The Metamorphosis - A Play

by  E. Thomalen, Franz Kafka

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  5m, 3f

"This adaptation makes one ponder socially significant issues, class struggles, inequities, treatment of someone different, i.e. disabled or dysfunctional, and the writing is forthright" - Hi Drama
"Thomalen has done the theater-going public a great service" - Town and Village

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The Metamorphosis - A Play

by  E. Thomalen Franz Kafka

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Fantasy, Adaptations (Literature), Theatre for Young Audiences, Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

This play is a dramatic adaptation of Kafka's novella. The story, first published in 1915, is of a man who finds himself transformed one day into an insect. There is a tragicomic aspect to this surreal tale. In this adaptation Gregor Samsa awakens into a dream. In this nightmare he can neither speak nor alter the conduct of those around him who see him as a bug. A mime plays Gregor and a fiddler performing Klezmer music communicates his wildly swinging emotions. All actions take place in the moment of the dream rather than in real time. Inviting the audience to view the experience as Gregor perceives it, the Stage Manager summons the play. Set in early 20th century Prague and written in verse, this adaptation captures the surreal humor and pathos of the story.
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Reviews

"This adaptation makes one ponder socially significant issues, class struggles, inequities, treatment of someone different, i.e. disabled or dysfunctional, and the writing is forthright" - Hi Drama

"Thomalen has done the theater-going public a great service" - Town and Village

"Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis begins as the story's central figure, Gregor Samsa, becomes a giant insect. Stories seldom start in a more over-the-top, theatrical way...a rich subject...how would Gregor be represented? Thomalen's solution is both obvious and effective, having the actor portraying him never utter a single spoken line, with whatever insect-like speech he can muster portrayed by Klezmer-like violin sounds being produced by the Hasidic musician who always accompanies him..." - Talkin Broadway

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1910s / WWI
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: The set involves the suggestion of 2 rooms: a parlor with a small table and chairs and Gregor's bedroom connected through a door opening into the bedroom.
  • Additional Features: Mime, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Casting

5m, 3f
GREGOR SAMSA - 20s; a dung beetle, or believes self to be.
GRETE SAMSA - late teens; Gregor's sister.
MR. SAMSA - 50s; Gregor's father.
MRS. SAMSA - 50s; Gregor's mother.
OFFICE MANAGER
FIRST MAID
CLEANING WOMAN
FIRST BOARDER
SECOND BOARDER
THIRD BOARDER
STAGE MANAGRE
THE FIDDLER - Klezmer musician.
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting

Casting Notes

The play is written in a modified Cinquain verse form. If spoken with end-stopped lines, it approximates the cadence of middle European speech in American English, even without accents.

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Authors

E. Thomalen

E. Thomalen's produced plays include Clara’s Christmas Dreams (2004, St. Clements Theatre, New York City); The Metamorphosis, A Play (2003, Jose Quintero Theatre, New York City); El Tigre (2001, U of Texas at Arlington & Bass Performance Art Center, Fort Worth); Dances of Life - and Death Thespis Festival (2015) Ta ...

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Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

The Premier Performance was January 9, 2003 at the Jose Quintero Theatre as a Showcase, and then Equity, production. Francine Trevens directed the play.

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