A Center That Holds

A staged reading inspired by and using the prison letters of Vaclav Havel

Date(s) & Times

August 9-10, 2013

8 PM

Friday and Saturday


Free, Donations Accepted


Kevin Lane

Hampton Arts Management

The Gobioff Foundation

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The Studio@620 welcomes "A Center that Holds", Inspired by and using the prison letters of Vaclav Havel.  Join us for a staged reading of a new play by Francis Gillen, presented in partnership with Tampa Rep on August 9 and 10 at 8 PM.

About the play:
Architect of the Velvet Revolution and subsequently President of a free, democratic Czechoslovakia,Vaclav Havel endured frequent house arrest and imprisonment for that cause. The letters to his wife, Olga, penned during his final imprisonment, attempt to rally his and his country's courage; they speak of the power of the powerless, of the need to do what is right in the present moment even if the outcome seems hopeless. They are also deeply personal interactions with his wife, love letters of a sort.

In dramatizing these letters, Francis Gillen has imaginatively re-created Olga's letters which were seized and destroyed by the state police, as well as the reactions of the two bureaucratic censors who read and comment on them as they jockey for advantage in their own love affair. The contrasts between their cynicism,Havel's idealism, and Olga's attempts to cope with her husband's absence and define her own character form the taut dramatic core of the play.

Bay area theatre veterans Ned Averill-Snell and Rosemary Orlando portray Vaclav and Olga Havel. Recent UT theatre graduate Aileen Suseck portrays prison censor Kamila. Bob Gonzalez, assistant professor of Speech and Theatre at the University of Tampa, directs and performs the role of prison censor Jiri in this staged reading of UT emeritus professor Francis Gillen's play.

Friday and Saturday evening, August 9-10, at 8pm.

Admission is free, donations accepted.