The World We Live In (The Insect Comedy)

by  Karel Capek

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  21m, 9f

A wanderer who is something of a philosopher falls asleep after drinking in a forest. In his dream he observes the comedy and tragedy in the lives of the insects, whose problems and affairs are like those of humankind. The butterflies make violent love. The beetles hoard money and live selfishly. Th…

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The World We Live In (The Insect Comedy)

by  Karel Capek

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The World We Live In (The Insect Comedy)

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    21m, 9f
  • Duration

    Duration

    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Fantasy
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • UIL Approved
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

A wanderer who is something of a philosopher falls asleep after drinking in a forest. In his dream he observes the comedy and tragedy in the lives of the insects, whose problems and affairs are like those of humankind. The butterflies make violent love. The beetles hoard money and live selfishly. The ichneumon flies murder crickets and stuff their larders with food, and parasites greedily devour what others work to save. Finally the red and yellow ants wage war to see which shall have the right to travel a particular sunlit path between two blades of grass.
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

21m, 9f
VARGRANT - A shabby fellow, drunk and rather battered and woen in appearance
PROFESSOR - A middle-aged man
WOODCUTTER - A well-built, vigorous man of forty-five
WOMAN - A peasant of thirty-five
APATURA IRIS
APATURA CLYTHIA
FELIX
VICTOR
OTAKAR
YOUNG BUTTERFLIES
CHRYSALIS
MALE BEETLE
FEMALE BEETLE
ANOTHER MALE BEETLE
ICHNEUMON FLY
ITS LARVA
MALE CRICKET
FEMALE CRICKET
PARASITE
BAND OF PILLAGERS
BLIND ANT
DICTATOR
HEAD OF GENERAL STAFF
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF YELLOW ANTS
INVENTOR
QUARTERMANSTER
JOURNALIST
WAR WORKER
BOND SALESMAN
TELEGRAPHER
MESSENGER
SOLDIERS OF TEH ANT REALM
ANT WORKMEN, SOLDIERS, CLERKS, MESSENGERS, WOUNDED, ARMY OF THE BLACK, ARMY OF THE YELLOW
MOTHS
SNAILS
A BABY
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Cast Attributes

  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

The actors impersonating the insects should be chosen with an eye to personalities that can be made up to suggest the various types they are portraying.

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Authors

Karel Capek

Karel Capek

The World We Live In premiered at the Jolson Theatre, New York.

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