Mark Makkar Gabriel, an alumnus of Covenant College, plays Vanek; Gabriel grew up in Syria, but left when his parents feared their son being drafted into the war that raged there. He said the character interactions in "Protest" reminds him "of a Muslim who wants to convert to Christianity, but is too scared."
Camille Hallstrom, director of "Protest" states, "We really should put Havel in the same category as Martin Luther King or Gandhi ... This man was able to start a revolution without any bloodshed." Although the government denied Havel much education, he quickly rose to the top as a residential playwright in Prague during the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Believing in liberal reforms, Havel joined a human rights movement called Charter 77, essentially sacrificing his playwriting career, as the government, displeased with Havel’s participation, made his plays illegal. This playwright then spent four years in prison after he stood up for human rights. In 1989, as the nation began more open anti-government protest, Havel, founded the Civic Forum, a political movement which waged the Velvet Revolution, overthrowing the Communist government, bloodlessly, in a mere 10 days. One month later, Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia, but stepped down from office as the country's union disbanded. When the Czech Republic was formed however, he was elected president again even though he did not wish for power.
Alumni Jonathan Austin (Stanek) and Mark Gabriel (Vanek) are the leads in "Protest," with Mary Brook Diamond, Emily Cothran and Cara Smole appearing as the Chorus.
Protest, along with other of Havel’s political writings, will be performed in Sanderson Hall Auditorium at Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, Ga., September 28 and 29 at 8 p.m., October 5 at 6:30 p.m.. and on October 6 at 2:30 p.m. Following the matinee performance on the October 6, a discussion panel will be held including several faculty members, Bill Davis and John Wingard of philosophy, Bill Tate of English, Richard Follett of history, and the director Camille Hallstrom.
Tickets can be purchased at the door, while seating is available. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $7 for seniors, students and employees. To reserve tickets, visit covenant.edu/theatre or contact the box office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (706) 419-1051.