Vaclav Havel is cool. President of Czechoslovakia, and a playwright. And not some boring “blah blah blah, communism is better than capitalism” playwright. Sure, his work is sometimes political, but it’s also well written and interesting. It’s also rarely produced in New York, so the upcoming Havel Festival is a good chance to see a ton of his work.
Here’s a release for TEMPTATION, one of our favorite Havel plays. Go see it, you may not get another chance anytime soon.
The Havel Festival and Gemini CollisionWorks present
by Václav Havel
designed and directed by Ian W. Hill
at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
one block from the Lorimer stop of the L train / Metropolitan-Grand stop of the G train
Tickets: $18 — available at the door (cash only) or:
Reservations/Credit Card Orders through Theatermania: 212.352.3101 or www.theatermania.com
Performances (all November, 2006 at 8.00 pm EXCEPT WHERE NOTED):
Thursday the 2nd / Saturday the 4th @ 9.30 pm / Wednesday the 8th @ 7.00 pm / Saturday the 11th @ 9.30 pm
Sunday the 12th / Thursday the 16th / Friday the 17th / Sunday the 19th / Sunday the 26th
The Faust legend meets 1984. In an unnamed country (somewhere in the East, it seems) at an unnamed time (sometime in the last 100 years, it seems) at an unnamed scientific Institute, a respected scientist, Dr. Henry Foustka, has begun to dabble in the Black Arts. His efforts may be an earnest attempt to contact another world, or merely a scientific experiment, but he does succeed in making a stranger appear, Fistula, a strange man who may indeed be (as he claims) a successful sorcerer, but more likely is merely an informer for the Authorities with a smelly foot disease. When the Director of the Institute discovers Foustka’s private (and quite illegal) studies, the doctor is forced to walk a thin line, playing both sides against each other in an increasingly complex game as he attempts to save his job, his career, his reputation, his love life, and especially his neck by acting as a double agent for both sides as he increasingly loses sight of what his original intentions were in the first place.
This is the world of Ian W. Hill’s new production of Václav Havel’s Temptation – a world where the Truth is feared and people need to become liars, cheats, hustlers, and informers merely to survive, even in the ivory tower of scientific research. Where even your closest friends and colleagues can’t be trusted. Where independent thought is crushed under the foot of State-authorized dogma. Where fools who speak approved “truths” without understanding them are rewarded, while geniuses who dare to try to understand forbidden “foolishnesses” are destroyed. Perhaps this is Theatre of the Absurd, but how absurd is it really?
Designer/director Hill has, with his company Gemini CollisionWorks, created 48 previous productions in NYC since 1997, including world premieres of plays by Richard Foreman, Mark Spitz, and Eugène Ionesco, as well of a number of original works by Mr. Hill. He is the former artistic director of the Nada Classic theatre and co-produced several acclaimed festivals at that space, including the three ForemanFests at NADA (1997-1999) in which three dozen plays by Foreman were re-interpreted by other directors.
In honor of Václav Havel’s 70th birthday and his concurrent residency at Columbia University, Untitled Theater Company #61 and other artists and companies have come togther to present, for the first time anywhere, the complete plays of Václav Havel. With one world premiere, five English language premieres and five other new translations, this is a must-see event for fans of Havel, political theater, absurdist theater, or simply theater in general. Sixteen fully-staged productions are being mounted in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as a variety of other events honoring Václav Havel’s political and artistic career. Come experience this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience all of Havel’s works and to learn about an important artist and world leader in depth.
More information at: http://www.untitledtheatre.com/havel/havel-festival.html
The cast of Temptation includes Fred Backus, Aaron Baker, Eric C. Bailey*, Danny Bowes, Walter Brandes*, Maggie Cino,
Tim Cusack*, Jessi Gotta, Christiaan Koop, Roger Nasser, Timothy McCown Reynolds*, and Alyssa Simon*.
* by permission of AEA – Temptation is an Equity-approved Showcase
2 hours 15 minutes – including one 10-minute intermission