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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento
October 17, 2003
Succumb to Temptation at CSUS
Kate Castor in Temptation.
Photo by Jason Lehrbaum.
The West Coast premiere of the diabolical comedy Temptation, by former
Czech President Vaclav Havel, is set to take the stage in a production by the
CSUS theatre and dance department at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30, in the University
Theatre. The show continues Oct. 31, Nov. 1, 2 and Nov. 6 to 9, Monday through
Saturday at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
The play, directed by theatre and dance professor Gina Kaufmann, is a Faustian
parable exploring a community’s idolization of agenda over moral choice.
“It’s so much fun, it’s so theatrical,” says Kaufmann.
“There’s the devil, there’s dancing, there’s fire. That’s
what I love about this play, it has it all.”
The production follows Dr. Henry Foustka, who is employed by “The Scientific
Institute” to conduct research into “irrational tendencies.”
His work at the institute is eclipsed by his nighttime dabbling in the occult,
a hobby that introduces him to the evil-smelling and devious Fistula, a character
who offers Foustka tempting powers.
At first refusing, Foustka finally gives in, a choice that leads to an epic
struggle for control of his life and work. Oppressed by the director of the
institute and mocked by his colleagues, Foustka’s dilemma explodes under
the pressure during the “Witches’ Sabbath” costume party that
is the play’s frenzied conclusion.
Havel wrote the play in the early 1980s while imprisoned for his dissident views
by the government of what was then Czechoslovakia. The play is a biting commentary,
filled with satirical wit, on the political state of Eastern Europe at that
time. Propelled to the presidency by Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution”
of 1989, Havel played a major role in the deconstruction of the political apparatus
he rails against in Temptation.
The play is a directional debut for Kaufmann at CSUS, and includes sets by opera
designer Leon Weibers and tango choreography by theatre and dance professor
Tickets are $15 general, $8 for students and seniors, and available from the
CSUS Ticket Office or Tickets.com.
For more information, call (916) 278-6604.
California State University, Sacramento Public Affairs
6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 (916) 278-6156