Cast: Tom Bateman, Mary Jo Bolduc, Marzenna Bukowska, Nicole Cardano, Holly (Thomas) Cerney, K.K. Dodds, Tien Doman, John Gray, Emily Lotspeich, Jason Powers,Nicolai Todorov, Scott Unes and Betsy Zajko
Assistant Director: Shane Oman / Set Design: Ewelina Dobiesz / Original Music: Kevin O’Donnell / Sound Design: Bob Rokos / Puppet Design: Sarah Bendix / Costume Design: Jana Anderson / Lighting Design: Richard Norwood / Stage Manager: Jonathon Nininger
Written by Ken Prestininzi
Directed by Kate Hendrickson
June – July, 2005
Chris Jones’ “Top 10 performances of 2005” – K.K. Dodd
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.
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
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.
Resident Director Kate Hendrikson specializes in premiering new plays by radical American playwrights, and has been a Trap Door company member since 2005. Kate is a Chicago native and a graduate of Bennington College. In addition to her work with Trap Door Kate has directed for Chicago Dramatists, Red Tape, Link’s Hall Physical Fest, Pivot Arts, and the International Voices Project. She is also a teaching artist with Urban Gateways.