary, as well as perform a major part of the theatrical work Antiwords. Enjoy an evening with the director as she shares her experience and insight into the nuances of physical theater.    

The demonstration will be complemented by a select showcase of photographs by Jan Kašpar, a family friend of Havel. The photographs reveal Olga Havlová’s birthday celebrated every summer through theme parties and theatrical performances at Havel’s cottage in Hrádeček. The photographs were taken from 1975–2011 and capture most likely the last photograph of Havel at his cottage.    

At the theatrical demonstration, enjoy a complimentary Pilsner Urquell beer, one of the finest beers from the Czech Republic. Working in a brewery, Havel found inspiration for his play “Audience,” which served as a way to release his own insight into the tumultuous circumstances under the communist regime.           

Location: Fort Fringe - The Shop, 607 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001      
Tickets: www.capitalfringe.org/fort-fringe | Admission is $17.   

November 19-December 15
Protest


The Ambassador Theater presents Protest by Václav Havel and directed by Gail Humphries Mardirosian in the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint from November 20-December 15, with a preview performance on November 19. In this unique interpretation, the two male characters of Staněk and Vaněk have counter egos—characters echoed in two females, emphasizing the universality of the characters. In the play, Havel challenges audiences with pertinent questions: What is the connection between the arts and social responsibility/citizenry? What choices do we make as individuals when faced with circumstances of extreme volatility—what would we do if we had to make a choice between survival, compromise or revolution?       

The opening performance will be complemented by an exhibition of photographs by Bohdan Holomíček, a close friend of Václav Havel. The photographs capture an intimate portrait of Havel’s life as an artist. 

At the opening show on November 20, sip a complimentary Pilsner Urquell beer as you enjoy “Protest,” featuring nuances of Havel’s own life during his dissident years.       

Location: Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001   
Tickets: www.aticc.org/home/box-office | Admission is $20-$35 .