Václav Havel’s PROTEST
Presented by Alliance for New Music-Theatre
Protest exposes a society that spies on its citizens and the thin line between acquiescence and culpability, between comedy and creepy terror.
Upcoming performances of Protest at
Florida International University in Miami
Friday December 7, 2018.
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.
Susan Galbraith, Artistic Director of the Alliance, directs “Protest”. Andrew Valins returns to the role of Vaněk for his third production in The Havel Project. The production also features David Millstone, who performed the role of Father in Kafka’s Metamorphosis in the Alliance’s production both in D.C. and Prague.
Past Performances of Protest
As part of Václav Havel’s 80th anniversary year, Alliance presented a “Vaněk” play Protest, that exposes a society that spies on its citizens and the thin line between acquiescence and culpability, between comedy and creepy terror.
From May 26 to June 3, 2107 we performed Havel’s Protest at the Prague Fringe Festival in the Czech Republic in a new venue.
Alliance for New Music-Theatre went underground – literally. From May 10 -21, 2017, in the Dupont Underground Alliance offered 16 performances of a work whose origins were also “underground.”
September 25-29, 2016 Alliance for New Music-Theatre mounted four sold-out “apartment performances” of Vaclav Havel’s play Protest in three different venues and in two cities (Washington D.C. and New York City.) The first was by special invitation of Ambassador Petr Gandalovič and held at the Ambassador’s residence for invited guests, including Dagmar Havlová, Havel’s widow, and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament, Jan Hamáček, with his special delegation. Performances the following two nights were by special invitation of Robert Enholm at The Woodrow Wilson House. Finally, the company hightailed it to New York City to be part of the three-day celebration announced by Mayor De Blasio to celebrate Havel’s 80th birthday. The show was performed in the unique Gallery Space at the Czech Center.
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.
September 25th – Performance at the Czech Ambassador’s Residence