Belarus Free Theatre - International Support

International Support

Famous playwrights like Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Václav Havel, and Arthur Kopit have supported the Free Theatre, with "Pinter himself ... so enthusiastic about the collage that ... assembled from his Nobel Prize for Literature speech, plays and letters from political prisoners in Belarus, that he gave the 'Free Theater' the rights to his plays for free." Stoppard, who "gave a course in Minsk" two years earlier, stated: "'I wish that all my plays would be performed by a theatre like this,'" becoming "one of the theatre's patrons," along with former Czech President Havel, whom a couple of them visited on 4 August 2007, prior to being "under attack" by the authorities again. On 30 July 2007, before going to the Czech Republic to meet with former President Havel, "The group ... met Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger in Warsaw," another sponsor. In 2009 Belarus Free Theatre met with Steven Spielberg in DreamWorks Headquarters in LA, USA. Not only do "such famous sponsors bring glamour" to the Free Theatre, according to Petz, but they also afford "protection against even more drastic repressive measures" from the Belarusian authorities. The theatre has also received moral support from free expression charity Index on Censorship, who have lobbied British MPs on the situation in Belarus. In late 2011, the Free Theatre conducted a highly successful crowdfunding campaign on UK-based platform Sponsume to help them continue their activity, banned in Belarus, through their London office. A number of artists, including actor Kevin Spacey supported the Free Theatre's Sponsume campaign.

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