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Havel’s final work: part operetta, part political parable, part feast. A theatrical-musical-technological-gastronomic extravaganza!
81 backers pledged $5,280 to help bring this project to life.

About

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3LD and Untitled Theater Company #61 are producing The Pig, or Václav Havel's Hunt for a Pig, for 16 performances in March at 3LD Art + Technology Center in New York City.  This piece is former Czech President Václav Havel's final work for the stage, and we are looking for further funds to pay our artists, particularly the musicians, so that we can expand our vision and include elements like the pre- and post-show that are so vital to the atmosphere of the production.

The Pig had a highly successful workshop of the show during the Ohio Theater's Ice Factory Festival in July, 2011 (the footage in the video is from that festival) The four sold-out performance received praise from critics and audiences alike. Backstage called it "...one of the more unexpectedly playful and rewarding offerings of New York's summer season."

About the play

The play, based on a dialogue that Havel wrote in 1987, is a shaggy-dog tale about his attempt to put together a zabíjačka (a traditional Czech pig roast) for his dissident friends, framed as an interview with a clueless American journalist. As he tells the comic tale, he provides veiled commentary on everyday life under Communism, disguising it so that it can slip past the ever-present censors. Acclaimed Czech director Vladimír Morávek rediscovered the piece and, together with Havel, combined it with sections from Smetana's operetta, The Bartered Bride.

About the production

The production is part play, part operetta, part video installation, and part feast—but its heart is pure Havel. The ensemble cast sings Smetana, plays instruments, and dance Czech-inspired folk numbers in an immersive video landscape. In this environmental production, we recreate our version of a traditional zabíjačka in downtown Manhattan. The audience may pre-order a pork or vegetarian dinner, provided by Korzo (a local Slovakian restaurant), and participate in the feast while watching the show.

The production also includes an extended pre-show of popular Czech cabaret songs from the local ensemble, Cabaret Metropol, and it will be followed with an “after-party” tribute concert of music that inspired the Velvet Revolution, from the Velvet Underground and others.

About Untitled Theater Company #61:
A Theater of Ideas

UTC61 is the leading company for Havel’s plays in English. Our collaboration with Havel began during our 2006 Havel Festival, which presented his extant complete plays. Havel attended numerous events during the festival, and it began an ongoing relationship. Our publishing arm, Theater 61 Press, recently published the Havel Collection, a five-volume collection of new translations of his plays.  Next Fall, we will revive our production of The Velvet Oratorio, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

In 2010, Havel personally invited artistic director and translator Edward Einhorn to Brno to see The Pig in Czech, in anticipation of a potential New York production. Unfortunately, Havel passed away before we were able to produce the full event, but his collaborator Vladimir Morávek will attend.

About 3LD Art + Technology Center

3LD exists to produce new, original works in theater, performance, media and hybrid forms. Working out of a strong literary tradition, its mission is to explore the new narrative possibilities created by digital technology, and to provide an environment for our artists to create new tools and modes of expression so that they can excel across a range of disciplines. Located at 80 Greenwich Street, just three blocks south of the World Trade Center, 3LD was the first producing arts group to sign a lease in the Liberty Zone and the first to rebuild in downtown. A cultural anchor for the Greenwich Street Corridor, 3LD Art + Technology Center has been called a “quintessentially ‘hip location,’ a magnet in a still rough-around-the-edges neighborhood,” by Newsday and the New York Times said after 3LD opened, “A theater group offers hope at Ground Zero.”

Stretch Goals

The $5,000 will let us have the music we want, but truly, for a show of this scope, it is the minimum.  We would like to pay our artists more, because we think they deserve it.  We would love to document this production, but that is a very expensive proposition. 

A total of $10,000 would allow us to pay our artists more, and a total of $25,000 would allow us to begin the documentation process.  Beyond that, all funds will go towards improving of the production.  We are considering creating a documentary of the show, as 3LD has a strong recent history of film (including Charlie Victor Romeo, which won critical acclaim at Sundance), but that goal could only be achieved at levels of $50,000 or more.

  • graphic design of Pig logo by [piama]

Risks and challenges

Creating performance in New York on a limited budget always has its pitfalls. And this show has an incredible number of parts: live music, food, a band, and the sort of complicated multimedia 3LD is known for. A show with this much tech often has a lot of troubleshooting along the way, in order to have the smooth and professional result we expect. Fortunately, working with 3LD gives us the luxury of time in the performance space, and we feel optimistic about our ability to make good use of that time. And we hope the challenges of putting this production together is what will make it all the more impressive when we achieve our goals.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A copy of the script, published by Theater 61 Press

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    A ticket to the show (not including a meal) during the first three weeks, PLUS a copy of the script ($35 value)

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    A ticket to the show during the first three weeks, including a meal ($45 value)

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    A ticket to the show during the first three weeks, including a meal, PLUS a copy of the the script published by Theater 61 Press ($60 value)

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    Two tickets to the show during the first three weeks, including a meal ($90 value)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Two tickets to the show during the first three weeks, including a meal, PLUS a copy of the the script published by Theater 61 Press ($105 value)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Two tickets to opening night, including a meal, PLUS a copy of the script published by Theater 61 Press ($100 tax deductible)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Two tickets to any show (with meal), plus a copy of the full five volume Havel Collection ($150 tax deductible)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Two tickets to any show (with meal), the five volume Havel Collection, and a signed photo from the full cast. ($350 tax deductible)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Two tickets to any show (with meal), the five volume Havel Collection, and a signed photo from the full cast. PLUS two tickets to the Velvet Oratorio, playing next year in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. PLUS a copy of the Velvet Oratorio script from Theater 61 Press. ($800 tax deductible)

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Learn multi-media from 3LD, the foremost multi-media theater in New York! A one week summer workshop in Isadora, the prime software package for those who use video in performance (valued at $700). PLUS Two tickets to any show (with meal), the five volume Havel Collection, and a signed photo from the full cast. PLUS two tickets to the Velvet Oratorio, playing next year in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. PLUS a copy of the Velvet Oratorio script from Theater 61 Press. ($1100 tax deductible)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The rare book Castle Works, written in English and Czech; an examination of the Bořek Šípek's architecture at Prague Castle during the years 1992-2002 (while Havel was President). Signed by both Václav Havel and Bořek Šípek and given as a gift by President Havel to Untitled Theater Company #61 on the occasion of the Havel Festival. It includes numerous full page color plates of Borek Sipek's work. 175 pages. Plus two tickets to any show (with meal), the five volume Havel Collection, and a signed photo from the full cast. ($4800 tax deductible)

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Funding period

- (23 days)