“The theater of politics makes permanent demands on us all, as dramatists, actors, and audience – on our common sense, our moderation, our responsibility, our good taste, and our conscience.”

-VACLAV HAVEL, Czech dissident, playwright and former President, who passed away Dec. 18, writing in 1997 about the important parallels between theatrical acts and political ones. Of course, as Havel acknowledges at the end of his essay — recently republished — while much of politics is indeed theater, its effect doesn’t end when the curtain closes and the audience departs. There are greater responsibilities for political actors and the citizens who give them an audience.

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