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Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre to Present AUDIENCE By Vaclav Havel

The play, a dark comedy of spying in a brewery, will be staged with projected closeups of puppets from security cameras in order to suggest surveillance.

Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre to Present AUDIENCE By Vaclav Havel

Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre will unveil a new marionette production of "Audience" by Vaclav Havel, translated and directed by Vit Horejs, June 23 and 29 at 8:00 PM in Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, as part of the 2021 Rehearsal for Truth Festival.

The play, a dark comedy of spying in a brewery, will be staged with projected closeups of puppets from security cameras in order to suggest surveillance. In the last decade, such use of video has been employed to adapt marionette theater for large houses. The production's concept is by Vit Horejs and Theresa Linnihan, who will act the play together. The 300-seat theater in Bohemian Hall, with socially-distanced seating for this production, is a good venue for this approach of mixing live performers, marionettes and projected live video.

Havel's classic autobiographical play follows Ferdinand Vanek, a distinguished playwright forced to a life of manual labor in a brewery because his writings have been banned by the Communist regime. He is called into the bleak office of his boss, a brewmaster who habitually summons him for endless repetitions of dialogue amidst excess consumption of beer. Tiresome bureaucracy and constant fear under Communism have driven the boss to alcoholism and stints of rage and despair, which are often turned upon his inferiors. Vanek is offered a promotion if he will report on his colleagues, but he refuses to compromise his principles.

Vit Horejs will play Vanek and Theresa Linnihan will play the Brewmaster. Production design is by Alan Barnes Netherton. Production Stage Manager is Hjordis Linn-Blanford. Marionettes are by Milos Kasal and Jakub "Kuba" Krejci. Costumes and the Vanek marionette are by Theresa Linnihan. Producer is Bonnie Sue Stein/GOH Productions.

To add a children's offering to the Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival, CAMT will also offer "Czech & Slovak Tales with Strings," a puppet show for tots aged 2 to 102, on Saturday June 26 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM at Bohemian Hall. Performed by Vit Horejs, it is a one-man marionette show of fairy tales replete with kings, clever village maidens, witches, and spirits.

The Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival is returning after a two-year gap caused by the pandemic. In previous festivals, it has offered Vaclav Havel's "Vanek Trilogy" at Bohemian National Hall, with "Protest/Debt" in 2018 performed by Svanda Theatre, directed by Daniel Hrbek; stage readings of "Vanek Variations" in 2019, directed by Edward Einhorn and "Audience" in 2019 performed by Kaspar Theatre Celetna, directed by Jakub Spalek.

These productions are free and open to the public. Suggested donation is $10. RSVP is required. For info and reservations, go to: https://www.rehearsalfortruth.org. No tickets or passes will be available at the door.

All attendees of the 2021 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival will be required to wear masks, including children two years and older. Anyone who is not part of the same household must maintain a six-foot distance at all times. Restrooms will be available to the attendees, but not the water fountains. Hand sanitizers will be installed throughout the space.


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