The Czech ambassador to the United States was incorrectly identified yesterday. He is Miroslav Houstecky.
Bolek Polivka, the Czechoslovak playwright and actor who was reportedly told earlier this week by his government not to participate in an international theater festival in Baltimore, performed last night as scheduled with the full blessing of Czech officialdom.
Among those attending the sold-out performance of "The Jester and the Queen," the internationally acclaimed artist's signature piece, were the ambassador and cultural attache' of the government of Czechoslovakia.
It was reported Wednesday that Polivka had received a cable Monday from Prague instructing him to skip the Theatre of Nations -- a prestigious festival being held for the first time ever in North America -- and return to Europe. Sources in Stony Brook, N.Y., where Polivka had been performing, said the playwright-actor did not know the reason for the telegram and decided to travel to Baltimore anyway.
"The secretary general of ITI International Theatre Institute, cosponsor of the festival received a telegram late Thursday from the Czechoslovak center of ITI advising him that they had been informed by the Czech government that it was all right for Polivka to perform," said Leslie Marqua, general manager of the Theatre of Nations.
An official at the Czechoslovak Embassy confirmed yesterday that Ambassador Stanislav Suja and Juraj Siroky would attend the play, but said he was never aware of any cable sent by his government telling Polivka not to perform at the festival.
"It was only rumors here that our government issued a ban for him to perform," said Vaclav Zluva, press officer of the Czechoslovak Embassy. "It was probably an internal matter of Pragokoncert," he said. Pragokoncert is the government agency that oversees the scheduling of performing arts events, both domestically and abroad. "It was decided by other authorities to let him perform," he said.
"We think it is very important to be in touch on the cultural field," said Zluva, "to cooperate wherever possible."
Polivka performs at the Theatre Project in Baltimore again tonight and tomorrow.