In spring 2018, The Bohemian and Benevolent Literary Association (BBLA) together with the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation (VHLF) launched “Havel Conversations Live” with two interviews. Gail Marrifield Papp, a former director at New York’s Public Theater, and Carol Rocamora, author of Acts of Courage: Vaclav Havel’s Life in the Theater, answered questions posed by Lenka Kabrhelova, a Czech journalist and Nieman Fellow, on May 1. Three weeks later, the human rights activist and VHLF founder Wendy Luers was interviewed by former Havel foreign policy adviser Lise Stone.
The first two “Havel Conversations Live” sought interviewees’ personal memories of Havel at two key historical moments. The first focused upon the 1960s when Havel was active as a playwright, his play The Memorandum premiered at the Public Theater, and he visited the United States for the first time. The importance of his background in the theatre for his career that followed was also discussed. The second interview covered mainly the 1980s and 1990s when Havel transformed from a dissident to a politician broadly respected around the world.
This program is supported by Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association and, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.