Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo


Nov 16, 2018 7:00 PM


Panel EUROPE THEN AND NOW IN AUDIO DRAMA followed by staged reading ILLEGAL HELPERS. Part of Freedom and Movement festival on November 16, 2018.

A night of celebration throughout the Bohemian National Hall for the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989. The Velvet Revolution marked the end of Communism in Czechoslovakia after student protestors packed the streets of Prague, forcing the Communist government to relinquish power. In collaboration with Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York.

NOVEMBER 16, 2018

3rd Floor, BBLA Room 

Followed by staged reading: ILLEGAL HELPERS
3rd Floor, BBLA Room


This panel discussion will explore the role of audio drama in documenting and dissecting political events, the experience of bringing history to life through sound, and the challenges and pleasures of reaching new audiences. Moderator Jen Zoble, a Play for Voices producer and director, will speak with artists affiliated with three PfV productions that explore the legacy of 1989. Audio excerpts from each production will complement the discussion.

We’re excited to welcome from Prague featured guests Tereza Semotamová and Barbora Růžičková, the author and translator of Please Enter Destination. They’ll be joined on the panel by Carol Monda, an actor featured in Please Enter Destination and It’s Cold and It’s Getting So Dark; Elena Mancini, the translator of It’s Cold and It’s Getting So Dark; Jocelyn Kuritsky, an actor featured in both It’s Cold and It’s Getting So Dark and I Regret Nothing; and Matt Fidler, a Play for Voices producer who designed the sound for I Regret Nothing.

Moderator: Jennifer H. Zoble


Matt Fidler is an audio producer working in podcasting and public radio. After receiving his BA in Music with an option in Recording Arts from California State University, Chico, Matt worked in the music, film, and TV industries before finding his calling in public radio right as the podcast revolution was starting.Matt has worked as an audio engineer and producer on Studio 360Freakonomics RadioThe New Yorker Radio Hour,Selected ShortsThe TakeawayLatino USA,On the MediaCity VisionsA World of Possibilities, and more. In 2016, Matt started Very Bad Words, the critically acclaimed show about taboo language and swearing. He is a co-producer of Play for Voices

Jocelyn Kuritsky mostly works on new plays and new theatrical forms. As the resident performer of Woodshed Collective, she has acted in and/or co-conceived 12 OpheliasThe Confidence ManThe TenantEmpire Travel AgencyDoes It Hurt?,and KPop. She has also appeared in a wide array of NYC productions, including premieres by The Assembly Theatre Project, Rachel Bonds, Sheila Callaghan, Kim Davies, Erik Ehn, Caridad Svich, Ken Urban, and Mac Wellman. Regionally, she has performed at Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, and Theater Alliance. Her film work includes: Neil LaBute’s Over the River and Through the Woods, Chisa Hutchinson's Domesticity, Nana Mensah’s Queen of Glory, and Ghazi Albuliwi’s Peace after Marriage. PAPER Magazine calls her an "outstanding actor.”

Elena Mancini is a German-English and Italian-English literary translator. Her published translations span the genres and include three novels as well as numerous articles of social and political commentary. Mancini holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures and is a language, literature, and film professor at Queens College in New York City. 

Carol Monda is a veteran stage and voiceover actor, teacher, and coach. She has appeared on numerous Off Broadway and regional stages and provided vocal talent for theatre, film, television, and advertising. Stage roles include: the Snow Queen at The Kennedy Center, Celimene in Roundhouse Theatre’sThe Misanthrope, Limer in Morticians in Love(Helen Hayes Award Nomination), and Hillary in Albee Damned(Best Actress, SpotlightOn Award). Her film credits include: Out of SeasonThe GentlemanThou Shalt Not Misogynate,and After You Left. She’s a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, where she serves as a member of its National Audiobook Steering Committee. 

Barbora Růžičková is a translator and interpreter working between English and Czech. A native Czech, she was brought up in a bilingual environment and spent most of her childhood abroad; today, she is based in Prague. Barbora holds a degree in translation and art history, and her published literary translations include two books for young adults and a series of excerpts from contemporary Scottish literature. In 2014, she took part in the Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency program.

Tereza Semotamová is a Czech screenwriter, journalist, radio editor, and translator from the German. She holds a degree in screenwriting and German language and literature, and is a regular contributor to Czech Radio. Tereza has written over a dozen radio plays and edited a number of radio shows focusing on German literature and culture. Her screenplay Tak Dobrou won the Czech edition of the NISI MASA Script Contest. She also writes for Czech newspapers and magazines, teaches creative studies at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU), and works with the Goethe Institut and Czech PEN.

STAGED READING: Illegal Helpers 

Illegal Helpersis a German play by Maxi Obexer, in Neil Blackadder’s English translation. This innovative and timely piece of audio drama explores the current refugee crisis in Europe through the eyes of average citizens, drawing upon interviews with Swiss and Austrian residents from all walks of life—doctors, judges, social workers, activists, and students—who have taken it upon themselves to help refugees, even when that means breaking the law. The stories of the helpers are periodically interrupted by the voice of an impersonal “legislator,” who reads out official statutes regulating the movement and treatment of refugees. Through this juxtaposition, the play questions the justness of a society that criminalizes humanitarian actions. Play for Voicesco-producer Katrin Redfern will direct this reading as a live recording, to be released as an episode later in November.


Maxi Obexer writes drama, prose, and radio plays, and has made a name for herself in particular with political plays and essays, focusing in recent years on the refugee crisis. Her most widely produced play is Das Geisterschiff(“The Ghost Ship”), which deals with would-be immigrants crossing the Mediterranean. In 2011, Obexer published her first novel, Wenn gefährliche Hunde lachen(“When Dangerous Dogs Laugh”) to critical acclaim. Obexer’s plays have been produced in many cities, including Basel, Jena, Freiburg, and Stuttgart, and she has held residencies at the Literarisches Colloquium in Berlin and the Akademie Schloss Solitude. Obexer lives in Berlin and South Tyrol. 


Neil Blackadder translates drama and prose from German and French, specializing in contemporary theatre. His translations of plays by Lukas Bärfuss and Ewald Palmetshofer have been produced in London, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere, and he has received grants from the Howard Foundation and PEN, and held residencies at the Banff Centre and Art Omi. He is a professor of theatre at Knox College. His translation of Ferdinand Schmalz’s Dosenfleisch(“Canned Meat”) will be presented in a staged reading at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York on December 6, 2018. 


Katrin Redfern is a multimedia producer, writer, and journalist who reports on human rights and conservation. She has written for the BBC, The Daily BeastThe IndypendentHuffington Post, andThe Phnom Penh Post, among others. She produces film (two Sundance Festival Official Selections), theater (five Tony Award nominations), radio, and podcasts, from science news to audio drama. Katrin is also a longtime activist focusing on labor issues and a Human Rights Commissioner for the city of Newburgh, NY. Katrin holds a BA from the Institute for Social Ecology, an MA from the University of Sussex, and an MSc from the London School of Economics. She is a co-producer of Play for Voices

Illegal Helpers will be performed by:

JJ Condon
Roberto De Felice
Guenevere Donohue
Mariam Habib
Asta Hansen
Wayne Maugans
Joe Primavera
Francisco Solorzano
Harold Tarr
Pauline Walsh

Play for Voices would like to thank the Czech Literary Centre, a section of the Moravian Library for supporting Freedom and Movement.

Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to showtime. Empty seats will be released to standby patrons after that time.



321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Nov 16, 2018 7:00 PM


Czech Centre

Remind me
This event has already started.