321 East 73rd Street, 3rd Floor

New York City, NY 10021

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Protest / Debt

theater, Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival 26 September, 2018 - 7:30 PM

[Bohemian National Hall]


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? What if the first one has a surprising proposal for the second one? And what if the two of them meet years later when they can write freely but it is not working? Vaclav Havel’s dialogue confronts the dramatic attempts of a debuting author. To sign or not to sign? To act or just to talk? Did the elites fail or did we? Protest? Debt!


Presented by: Svanda Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic

Playwrights: Vaclav Havel and Marek Hejduk

Directed by: Daniel Hrbek

Cast: Robert Jaskow, Tomas Pavelka, Jacob Erftemeijer, Tomas Korenek

Translations: Jan Novak and Alex Zucker


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.


>> Watch the trailer


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. Svandovo 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. The performance Protest/Debt is supported by the City of Prague, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Arts & Theatre Institute, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York, Czech Center New York and the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN.

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