‘Protest’ considers the price of hypocrisy
Covenant College presents work of political dissident Vaclav Havel
Inspired by the life of political dissident, playwright, and statesman Vaclav Havel, Covenant College Theatre Department will present “Protest” by political dissident Vaclav Havel in four performances beginning Friday, Sept. 28.
In “Protest,” the price of avoiding hypocrisy becomes apparent to two old friends who seek each other’s aid in political matters. Vanek is a dissident whom people admire from afar; Stanek is a fairly successful writer who has lost his former idealism as he works to avoid running afoul of the totalitarian government.
Stanek invites his old colleague to the house, seeking his help to release his daughter’s fiancee, a musician, from prison. Vanek offers Stanek an opportunity to sign the protest on behalf of the musician, yet his old friend is fearful to do so.
Alumni Jonathan Austin is cast as Stanek and Mark Gabriel plays Vanek. Mary Brook Diamond, Emily Cothran and Cara Smole appear as the chorus.
Believing in liberal reforms, Havel joined a human rights movement called Charter 77, essentially sacrificing his playwriting career, as the government, dis- pleased with Havel’s actions, made his plays illegal. The playwright then spent four years in prison after he stood up for human rights.
In 1989, as the nation began more open anti-government protest, Havel founded the Civic Forum, a political movement that overthrew the Communist government.
One month later, Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia, but stepped down from office as the country’s union disbanded. When the Czech Republic was formed, he was elected president again.
“Protest,” along with other of Havel’s political writings, will be performed in Sanderson Hall Auditorium at Covenant College.
Following the matinee performance on Saturday, Oct. 6, a panel discussion will be held with faculty members Bill Davis, John Wingard, Bill Tate, Richard Follett and play director Camille Hallstrom.
To reserve tickets in advance: covenant.edu/ theatre or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets will be available at the door if any remain.
Covenant College alumni Jonathan Austin and Mark Gabriel play the leads in “Protest.”