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Rehearsal for Truth 2019: Hungarian Acacia (Hungary)

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Bohemian National Hall

321 East 73rd Street

New York, NY 10021

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Glimpse at Hungarian Acacia and other performance projects conceived to address the public discourse in Hungary in a satirical way.

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PRESENTATION OF PERFORMANCE PROJECTS, DISCUSSION

Engaging, behind-the-scenes glimpse at Hungarian Acacia and other performance projects conceived to address the public discourse in Hungary in a satirical way. Artists-directors Kristof Kelemen and Bence Gyorgy Palinkas will discuss their creative practice and working methods and show footage of Hungarian Acacia iterated as a live event as well as an onstage re-enactment of societal activities with musical performances and recited political speeches.

The acacia, an indigenous American tree appropriated as a national symbol in Hungary, has become a subject of contemporary debates concerning politicians’ branding of the tree and distortion of environmental facts. The absurd exploitation of a plant for political means drove Kelemen and Palinkas to launch a movement aimed at rebranding the acacia into a symbol of an inclusive society. Planting events took place at nationally significant locations in order to promote liberal ideals of a community. Hungarian Acacia received the Critics Prize at the Theatre Festival Szeged, Hungary (2018).

“It seemed to me that both the context and the humor of the performance was understandable for the foreign audience. You would think that Hungarian Acacia tackles typical Hungarian public topics, but actually, through the symbol of the acacia, it is a general story of creating myths, writing histories. These can be interesting to anyone.” (Kristof Kelemen for Sophie Hacsek, arthereartnow.com, May, 2019)

The event will be conducted in English. The performance project Hungarian Acacia is co-produced by Trafo House of Contemporary Arts and Workshop Foundation. The presentation is featured at the 2019 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival with the support of FÜGE Productions – Independently Together, Workshop Foundation Budapest, Ministry of Human Capacities, National Cultural Fund, and Juranyi Incubator House.

>> View the full program of the 2019 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival

ABOUT THE 2019 REHEARSAL FOR TRUTH THEATER FESTIVAL

The 2019 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival explores the disappearance of borders between truth and lies. The festival consists of five international performances—three full plays, one dance performance and a behind-the-scene presentation—along with four special events. In total, the activities offer a notable occasion for adventure of the mind and conduits for shared encounters.

The festival examines different nuances of truth through its third edition, “The Travesty of Truth.” Conceived under the direction of Pavla Niklova, the 2019 Rehearsal for Truth program encourages participants to enter a dialogue on pressing matters that pervade our post-truth era. “The time when boundary is blurred between truth and lie, theater holds the power to re-establish relationships between participants through a common engagement and common experience of truth,” states Niklova.

The 2019 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival is organized by the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation (VHLF) and Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA), in partnership with Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak and Romanian performing arts organizations and cultural institutes. The series of events highlight Vaclav Havel’s legacy as a playwright through live performances, panel discussions, exhibitions and a ceremony for the Disturbing the Peace Award to a Courageous Writer at Risk. A key objective is to establish exchanges between U.S. and Central European theater professionals. The festival reflects Havel’s contribution to 20th-century theater as well as his belief in the potential of Central European cultural traditions to enrich human existence in the modern age. The program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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Bohemian National Hall

321 East 73rd Street

New York, NY 10021

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