Rehearsal for Truth: Theater Festival in New York City honoring Václav Havel

APRIL 16-25, 2021
New York City / online

Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival’s 2021 Spring Weekend honoring playwright and human rights activist Václav Havel offers live online readings of contemporary plays penned by award-winning European playwrights from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Seasoned New York City–based actors and directors will perform the readings. The festival will include works by young aspiring playwrights for the first time by featuring the winning plays from the Best Mini-Drama Student Contest.

The 2021 Spring Weekend: Concerning Human Identity presents works by six playwrights who continue Václav Havel’s tradition of critical reflection by considering the notions of ethical ambiguity that pervade modern life, regardless of political circumstances. The second virtual edition delves deeper into matters of personal identity that concerned Havel, such as self-understanding and human responsibility.

Theater audiences are invited to follow stories of personal quests for better lives and ponder the topics of immigration, identity, and the American Dream. Several plays employ absurdist humor as they explore issues related to Eastern European transitions to democracy, for example, humankind’s dissolution with reality (Money, The Third Age – Dodo Gombár, CZ) or the complexities that impact immigrant identities (Hot Summer of ’68 – Viliam Klimáček, SK; Change – Tomáš Loužný, CZ). The festival program also addresses generational passages of trauma (Ghetto Love – Tamás Réczei, HU) and questions the reality of the American Dream (Detroit. The History of a Hand People’s Toast – Ellis Stump, USA).
Pavla Niklová, Director of the Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival, stated: “We are delighted to continue the Spring Weekend festival, returning to our global audiences on a virtual stage with our fabulous New York City–based cast. Despite the unprecedented pause in in-person theatre worldwide caused by COVID-19, the festival playwrights have continued their examination of fundamental questions of life. This year, they present us with a space for reflection on the crisis of human identity—a theme central to all plays by Václav Havel. Theatre does not have answers to all of the pressing questions and doubts of our times, but, as Václav Havel wrote, ‘theatre should always be somewhat suspect.’ We hope that this edition will also open our audience’s imagination to hope, creativity, and empathy.”

Read more about the festival here.
See the festival programme here.