Former Czech Republic president and noted playwright Vaclav Havel has died. According to a brief statement by the Czech Consulate in New York, Havel died in his sleep on Sunday at the age of 75, while at his country house in the Czech town of Hrádeček in Bohemia. Prior to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, Havel had been a longtime dissident. He was a leader in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, and subsequently became the nation’s democratically elected president. He served 14 years in that office.
Havel was a playwright of international renown. Of his many plays produced in New York, three won Obie Awards: 1968’s The Memorandum, 1970’s The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, and 1984’s A Private View. Tomorrow, Village Voice critic Michael Feingold looks back at Havel in our theater section.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 18, 2011