The Van?k plays are a set of plays in which the character Ferdinand Van?k is central. Van?k first appeared in the play Audience by Václav Havel. He subsequently appeared in three other plays by Havel (Protest, Unveiling, and Dozens of Cousins), as well as plays by his friends and colleagues, including Pavel Landovský and Tom Stoppard.
Today, the Van?k plays are among Havel's best-known works.
Ferdinand Van?k first appeared in the play Audience in 1975 as a stand-in for Havel. Van?k, like Havel, was a dissident playwright, forced to work in a brewery because his writing has been banned by the Czechoslovak Communist regime. In the course of the play, it becomes clear that the brewmaster has been asked to spy on him. A long, rambling, comic dialogue proceeds, in the course of which the brewmaster eventually becomes a sympathetic figure, rather than a villain.
Since Havel's work was banned, the play was not performed in any theater. Instead, it was performed in living rooms and distributed as samizdat. However, the work became quite well known in the Czech Republic, in part because of a widely circulated radio production of Audience. 
Subsequent to 'Audience', Havel used Van?k in the plays Unveiling, a comic one-act about a couple who desperately want Van?k to absolve them for their collaborative relationship with the Communist regime, and Protest, in which Van?k tries to convince an old colleague to sign a protest letter.
Havel's Czech friends Pavel Landovský, Pavel Kohout, and Ji?í Dienstbier all wrote subsequent plays starring Van?k, and the character became a national symbol. Subsequent plays by other authors have also featured Van?k, such as Tom Stoppard's play Rock 'n' Roll, which addressed the importance of music in Czechoslovakia, and Edward Einhorn's The Velvet Oratorio, which imagined Van?k during the Velvet Revolution.
Havel himself wrote a short modern sequel to Unveiling entitled Dozens of Cousins in 2010.