Jun 28 2015

Protest

 

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Not “old-time radio,” these are broadcast presentations of some of the world’s most gifted classic and contemporary playwrights: Anton Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw, Luigi Pirandello, Susan Glaspell, George Kelly, Noel Coward, Harold Pinter, Václav Havel, Eric Bentley, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Frank Gilroy, Jason Miller, Benjamin Bettenbender, Laura Cahill, Murray Schisgal and many others.

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Protest, by Václav Havel (Drama)

Production 13:
Protest, by Vaclav Havel (Drama)
Starring William Smithers and Richard Hoag
[Playing Time: 45:31]

(In a country where Big Brother is always watching, why would a successful media big-shot seek out an ex-con dissident?)

Václav Havel (1936 – 2011) was a Czech playwright, writer and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993-2003). He has written more than twenty plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally. His first publicly performed full-length play, The Garden Party (1963), won him international acclaim and was soon followed by The Memorandum and The Increased Difficulty of Concentration. After 1968 his plays were banned in his own country and Havel was unable to leave Czechoslovakia to see any foreign performances.
In 1977, his involvement with the human rights manifesto Charter 77 brought him international fame and led to his imprisonment. Similar political activity resulted in multiple prison stays – the longest being four years – and also subjected him to constant government surveillance and harassment. (Compare the character Vanek in our current podcast.) The 1989 “Velvet Revolution,” the bloodless end to Communism in Czechoslovakia, launched Havel into that country’s presidency, a role in which he led it and later the Czech Republic to multi-party democracy. He has received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal and the Ambassador of Conscience Award.
Havel died on 18 December 2011, aged 75, at his country home in Hradecek.Former U.S. Secretary of State Madelaine Albright, a native of Czechoslovakia, said, “He was one of the great figures of the 20th Century”, while Czech expatriate novelist Milan Kundra said, “Václav Havel’s most important work is his own life.”

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FROM THE MINDS OF PLAYWRIGHTS:
One way of looking at speech is to say it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness. - Harold Pinter


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