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Travel Blog

Lost and Found

Jessica Litwak

I was on the wrong train crawling through the Czech countryside -  going the long way from Brno to Prague because my lack of Czech language and the misunderstandings about tracks from well-meaning woman and I wastrying to forgive myself for being a dopey foreigner, hoping I didn't miss the opening of the Akcent festival. Hurdling through the dark in a country I don't know. And then the train stopped and we all had to get off in between two small stops in a field in the middle of somewhere but with nothing I could see or recognize and the people who were left on the train all wandered off into the field or down a country road and I stood by a small light and waited and sent a facebook message on my phone and all the theatre folks thousands of miles away sent messages and suggestions. And the angels prevailed and I got back to rainy Prague carrying three bags and a small withered bouquet of roses one of my students had given me.

In Prague I got to the theatre to see this wonderful German production which was simultaneously translated into Czech and English. The play was interactive, the entire audience engaged in the imagining and building the "pre-enactment" of a future Europe - using all of the issues Europe faces today. The audience was divided into countries. At one point we lost Portugal, Spain, and England. At another point we had to merge countries and rename them. Some people had to move to go "work" in other countries. Sometime countries (like France) were on fire. We had cards to vote and also to spend money on various initiates. Then there were public opinion polls and an open microphone for public civic discussion. This was socially engaged theatre in it's purest form. I was so grateful that the theatre angels got me back to Prague in time.