AmeriKafka

WRITTEN BY: Ken Prestininzi
DIRECTED BY: Kate Hendrickson

OPENED June 2005

CLOSED July 2005

“Fascinating AmeriKafka is deliciously messy! Excellent…inventive…a notable achievement!”
– Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune

 

“Alternately fierce and flamboyant … a blend of the dreamy and nightmarish, the spiritual and profane, the heartbreaking and the soul-searching, the transcendent and the vulgar- with some hilarious X-rated puppetry too. It is a theatrical piece that captures both the mystery and tragicomedy of Kafka’s real and imaginary worlds.”

– Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

“A remarkably deep portrait. Kate Hendrickson’s production balances the play’s wild imagination and it’s passionate exploration of Kafka’s life. Compelling, physically dynamic performances. Hilarious and heartbreaking…brilliant!”
– John Beer, New City 

CAST: Tom Bateman, Mary Jo Bolduc, Marzenna Bukowska, Nicole Cardano, K.K. Dodds, Tien Doman, John Gray, Emily Lotspeich, Jason Powers, Holly Thomas, Nicolai Todorov, Scott Unes and Betsy Zajko

K.K. Dodd’s performance ranked in Chris Jones’ “Top 10 performances of 2005”

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Shane Oman
CHOREOGRAPHER:
Genevra Gallo
COMPOSER:
Kevin O’Donnell
LIGHTING DESIGN:
Richard Norwood
SET DESIGN:
Ewelina Dobiesz
SOUND DESIGN:
Bob Rokos
COSTUME DESIGN:
Jana Anderson
PUPPET DESIGN:
Sarah Bendix
STAGE MANAGER:
Jonathon Nininger

One night in 1912 Franz Kafka went to the theatre and saw a traveling Yiddish Theatre troupe. Their approach to performance and narrative intoxicated him with its unabashed belief in possibilities, possibilities made up of pleasures, passion and pain. The encounter led Kafka to produce an evening of Yiddish Theatre performed by Kafka’s new friend and soulmate Itzhak Löwy. The surrealist comedy AmeriKafka repeats and rehearses this emotional tumble in Kafka’s psyche as he tries to unify all the unfinished business of his life at the moment of his death.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:

Ken Prestininzi is an American playwright, director, and dramaturg. He is Associate Artistic Director of the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre. His existential extravaganza play, AmeriKafka, was produced by Trap Door Theatre. He is also the author of the musicals Favorite of the King, Pe’er Flynt, and Ariadne as well as the plays The Burger Girl Jingle, The Hole, and Kept.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:

Kate Hendrickson is a resident director at Trap Door and has developed and sustained long-term collaborative relationships with several playwrights, steering multiple world premiere productions to critical and popular success. Together with Ruth Margraff and the Trap Door ensemble, she created ANGER/FLY which was recognized in the Chicago Reader “Best Of” edition as part of a Trap Door season presenting the “best string of theatrical stunners.” Other Trap Door credits include Cookie Play and Chaste and Beholder (Jeff Award for “Best New Work”, After Dark Award for “Best Original Music”). Chaste received “Best of the Year” nods in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Stage Review, and the Huffington Post. Hendrickson also directed Midwest premieres of Prestininzi’s AmeriKafka, Howard Zinn’s Emma (After Dark Award for “Best Ensemble”), and 12 Ophelias by Caridad Svich.