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About the Event

Krisztina Toth, the writer of the acclaimed book Aquarium (Akvárium) and The Bat (Denevér) will have the new English translation of her play staged at The Hungarian House on May 31st as a part of the Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival honoring Vaclav Havel.

Tickets can be purchase here, by joining the guestlist on site.

About the play:

In a kindergarten changing room, a rubber bat vanishes into thin air, setting off a chain of events igniting suspicion and resentment among the parents. What begins as mild distrust soon turns into full-blown hatred. The story unfolds, through a series of quotidian yet deeply resonant scenes, into a darkly humorous tale of absurdity from Central and Eastern Europe. Against a backdrop of comedic chaos, it poignantly portrays the stark realities of contemporary Hungary. "The Bat" offers a biting commentary on a Hungarian society marked by hatred, recrimination, and ultimately sorrow.

About the author:

Krisztina Tóth is a Hungarian author whose irresistible, absurdist humor makes her popular even with those who do not otherwise follow contemporary literature. Difficult relationships, dark perversions, games of subservience and manipulation, and strange twists of fate are common themes that Toth has developed in her writing, which encompasses poetry (Whale Song), drama (Pokémon, The Bat) and prose (Pixel, Barcode). Her latest novel, The Monkey’s Eyes, was Hungary’s best-selling work of fiction in 2022 and has rapidly become indispensable.

No stranger to controversy, Krisztina Tóth does not shy away from bringing to light hypocrisies or injustices, but her grotesque portraits of modern Central Europe are tinged with the region’s dark humor. Born in 1967, she is one of the most popular and best-known Hungarian authors and the recipient of numerous awards. She studied sculpting and literature in Budapest and spent two years in Paris during her university years.  Tóth has published almost 40 books of prose, poetry, drama, and children’s stories. Her children’s books also tend to approach topics that are considered taboo, for example, “Mom Had an Operation” (a story about cancer) and “Pig and Goose,” a successful series of children’s tales. In 2015, her novel Aquarium featured on the shortlist of the German Internationaler Literaturpreis. Her works have been translated into twenty languages and can be read in Arabic, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German, Polish, Spanish, and Swedish, among other languages. This summer will see the publication of a new set of short stories, “From Where to See the Sky,” and an English translation of her play “The Bat". Source:

Artist’s bio:

Ildiko Nemeth is the Founder and Artistic Director of the New Stage Theatre Company (NSTC), and the director, producer of the company’s premieres.

From 1990 to 1998, she was a member of the R.S. 9 Theater Company in Budapest, touring internationally with numerous critically acclaimed productions. After moving to New York City in 1998, she graduated from The Actors Studio Drama School in 2002 and started New Stage Theatre Company in the same year. With her ensemble, Nemeth adapts and directs foreign writers’ works in New York and creates original pieces through collaboration with her team of artists.

Under Nemeth's artistic direction, New Stage has built a name for itself as a "daring experimental group" (Backstage) offering a "unique theatrical vision that creates wonder for mature sophisticated audiences" (New York Theatre Wire). Nemeth's highly conceptual works have won notice and inspired fascination for their provocative effect. Joe Meyers of the Connecticut Post wrote of Nemeth, "The theater artist is second to none in terms of the images she creates and the moods she spins"; resulting in "great beauty and heightened theatricality"; Jessica Rizzo (Theatre Times) wrote, "New York needs more dauntless directors like her".

Nemeth's 2015 and 2019 productions with NSTC won NY Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Performance Art Production and her shows have been nominated for numerous IT Awards over the years, including Outstanding Director. In 2016 she took home the prestigious Caffe Cino Fellowship, awarded to a company consistently producing outstanding work. In 2017 Nemeth established The New Stage Performance Space, NSTC's permanent artistic home, where she continues to present boundary-defying works and to support the creation of original, multidisciplinary productions.

Ádám Boncz started his career at the Szeged National Theatre in Hungary. He studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, and has performed on New York stages for more than 10 years, with appearances including La MaMa ETC, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. He worked on numerous productions with the New Stage Theatre Company, Gia Forakis & Company, and the International WOW Company. He has also appeared in several international film and television productions, including Shadow & Bone (Netflix), Rematch (HBO), Infinity Pool (NEON), and FBI: International (CBS). He has worked with such notable directors as Brandon Cronenberg, Academy Award nominee Yan England and Josh Fox, and appeared in films that premiered at Sundance Film Festival and Berlinale. He is also one of the organizers of the Hungary L!ve Festival, New York's only biennial Hungarian theatre festival. 

Sarah Lemp’s credits with New Stage Theatre Company include: Near to the Wild Heart; Some Historic/Some Hysteric; The Round of Pleasure; Oh, Those Beautiful Weimar Girls!; Hypnotik; Jollification/Mortification. Select Off-Broadway: New Country; Rantoul and Die; The Hallway Trilogy; Ghosts in the Cottonwoods; Hotel/Motel; The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side; Happy in the Poorhouse; The Bad and the Better. Select Regional: Hartford Stage, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Den. Workshops: NYTW, The Public, The Atlantic, Rattlestick, Second Stage. Member AEA.

Producing organizations: Rehearsal for Truth Theater festival honoring Vaclav Havel, AFHLE, Hungarian House and The New Stage Theatre Company.

About the Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival:

Rehearsal for Truth International Theater Festival, honoring Václav Havel, is a showcase of contemporary European theater organized each year in New York City. Conceived in 2017 as a shared endeavor of the Václav Havel Center (VHC) and Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA), the festival honors the legacy of Czech playwright, dissident and political thinker Vaclav Havel.

Each edition of Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival addresses current sociopolitical trends in Central and Eastern Europe, offering New York audiences a unique opportunity to witness the region’s theatrical zeitgeist.

The program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. The festival is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Featured Guests:

Ildiko Nemeth, Founder & Artistic Director at The New Stage Theatre Company

Ildiko Nemeth, Founder & Artistic Director at The New Stage Theatre Company

Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival is a showcase of contemporary European theater organized each year in New York City.



Date / Time:

May 31, Friday / 7:30pm

Rehearsal for Truth Festival honoring Vaclav Havel: The Bat, by Krisztina Tóth

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