321 East 73rd Street, 3rd Floor

New York City, NY 10021

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Night Before the Funeral

stage reading, Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival 25 September, 2018 - 7:30 PM

[Bohemian National Hall]


A stage reading presented by the New York Untitled Theater Company #61 and Prague Svanda Theatre. Night Before the Funeral is a new Czech play, originally produced in 2017 by the Svanda Theatre under the direction of Daniel Hrbek. 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. 


This performance is part of the 2018 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival, the second edition of a unique festival presenting in New York City the best in Central European theater.

Night Before the Funeral (Pohreb az zitra), directed by Edward Einhorn. Script by Natalie Kocab, translation from Czech into English by Alex Zucker. 


Untitled Theater Company #61 is a Theater of Ideas: scientific, political, philosophical, and above all theatrical, located in New York City. Their shows mix tragedy and comedy in a manner inspired by classic absurdism, while often incorporating music, technology, and physical theater. Early defining events include their Havel Festival and Ionesco Festival, in which they produced the authors' full works (with the participation and attendance of President Havel and with Ionesco’s daughter, Marie-France, respectively). They now produce only original work, their responses to the absurd and terrifying moments of their history are a continuing inspiration as they try to navigate a contemporary response to our time.


Svanda Theatre is one of the oldest drama theaters in Prague. It is focused on contemporary plays and also on the bold adaptation of classics. Besides its own repertoire Svanda Theatre offers a wide range of supporting events such as concerts, talk shows, independent theatre group productions, stage readings and also the best of Czech regional theatre work. The theater also produces public workshops and productions for children, which per year comes to more than 450 events. The politician Vaclav Havel, musician Lou Reed, writer Robert Fulghum, singer Suzanne Vega, actress Annie Girardot, actor Dennis Lavant, photographer Oliviero Toscani, cameraman Miroslav Ondricek, costume designer Theodor Pistek and artist Klaus Voorman have appeared as guests of Svanda Theatre in recent years. Almost all productions of Svanda Theatre are accompanied by English subtitles. Svanda Theatre has been succesfully represented at theatrical festivals in USA, Great Britain, Russia, Belarus, Hungary, Poland or Slovakia. It was also awarded the prestigious Alfred Radok's award for its dramaturgy.



Bohemian National Hall

321 East 73rd Street, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10021


Free and open to the public. Seats are limited, on first-come, first-served basis. RSVP is required. Please reserve your seat online at eventbrite.com.


Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival is organized by Vaclav Havel Library Foundation and BBLA, in partnership with Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak performing arts institutions and cultural institutes to highlight Havel’s legacy as a playwright through live performances, panel discussions, exhibitions and an award ceremony. It seeks to establish exchanges between U.S. and Central European theater professionals. The festival reflects not only Havel’s contribution to 20th century theater but also his belief in the potential of Central European cultural traditions to enrich human existence in the modern age. Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Bohemian Benevolent & Literary AssociationHospodaThe National Czech and Slovak MuseumAmerican Friends of the Czech RepublicCzech CenterConsulate General