TACT/The Actors Company Theatre’s recent production of Vaclav Havel’s The Memorandum celebrates the satirical language of bureaucratic tradition and the idiosyncracies of communication in corporate enterprises. Havel’s 1965 absurdist play introduces a new language meant to perfect the precision of interoffice communication. In the managing director’s attempts to pass one memo through translation, he becomes entwined in the intricate web of red tape in a hilarious comedy of errors.
Vaclav Havel has been renowned for his work as a playwright since the 1960s. Just as memorable are his political efforts and essays. In the 1950s, Havel enrolled in the Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1967. He has participated in the Czech Army; the literary magazine, Tvárd; the Czechoslovak human rights movement; and political resistance called the Civic Forum. Following the fall of communism, Havel was elected in 1989 as president of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. He has been the resident writer for the Prague “Theatre on the Balustrade” and has crafted numerous absurdist and satirical plays from his experiences.
In his National Address in Prague on January 1, 1990, Havel said: “First of all, people are never just a product of the external world; they are also able to relate themselves to something superior, however systematically the external world tries to kill that ability in them.”
TACT now celebrates this muddled business of language and communication in the world of enterprise.
TACT/THE ACTORS COMPANY THEATRE (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris, Simon Jones – Co-Artistic Directors) celebrates language, the actor, and the spoken word. Founded by a group of professional actors in 1992, TACT is dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely performed plays of literary merit with a focus on creating theatre from its essence: the text and the actor’s ability to bring it to life. www.tactnyc.org
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by Vaclav Havel
Directed by Jenn Thompson
at The Beckett Theatre
410 West 42nd Street, NYC
October 25 through December 4, 2010
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30
Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00, Sunday at 3:00
(Special performance on Tuesday, November 23rd. No performance on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25th)
Come see TACT company members: Mark Alhadeff, Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Simon Jones, John Plumpis, and Lynn Wright
and Guest Artists: Nilanjana Bose, Trent Dawson, Joel Leffert, and Kate Levy
Directed by Jenn Thompson
Costumes by David Toser
Sets by Adrian W. Jones
Lighting by Philip S. Rosenberg
Sound by Stephan Kunken
Original Music by Joseph Trapanese
Production Manager: Matt McAdon
Props by Lily Fairbanks
Casting by Kelly Gillespie
Production Stage Manager: Meredith Dixon
Assistant Stage Manager: Megan E. Coutts