Kašpar Company to stage Václav Havel’s Audience in the USA

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The Kašpar Company is planning to stage Václav Havel’s Audience in the USA in autumn. Jan Potměšil and Jakub Špalek as Vaněk and the brewmaster will play in three performances in Washington, New York and Chicago. The production is in Czech with English subtitles.

“We have been playing Audience for a long time and the interesting fact is that the play from the 1970s is still topical, even more topical recently. We really appreciate the invitation to the USA, and it is an honor for us to play on the eve of Václav Havel’s birthday,” said Potměšil. The performance is part of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and will take place on October 2 at Georgetown University in Washington, Bohemian National Hall in New York on October 4 as part of the Rehearsal for Truth festival on the eve of Havel’s birth anniversary, and in the Chopin Theatre in Chicago on October 6. Discussions with audiences will follow after all performances.

The Kašpar Company is invited to the USA by the Czech Centre New York, Vaclav Havel Library Foundation, Czech embassy in Washington, general consulates in New York and Chicago, and Chicago compatriots. Audience premiered in March 2001 in the Celetná Theatre as part of the Na Havla! project at the time when Václav Havel was the president of the Czech Republic. Since 2013 it has been staged in the studio venue of the Kašpar Company – in the Ferdinand Vaněk Flat Theatre, then in Klubovna. Jakub Špalek is also the director of the production.

The play referring to absurdity of communist society has been released on CDs and LPs, with Václav Havel playing Vaněk. There is also a TV feature with Josef Abrhám playing Vaněk. The role of the brewmaster was played by Pavel Landovský in both productions. According to the information from the Theatre Institute, Audience, along with Unveiling, The Garden Party, The Beggar’s Opera and Temptation, ranks among the most frequently staged Havel’s plays on local stages.