These last few weeks, I have been in rehearsal for Audience by Vaclav Havel, a play I am directing for the San Francisco Theater Pub (where I am one of the co-founders. Wonder how I got the directing job?). It’s great to be returning to Havel once again, and I am really excited for the production. The play will be staged in the round in the Café Royale bar, and I could not ask for a more committed cast and design team.
I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with a two person cast on this play – it makes the rehearsal process very fluid has really allowed us to be responsive to the text. I am reminded again what an overlooked genius Havel is as a writer. This piece is without question one of his best – clever, engaging, wonderfully accessible but disarmingly complex. Given Havel’s personal history as a dissident and the time he spent in prison, I think he is able to write about political issues in a way that few writers can – a way that is immediate and not ideological.
This next week, the actors get off book and the design element start to physically come together. It’s starting to feel real.
The play only runs for five performances – April 13, 19, 20 and May 3, 5 – but all the shows are free admission and, since they are on Mondays and Tuesdays, it’s not like there is a whole hell of a lot else going on. Since Havel is performed so infrequently, I think it’s a rare opportunity. And, hell, there’s going to be beer – onstage and off. Seeing some culture is a good way to excuse the fact that you are drinking on a weekday.
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