Taking advantage of relative liberalisation at home, the young Václav Havel visited New York in the spring of 1968 for the US premiere of his second major play, The Memorandum. It was staged by the Public Theater, which had just had a huge hit with Hair and was headed by director Joseph Papp. He and his wife Gail Papp got to know Havel at that time – and later visited the then dissident at his country home in communist Czechoslovakia.
Rehearsal for Truth is a weeklong theatre festival dedicated to Václav Havel that gets underway in New York on Tuesday. Alongside plays and stage readings, it will also see the presentation of a human rights award and the unveiling of a new bust of the dissident turned president at Columbia University. I discussed the festival, which is focused on Central European theatre, with organiser Pavla Niklová of the Václav Havel Library Foundation.
The current director of Prague’s National Theatre, Jan Burian, is to get
a contract extension that will keep him in the post until 2025. The
minister of culture, Antonín Staněk, announced that Mr. Burian would
remain in the post for a second term at the launch of the National
Theatre’s new season on Monday.
Mr. Staněk said that the institution had made positive progress in the last five years, both in artistic terms and in carrying out strategic projects. Mr. Burian’s current contract runs out in 12 months’ time.
Actor and puppeteer Vít Hořejš was born in Czechoslovakia but spent most of his life in the United States, where he emigrated in his late twenties. He worked for the legendary Black Light Theatre before establishing his own Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. The group, featuring puppets and live actors, performs contemporary pieces as well as plays based on traditional Czech fairy tales.
The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka, has
filed a lawsuit over a pair of theatre plays staged in Brno in May, the
newspaper Lidové noviny reported on Thursday. The joint production of the
plays Our Violence, Your Violence and The Curse included a scene in which
Jesus rapes a Muslim woman as well as a depiction of Pope John Paul II in a
state of tumescence.
Protests also took place at the theatre itself during the plays, which were directed by Oliver Frljic from Croatia.
Cardinal Duka says that the theatre show represented an attack on his rights guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. He referred specifically to the inalienability of rights, freedom of religion and the right to dignity and honour. The prelate filed the lawsuit as a private individual.
A group of right-wing protestors who over the weekend disrupted a theatre performance of the controversial play by Croatian director Oliver Frljić have filed a criminal complaint against one of the lead actors as well as the director of the National Theatre in Brno for propagating religious intolerance and defamation of a state symbol. Two other complaints are also pending.
The movement “Decent People“ has filed a criminal complaint against
Brno National Theatre director Martin Glaser, Croat director Oliver Frljich
and a group of actors over the showing of the controversial play “Our
Violence, Your Violence“ at the festival Theatre World in Brno.
The head of the movement, Zdeněk Pernica, says the complaint was made on the grounds of desecration.
The play, in which Jesus rapes a Moslem woman has raised controversy in the Czech Republic.
Members of the group "Decent People" disrupted a showing of the play on Sunday night, jumping up on the stage, throwing paper balls at the actors and forming a human barrier to try to prevent the audience from watching the performance. They were eventually led out by the police.
The South-Moravian region has indicated it will cut the planned subsidy to
the Festival Theatre World Brno because of two controversial plays
performed within this particular cultural event.
Spokeswoman Monika Brindzáková told the ctk news agency on Monday that governor Bohumil Šimek would propose exempting the two controversial theatre plays from the subsidy package.
They are the Croat play Our violence, Your Volence, which caused protests in Brno on Sunday and the play Damnation, both directed by Oliver Frljich.
The head of the National Theatre Brno, Martin Glaser, who slammed the show of intolerance during a performance of the play Our violence, Your violence on Sunday night, said this would not present a problem since the plays would be covered by a subsidy from the Czech Ministry of Culture.
The head of the National Theatre Brno, Martin Glaser, has slammed the show
of intolerance during a performance of the play Our violence, Your violence
by Croat director Oliver Frljich at the Goose on a String Theatre in Brno
on Saturday night. Glaser said he considered the incident a serious warning
regarding the state of Czech society, adding that it reminded him of scenes
in films documenting the rise of fascism.
Around 30 protesters disrupted the performance, forcing their way on stage where they formed a human barrier to prevent the audience from watching, blew whistles and threw paper balls at the actors. They were eventually evicted by members of the Brno anti-conflict police team. The performance resumed after about an hour.
The play, in which Jesus rapes a Moslim woman, has raised controversy in other countries as well. The Czech Catholic Church has vehemently protested against its showing.
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