By Václav Havel
Part of the Havel Festival
The first of the Vaněk plays, the character closest to Havel himself, it tells of a dissident writer who is forced to work in a brewery, so that he can contribute to society rather than be an intellectual bourgeois burden. The brewmaster calls him in for a friendly talk, or possibly an interrogation, but though it is clear that the brewmaster desperately wants something, it is not at all clear what that something is.
This play was the first of the Vaněk plays, written just after Havel himself worked in a brewery in Trutnov. There was an “anti-parasite” law at the time, which said that those who were unemployed could be jailed. This play was originally read among a small group of friends, and was immediately loved. Eventually Havel and his friend Pavol Landovsky recorded the play, and the record of their performance became so popular that many people throughout Czechosolvakia could quote the play verbatim, despite the fact it had never been performed on stage in the country.
Producer: David A. Einhorn
Composer/sound designer: William Sullivan Niederkorn
Set designer: Alexander C. Senchak
Lighting designer: Maryvel Bergen
Costume designer: Carla Gant
Assistant director/stage manager: Taylor Keith
Brewmaster: Dan Leventritt
Vaněk: Scott Simpson
Music performed by The Mendoza Line