Rehearsal for Truth Festival 2018 Program Announced

The Vaclav Havel Library Foundation (VHLF), together with the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA), will partner with Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak performing arts and cultural institutions to host the second year of a unique festival presenting the best in contemporary Central European theater.

Artistic Director of the Festival, Pavla Niklova explains her vision, “While paying homage to Vaclav Havel’s legacy as a playwright, dissident, and political thinker, the selected performances will address current political and social trends in Central Europe and offer New York audiences a rare opportunity to experience the artistic and cultural atmosphere of the region.”

The 2018 REHEARSAL FOR TRUTH festival will present four performances in the original languages with English supertitles, followed by talk-backs with the artists and after parties hosted by the countries cultural institutes and consulates general in NYC. There will also be two stage readings and a panel discussion. All productions will take place at The Bohemian National Hall (321 East 73rd Street) and are free to the public.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 


Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:30 PM:
Stage Reading, US/Czech Collaboration
A death in the family brings everybody home, but a brief peace is broken by family squabbles, politics, and life crises.  The mother’s new Iranian boyfriend and a spectacular public breakdown just increase the tensions. An examination of life, in all its complexity, in the modern Czech Republic.
Presented by Untitled Theater Company No. 61 and Svandovo Theatre
Script by Natalie Kocab. Translated by Alex Zucker. Directed by Edward Einhorn
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018 5 PM:
The winner of the 2018 Disturbing the Peace, Award for a Courageous Writer at Risk, Chinese author, reporter, musician and poet – Liao Yiwu together with Liu Xia, Award nominee, an artist herself and the widow of Nobel Laureate and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo; and by Professor Andrew Nathan, a leading China specialist and human rights advocate. The discussion will be moderated by Carl Gershman, the President of the National Endowment for Democracy.
Presented by VHLF and NED
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018 7:30 PM: PROTEST / DEBT
Thirty-three years separate two one-act plays that are connected by absurd humor and the characters of Vanek and Stanek. What happens when two writers meet—one who is not allowed to write and the other who writes whatever he wants?
Presented by: Svanda Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic
Playwrights: Vaclav Havel and Marek Hejduk. Translation: Jan Novak and Alex Zucker. Directed by: Daniel Hrbek
Cast: Robert Jaskow, Tomas Pavelka, Jacob Erftemeijer, Tomas Korenek
Supported by City of Prague, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic , Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York, Czech Center New York and the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN.
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September 27, 2018, 1:30 PM: HAVEL BUST DEDICATION 
Madeleine Albright will give the Havel Bust Dedication Speech at the Low Memorial Library Rotunda, Columbia University. The impressive sculpture was created by Marie Seborova, a Czech artist. The work was commissioned by Joseph Balaz and The Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. The event is co-sponsored by the Center on Global Economic Governance, Columbia SIPA and World Leaders Forum, Columbia University.
This event is open to the public. Please R.S.V.P. to

September 27, 2018, 6 PM: REALITY CZECH Gala Event

The Gala Event will mark the hundredth anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia and will honor Secretary Madeleine Albright for her unparalleled contribution to the return of the Czechs and Slovaks to the democratic societies of the world. The VHLF will also present the annual Disturbing the Peace, Award for a Courageous Writer at Risk to Liao Yiwu- an individual who has fought for freedom of expression and other rights in an exemplary, inspiring manner. The esteemed hosts for the evening will be two-time Tony Award winning actress Christine Ebersole and Czech puppeteer – Vit Horejs. There will be also short excerpts from shows performed by Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Polish theatre companies, music by the renowned Czech singer Iva Bittova and the Slovak dulcimer band Pajtasi.
The Reality Czech: BBLA & VHLF Gala Event is open to the public and tickets are still available on Eventbrite:

Friday, September 28, 2018 6 PM: PANKRAC 45
Stage Reading
Set during the “national cleansing,” encompasses the atmosphere of hostility and loss of morale. The script evaluates guilt, the blindness of vengeance, responsibility for one’s actions, and remembering.
Presented by the Czech Center New York and New School for Dramadirected by Stephen Brown-Fried. Supported by  Arts & Theatre Institute.
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Friday, September 28, 2018 7:30PM:
Playwright Thomas Bernhard is one of the most important German-language authors of the postwar era, he pushes his contempt for Austria as a nest of unregenerate Nazis and anti-Semites to an outrageous extreme in the play.
Presented by: Astorka Korzo ́90 Theatre, Bratislava, Slovakia. Directed by: Juraj Nvota
Cast: Peter Simun, Zuzana Kronerova, Zita Furkova
Supported using public funding by Slovak  Arts Council, Bratislava Self-Governing Region and the Slovak Consulate General in New York.
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Saturday, September 29, 2018 12PM & 3PM: SCALE 1:5
The Hungarian company HoPPart will bring their alternative musical show to the streets of New York using a portable sound system and headphones to take the audience for a walk around Yorkville, the BNH neighborhood. The players will follow the traces of the Czech, German, and Hungarian communities that formerly inhabited this part of the Upper East Side.
Directed by: Tamas Herczeg
Cast: Lilla Czvikker, Lilla Litauszky, Lilla Csenge Cseke, Zalan Kisari, Domotor Pinter
Supported by Placcc Festival and in-situ.
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12PM Show:
3PM Show

Saturday, September 29, 2018 7:30PM: CEZARY IDZIE NA WOJNE / CEZARY GOES TO WAR
The play deconstructs military ethos and pride to make the audience aware of their toxic dimensions and oppressiveness. The play draws on the author’s personal experience of having to appear before an army conscription committee.
Presented by: Komuna Warszawa, Warsaw, Poland and Polish Cultural Institute in New York. Conceived and directed by: Cezary Tomaszewski, Script by: Justyna Wąsik Music by: Claude Debussy, Georg Friedrich Handel, Stanislaw Moniuszko, Dimitr Szostakowicz
Cast: Michal Dembinski, Weronika Krowka, Oskar Malinowski, Bartosz Ostrowski, Lukasz Stawarczyk
Supported by Theatre Institute in Warsaw, and Polish Cultural Institute New York.
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We look forward to seeing you all in September. There is limited seating so reserve your free tickets today.

August 21, 1968
CC Gallery exhibition, 2nd floor
August 21 – October 5, 2018

Czech and Slovak New York
BBLA exhibition, 3rd floor
September 24 – November 5, 2018

For Press release CLICK HERE