RFK Center - Defending Human Rights In This World
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Speak Truth To Power - The Play

On February 19, 2014, at the European Union in Brussels, several Members of European Parliament joined Academy-Award nominated actress Lena Olin, and actors Dylan Bruno and Dennis Haysbert for a one-night performance of the RFK Center play Speak Truth To Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark, written by Ariel Dorfman and based on the book by Kerry Kennedy.

The performance, directed by Seppo Laukkanen from the Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, featured Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and MEPs Cecilia Wikström, Renate Weber, Michael Cashman, Guy Verhofstadt, Marielle Gallo, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, and Eleni Theocharous.

The show was a collaboration between the European Parliament, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, with the support of the United Postcode Lotteries. Watch the full series of videos on YouTube.

Video Clip:

 


Related coverage:

Parliament to Host Play Celebrating Work of Human Rights Defenders, The Parliament.com, February 18, 2014


Playwright Ariel Dorfman was inspired to write a theatrical presentation based on interviews with over fifty human rights activists from around the world. The resulting play, Speak Truth To Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark, was presented at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in September 2000, and broadcast as part of PBS's The Kennedy Center Presents. The play has been produced across the United States and performed by major actors in Athens, Barcelona, Cape Town, Florence, Geneva, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Madrid, Mantua, Milan, Phnom Penh, Rome, Seoul, and Sydney. Notable was a performance in Doha, Qatar, transmitted live on Al Jazeera and read by ten of the most celebrated actors and singers of the Arabic world. Future productions are planned for Bulgaria, France, Mexico and Zimbabwe. It has also been performed by schoolchildren, college students, local heroes and even prisoners (in a major theatre in Bucharest, after rehearsals in the penitentiary). Below is just a partial list of the actors and actresses who have performed Speak Truth To Power:

Alec Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Alexis Bledel, Loraine Bracco, Jamie Cepero, Glenn Close, Trevor Donovan, Hector Elizondo, Giancarlo Esposito, America Ferrera, Marcia Gay Harden, Rupert Graves, Charles Grodin, Woody Harrelson, Bob Herbert, Saeed Jaffrey, Kevin Kline, Dawnn Lewis, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, John Malkovich, Julianna Margulies, Matthew Modine, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, Rita Moreno, Viggo Mortensen, Bill Nighy, Mandy Patinkin, Sean Penn, Lynn Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Gloria Reuben, Rufus Sewell, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Paul Sorvino, Juliet Stevenson, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Janet Suzman, Stanley Tucci, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Sam Waterston, Sigourney Weaver, Bradley Whitford, Debra Winger, Alfre Woodard and Robin Wright Penn.

Below is a brief sampling of some of these great performers bringing playwright Ariel Dorfman's play Speak Truth To Power: Voices From Beyond the Dark to life.

USA

Alec Baldwin, Antonio Banderas, Harry Belafonte, Loraine Bracco, Glenn Close, Trevor Donovan, Hector Elizondo, Giancarlo Esposito, America Ferrera, Melanie Griffith, Marcia Gay Harden, Cheryl Hines, Charles Grodin, Woody Harrelson, Bob Herbert, Kevin Kline, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, John Malkovich, Julianna Margulies, Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Matthew Morrison, Rita Moreno, Viggo Mortensen, Lena Olin, Mandy Patinkin, Sean Penn, Gloria Reuben, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Paul Sorvino, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Janet Suzman, Stanley Tucci, Sam Waterston, Sigourney Weaver, Bradley Whitford, Debra Winger, Alfre Woodard and Robin Wright Penn.

BRITAIN

Rupert Graves, Saeed Jaffrey, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Lynn Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Rufus Sewell, Juliet Stevenson.

GREECE

Thodoris Atheridis, Antigoni Amanitou, Kitty Arsenis, Stelios Mainas, Yannis Voglis, Katia Dandoulakis, Vladimiros Kyriakidis, Constantine Constantopoulos and Themis Bazaka.

ITALY

Franco Nero, Alessandro Preziosi, Enrico Loverso, Paolo Romano, Anna Bonaiuto, Anna Galiena, Andrea Giordana, Piera Degli Esposti.

QATAR

Safia Al Emari, Kathem Al Saher, Carmen Lebbos, Lotfi Boshnaq, Khalid Al Sheikh, Suad Al Abdullah, Raghda, Mahmoud Yaseen, Jamal Slaiman, Saad Al Kharji, and Qatar’s Ghanim Al Sulaiti.

SPAIN

Ana Álvarez, Antonio Hortelano, Carmen Estévez, Eusebio Lazaro, Jordi Dauder, María José Goyanes, Marta Beláusteguí, Martin Sheen, Ramón Langa, Ruth Gabriel.

SWEDEN

Reine Brynolfsson, Lena Endre, Thomas Hanzon, Melinda Kinnaman, Elin Klinga, Jonas Malmsjö, Zardasht Rad, Lena Olin.