We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Czech philosopher, poet, and playwright Ladislav Klþ/ma’s (pictured) works are as hard to swallow as those of one of his primary inspirations, Friedrich Nietzsche. First published in the early 19th century, his writings were considered incendiary enough to be banned both before and during the communist era. Concerned with overcoming the senselessness of life, Klþ/ma’s philosophy encourages the individual to see himself as not a passive creature, but as the sovereign ruler of the universe. Klþ/ma took his ideas of self-determination so far that he flirted with suicide—not out of despair, but to prove in a bold way that the divide between life and death is only in our tiny heads. Much as Nietzsche did, Klþ/ma imagined that humanity could be its own heroic savior, and his own heroes were history’s real movers and shakers: Caesar, Napoleon, and Renaissance artists. Vþ.clav Havel, who will speak at tonight’s performance of The All or Nothing Struggle, Lumþ/r Tucek and Jan Hladky’s play based on Klþ/ma’s works, has said, “All in all, for Klþ/ma, theater was a key to, and a means for, understanding and seizing the world.” Expect the play’s hero to see life’s absurdity and go forth guided by noble intellect and iron will. At 8 p.m. Friday, April 23, at Studio 1019, 1019 7th St. NW. $20. (703) 684-7990. (John Dugan)