by Vaclav Havel
Translation by Vera Blackwell
Guest Director Trevor Schmidt
November 1 to 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm
$5 preview October 31 at 7:30 pm
Matinee November 8 at 12:30 pm
(No show Nov 4)
Timms Centre for the Arts (87 Avenue & 112 Street)
Inside one large, nameless organization, the Managing Director tries to decipher an important memorandum written in a new, completely incomprehensible language that has been created to streamline office communications.
The Translation Department cannot translate the memo without a permit and the Department of Authentication refuses to authorize a permit without a translation.
Inspired by Havel’s experiences with Communist bureaucracy in Czechoslovakia, the office politics skewered in this smart, sexy satire are all too familiar for today’s audiences grappling to find meaning in the absurd doublespeak of corporate re-organization.
Media Release: Trevor Schmidt puts a gender-bending twist on Havel's The Memorandum
U of A Studio Theatre E-Playbill: The Memorandum
“I think theatre should always be somewhat suspect.” Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel (1936 –2011)
Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician.
Last president of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992) and first president of the Czech Republic (1993–2003)
Havel received many awards and accolades, including the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Order of Canada, the freedom medal of the Four Freedoms Award, and the Ambassador of Conscience Award.
The Garden Party
The Increased Difficulty of Concentration
Productions of The Memorandum
Began writing the play in 1960 and it was rewritten several times that decade. Originally produced at Prague's Theatre of the Balustrade in 1965, the play made its American debut in 1968 at the Public Theatre in New York, winning an Obie Award for best foreign play. After 1968, Havel’s plays were banned in Czechoslovakia. The first London production of The Memorandum was in 1977.