Charter 77 Celebration at Czech Center Tonight at 8


How It’s New York:  The event takes place at the Czech Center in NY, which in itself is a wonderful testament to the diversity that built this city– a building created for an immigrant population, recently renovated.
How It’s Irish:  It’s Celto-Slav.

This celebration was put together rather quickly but it fills in some gaps in your Havel-ian knowledge,  and would be well worthwhile.  Those who think of Havel as the “playwright turned president” should welcome the reminder that he put his ideas into direct practice with Charter 77, the protest that got him and others jailed.  I first heard of Charter 77 because I was a fan of Tom Stoppard, and he championed Havel and this cause.  Stoppard now champions Belarus Free Theatre, who are oppressed in their own country.  “Live In Truth.”

Tonight’s celebration includes a full reading of the Charter, an excerpt from a play featuring Richard Toth, whom I wrote about in my Speakeasy article,  and a new found text by Edward Einhorn, who runs Untitled Theatre Company #61, curated the Havel Festival in 2006, and whose article we reprinted for this blog.

I understand more is planned for next weekend if this is too short notice…

A Celebration of Charter 77: Then and Now

A WORLDWIDE CELEBRATION OF the 35th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s landmark human rights declaration, co-authored by Václav Havel
A worldwide celebration of Charter 77, the landmark human rights declaration co-authored by Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia in 1977, will be held on Friday, January 6. In New York, the occasion will be marked with music and performances, featuring The Renaldo The Ensemble, a public reading of Charter 77, excerpts from Havel’s interviews and a short excerpt of a play, a performance of a new found text piece based on the events, and much more.

Associated events will be held on the same day in Prague, Seoul, Brussels, Washington DC, and Miami. Charter 77 was one of the first documents to bring Václav Havel to international attention. He was jailed for his part in it, but its words eventually inspired the Velvet Revolution. It has also inspired similar documents in Belarus and China, and it serves as an example for citizens deprived of their rights by totalitarian regimes

– The Renaldo The Ensemble
– Melissa Elledge on accordion
– A public reading of Charter 77
– Excerpts from Havel’s interviews
– A short excerpt from a Havel play
– a discussion of the Charter
– a brief excerpt of a film documentary about the charter
– A new found text piece by Edward Einhorn based on the events

Peter Brown,Robert Honeywell, Richard Toth, and a series of special guests who will be reading the charter. 
Organized by the Czech Center New York and Untitled Theater Company #61 in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York

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