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Livestreamed on this page on Thursday 15 June 2023 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

New York City
Thursday 15 June 2023

The Astronaut / Rehearsal for the Truth Festival

Portrait of a Parent-Child Relationship of a Czechoslovakian Refugee Who Fled During the 1968 Prague Spring

Thursday 15 June 2023

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented The Astronaut / Rehearsal for the Truth Festival livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Thursday 15 June 2023 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

This live session at the Bohemian National Hall’s Rehearsal for Truth Festival honored Vaclav Havel and organized by the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation and the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association. The conversation covered the festival and focused on Lucia Mann’s new play The Astronaut; co-directed by Lucia Mann and Arnon Grunberg.

With Lucia Mann, Edward Einhorn, and Pavla Niklova. Moderated by Frank Hentschker.

Lucia Mann is a German writer of plays, feature films, TV series, and short stories; she has written two feature-length films that have been aired in several European countries. The daughter of Jewish refugees from Czechoslovakia and Poland, Lucia was born and raised in West Berlin and has also lived in Israel, England, and the Czech Republic. In fall 2023, Lucia will begin a writer-in-residency program at the Ohio State University’s Melton Center for Jewish Studies.

Edward Einhorn is a playwright, director, translator, librettist, and novelist—as well as the Artistic Director of Untitled Theater Company No. 61, a non-profit indie theater company based in New York. Einhorn will become the Artistic Director of the Rehearsal for Truth International Theatre Festival, presented by the Václav Havel Library Foundation and the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association, in July 2023. As playwright, Einhorn composed one-act and full-length plays, becoming known for his absurd comic style. One of his best-known plays, if not his best-known, is The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, a farce set at a fantasy marriage between Stein and Toklas. Einhorn has also written two Oz novels, Paradox in Oz and The Living House of Oz as well as a number of short stories. In 2011 Einhorn authored the first English language translation of Václav Havel's final play, The Pig, or Václav Havel's Hunt for a Pig, as well as Havel's one-act, Ela, Hela, and the Hitch. Einhorn wrote the introductions to all the books in the Havel Collection by Theatre 61 Press’.

Pavla Niklova was appointed in 2010 by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Cultural Attaché to oversee all aspects of the Czech Center New York at the newly-restored, century-old Bohemian National Hall on New York City’s Upper East Side. Over the course of her directorship, she created the Rehearsal for the Truth Festival and implemented a strategic plan that has enabled the Center to become a player within New York City’s rich cultural environment. The Center produced programs in partnership with major U.S. and European cultural and educational institutions. Her previous positions included the Head of Public Relations and Development at the Jewish Museum in Prague, where she directed an expansive year-long Centennial Festival in 2006, Year of Jewish Culture, which consisted of more than 260 programs and events held in more than 50 cities in the Czech Republic and abroad. Niklova studied Czech and English at the Philosophical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague

In Lucia Mann’s play The Astronaut, a father receives a visit from his son. Complications in their relationship quickly become clear: the son, who wears a full astronaut suit, never replies to his father. A tender exploration, by turns humorous and sad, of the many layers of a parent-child relationship, The Astronaut also indirectly explores the biography of a Czechoslovakian refugee who fled during the 1968 Prague Spring and traces the human consequences of this major historical event on his life, values, and personal relationships. The Astronaut is a touching variation on a one-man show, with the father speaking a series of monologues to his silent son.

This staged reading of The Astronaut was part of The Rehearsal for Truth Festival supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. The program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing-arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and develop our knowledge commons collectively. Anyone can participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected] or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal. View the video archive of past events.

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