New Music Theatre Presents The Havel Project
The production is designed to acknowledge the courage and the camaraderie that conjoined in the original stagings, called “apartment performances.” Havel and other publicly banned artists found this radical solution as a way to share their works with their audiences as private living room performances. The performances were known for their intimacy, their sly in-jokes about notable Czech artists (including Havel himself taking on the role of Vaněk), and their tongue-in-cheek pokes at the Soviet-controlled country. The play exposes life under a totalitarian regime and the thin line between acquiescence and culpability, between comedy and creepy terror.
The response of audience members afterwards demonstrated how powerful Havel’s play is across time and how it spoke up slyly in protest to the totalitarian regime. With his incisive hits against the undermining of the individual by such a system, his understanding of human psychology, his courage to expose his own weakness in the alter-ego of his character, Vaněk, and most especially his impish wit, Havel makes us wince but also laugh. The work carries within it a spirit of universality as it probes into the importance of individual conscience and choice.
Susan Galbraith, Artistic Director of New Music-Theatre, directs Protest. Andrew Valins returns to the role of Vaněk for his third production in The Havel Project. The production also features David Millstone as Staněk
Doors open at 7:30pm Performance starts at 8pm