Vaclav Havel's Largo Desolato, translated by Tom Stoppard, will be presented Jan. 30-Feb. 3 by Spring Theatreworks at Center Stage New York. The play contemplates the struggle between the individual and the state.
The plot of Largo Desolato involves a professor who finds himself under government investigation after he publishes a controversial essay. The professor, after spending years in a police state, has become frightened by the authorities and wonders whether the price of maintaining the fight for intellectual freedom will be worth the consequences.
It is presumed that the events in the play are based upon Havel's personal experiences. Havel is currently president of the Czech Republic, and his other plays include The Garden Party (1963), The Memorandum (1965), and Protest (1978). Largo Desolato was written in 1986. Harvel's plays were banned by the Czech government during the late 1970s to early 1980s, and Harvel himself, a former political dissident, spent almost five years in prison.
Spring Theatreworks was founded in January 2000 by Jeffrey Horne, Artistic Director of the company. Their previous productions have included Murder in the Cathedral, Moonchildren, and The Albatross at Sea. The non-profit organization strives to challenge the boundaries of contemporary theatre by producing both new works and established contemporary plays that present the audience with an original theatrical interpretation of the real world.
Featured in the cast of Largo Desolato are: Doug Simpson, Karen Allen, Chad Afanador, Matthew Drennan, Cody Landis, Erin Treadway, David Wylie, and Sarah Cameron Sunde. The production is directed by Steven Gridley. For tickets ($15) and information on Largo Desolato at Center Stage New York, 48 West 21st Street, call (212) 316-0833.
-by Chris Reichheld