Genre: Drama, Other
©B. Walker Sampson

PUPPET KAFKA delves into the work, life and peculiar perspective of Franz Kafka as imagined for performance by traditional Czech marionette, found object, and shadow puppets along with an ensemble of actors. Within Gregor Samsa’s tiny bedroom, three versions of Kafka are manipulated by forces from the outside. One is Gregor-Bug, a transforming creature who is losing sense of the human being he once was as he learns to use his many new legs. A second version is Franz Kafka himself, a sickly man and the cynical, suspicious center of his own works. And finally, the small letter ‘k’, a permanently young and reticent character haunted by an authoritarian father figure. Using the The Metamorphosis as the main framework along with references to The Trial, numerous Kafka short stories, his letters and diaries, PUPPET KAFKA examines the many parallels between life and art.

PUPPET KAFKA features marionettes by Miroslav Trejtnar (winner of the 1996 Bayerischen Design Award at the Munich International Crafts Fair), with additional puppets by Gretchen Van Lente, lighting by Jeanette Yew, sound by Matt Tennie, set by Markus Maurette and Meghan Williams, video by Pete Dimas, assistant direction by Rita Kompelmakher, and performances by John Ardolino, Deborah Heshaw, Jason Howard, Tatiana Pavela, Adam Sullivan, and Scott Weber.
B. Walker Sampson’s plays include: Silent Steps: A Play with MacGuffins, Alceste, Assistance Absence of a House, Roosevelt Island, Clear Across, and Full View. In New York, his plays have been seen at American Theatre of Actors, HERE, and Jean Cocteau Rep. He was a member of the 2004 Writer/Director Lab at Soho Rep, and additionally has had readings of his plays at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles, and The Flea. He received his MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College.

Founded in 1999, DRAMA OF WORKS is known for its innovative productions that blur the line between actors and puppeteers. Past works include Doctor Faustus, The Sid & Nancy Punch & Judy Show, The Ballad of Phineas P. Gage, WARRIOR (The Sword of Yamato, On the Backs of Fishes, the Book of Ojin), TITUS!, WARHOL™, Sleepy Hollow and Puppet Kafka. Led by Artistic Director Gretchen Van Lente (also president of UNIMA-USA), their work has been seen in New York at venues including P.S.122, Henry Street Settlement, The Culture Project, HERE, Arts At St. Ann’s, and Brooklyn Museum of Art. Drama of Works has performed abroad at international theater and puppet festivals in Serbia, Canada, Finland, and Prague. At the prestigious World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague, WARRIOR won Best Original Adaptation and was nominated for both Best Original Creation and Best Actor; WARHOL™ took home the prize for Best Original Performance. For more information visit www.dramaofworks.com.

Open:   04/22/09
Close:   05/10/09

Wednesdays - Saturdays, 7pm Sundays, 2pm
Theater:   Here Arts Center
Address:   145 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
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Closest subway: C,E to Spring Street; south to theatre

Cost:$18 or Call: at
Company: Drama of Works         Official Web Site: www.dramaofworks.com