‘Protest’ con­sid­ers the price of hypocrisy

Covenant Col­lege presents work of po­lit­i­cal dis­si­dent Va­clav Havel

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - ARTS -

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 box­of­fice@covenant.edu. Tick­ets will be avail­able at the door if any re­main.

COVENANT COL­LEGE PHOTO

Covenant Col­lege alumni Jonathan Austin and Mark Gabriel play the leads in “Protest.”

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