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Leaving: A Legacy


The Prague-born ex-president of Czechoslovakia – then the Czech Republic – writes a play about a fictional ex-chancellor and his dealings with life and love. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, I promise.

Leaving, a play written by notoriously witty and profound playwright (and former president of the Czech Republic) Václav Havel, premieres May 26 at The Wilma Theater. The production closes out The Wilma’s 2009-2010 season and is the first play released by Havel in 20 years.

Directed by Jiri Zizka, Leaving is a tragicomedy about retired Chancellor Vilem Rieger and his struggles with truth and power in the midst of managing his unusual family. David Strathairn stars as Vilem Rieger and is supported by a 15-member cast.

In addition to the play, a symposium series is being held Sunday, May 30 at 4:30pm, with a panel discussing Havel’s career as playwright, politician and philosopher. “Politics and Hubbubs,” a discussion of the historical and dramatic background of the play, takes place on Sunday, June 13 at 4:30pm.

Leaving closes on June 20, 2010. Tickets range from $36 to $65 and can be purchased by calling The Wilma’s Box Office (215) 546-7824 or visiting www.wilmatheater.org. Students can receive a special rate at the box office with a valid student ID. The theater is located at 265 S. Broad St. (Broad & Spruce Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19107.