From a media release - I think around these parts, we forget that theatre and artistic expression can be risky enterprises in some parts of the world:
Viva The Belarus Free Theater: A benefit
with Tom Stoppard , E.L. Doctorow, Billy Crudup, Iva Bittová and Don DeLillo & more
(le) poisson rouge, NYC
Wed., January 19, 2011
Two weeks ago, the members of the Belarus Free Theater were either in jail or in hiding. Now,miraculously, they are performing their play "Being Harold Pinter" as part of the Under the Radar Festival in New York . Soon they will be back in Belarus , where they will continue to risk the wrath of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, the man known as "Europe 's last dictator."
On the eve of their return to Minsk , the Belarus Free Theater joins internationally-acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard, PEN American Center, and a stellar supporting cast for an evening celebrating artistic freedom and the courage of hundreds of writers, artists, journalists, and intellectuals targeted in Lukashenko's latest crackdown. Tom Stoppard, Don DeLillo, and other surprise guests come together for a farewell gathering featuring literature, music, and cocktail conversation about the power of art and the future of Belarus.
ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE BELARUS FREE THEATER
Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL (born Tomáš Straussler 3 July 1937) is an influential British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil and Shakespeare in Love and has won one Academy Award and four Tony Awards. Themes of human rights, censorship and political freedom pervade his work along with exploration of linguistics and philosophy. Stoppard has been a key playwright of the National Theatre and is one of the most internationally performed dramatists of his generation.
In 1939, Stoppard left Czechoslovakia as a child refugee, fleeing imminent Nazi occupation. He settled with his family in Britain after the war, in 1946. After being educated by schools in Nottingham and Yorkshire, Stoppard became a journalist, a drama critic and then, in 1960, a playwright. He has been married twice, to Josie Ingle (1965–1972) and Miriam Stoppard (1972–1992), and has two sons, one from each marriage, including actor Ed Stoppard.
E.L. Doctorow’s work is published in more than 30 languages. His novels include The Book of Daniel, a National Book Award nominee in 1972; Ragtime, which received the first National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1976; World’s Fair, which won the 1986 National Book Award; Billy Bathgate, winner of the PEN/Faulkner prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the William Dean Howells medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1990; The Waterworks; City of God; and The March, which received the 2006 PEN/Faulkner Award, the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He has published two collections of short fiction, Lives of the Poets, (1984) a New York Times Notable Book, and Sweetland Stories (2004), a New York Times Notable Book, and three volumes of essays, Jack London, Hemingway and the Constitution (1993), Reporting the Universe (2003), and Creationists (2007). His new novel, Homer & Langley was published in September 2009. Mr. Doctorow is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1998 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal at the White House. He holds the Lewis and Loretta Glucksman chair in English and American Letters at New York University.
William Gaither "Billy" Crudup is an American actor of film and stage. He is well known for his roles as guitarist Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, Will Bloom in Big Fish, and Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke. He also starred in the 2007 romantic comedy film Dedication, alongside Mandy Moore. In 2009, he appeared as Doctor Manhattan in the film Watchmen and as J. Edgar Hoover in the film Public Enemies.
Iva Bittová was born in 1958 in Bruntal in northern Moravia in what was then Czechoslovakia – and nowadays the Czech Republic. Both of her parents were musicians. Iva attended drama pre-school, specializing in violin and ballet. In due course she gained admittance to the Music Conservatory in Brno. Later on, while working full time in theater, she re-kindled her nterest in playing violin, an instrument she had set aside in her younger years. After her father’s early death, she decided to follow in his professional footsteps as an instrumentalist and by composing her own music.
In 1982, Iva started studying with Professor Rudolf Stastny, the primarius (first violin) of the Moravian String Quartet. In the intervening years the violin has become her life’s passion and the most inspiring musical instrument in her professional life. After living in the countryside near Brno for 17 years, Iva decided to relocate her personal and professional life to the United States. In the Summer of 2007, she settled amid the splendors of nature in upstate New York. Iva shares her Hudson Valley home with her younger son Antonín (born 1991) – also a dedicated musician and another chip off the Bitto block.
Don DeLillo & more
Don DeLillo (born November 20, 1936) is an American author, playwright, and occasional essayist whose work paints a detailed portrait of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. DeLillo's novels have tackled subjects as diverse as television, nuclear war, sports, the complexities of language, performance art, the Cold War, mathematics, the advent of the digital age, and global terrorism. He currently lives near New York City in the suburb of Bronxville.
About This Event
• Tickets are $25
• Get them online
• An all ages event
• Doors open 6:30, show starts at 7:00pm
• This is a general admission, standing event
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012