The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis by Icelandic theater collective Vesturport in collaboration with Lyric Hammersmith (U.K.). Directed and adapted by Gisli Örn Gardarsson and David Farr, the production runs in the Eisenhower Theater from February 20-22 as part of Nordic Cool 2013. Press opening night is February 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. The production will be performed in English.
The ordinary, unremarkable life of the Samsa family is turned upside down when their son, Gregor, the sole provider for the family, emerges one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a gigantic insect. His family's feelings of revulsion turn to resentment with horrifying results. Domestic tragedy, or metaphor for totalitarian brutality? Metamorphosis is about human nature, relationships between people, and reactions to extreme circumstances. There is a voice within the story - a voice which has been heard all over the world in many forms.
Since the premiere at the Lyric Hammersmith in September 2006 the production has traveled to over 20 cities in five continents. This acclaimed production combines physicality and aerial action as the recently transformed Gregor lithely negotiates a gravity-defying split-level set. The production's design keeps the insect permanently visible in a topsy-turvy upstairs room, contorting to the sounds of his family's betrayal and swinging from the rafters, as in a veritable gymnasium. The aerial physicality that has become Gisli Örn Gardarsson's trademark is a match for Kafka's hellish creation. With original music composed by renowned musician and lyricist Nick Cave and long-time collaborator Warren Ellis fromThe Bad Seeds, the music emphasizes Kafka's dream-like vision and turns it into an electrifying reality.
Award-winning company, Vesturport Theatre was originally founded in 2001 by Gisli Örn Gardarsson, Vikingur Kristjansson, Ingvar Sigurdsson, and Björn Helgason, among others, and quickly established itself as one of Iceland's and Europe's most inventive theater and film companies. Vesturport's productions include Romeo and Juliet, Woyzeck, Dubble Dusch, Love the Musical, and Metamorphosis. Vesturport has produced three feature films: Children, Parents, and Brim (based on Vesturport's play of the same title). In 2011, the company received the prestigious Europe Theatre Prize; past honorees have included Peter Brook, Pina Bausch, Robert Lepage, and Harold Pinter. For more information, please visit vesturport.com.
With over 100 years of history, the Lyric Hammersmith aims to create groundbreaking work that moves beyond conventional and naturalistic forms of theater to explore the full possibility of the theatrical experience creating work that is provoking, entertaining, popular, eclectic, messy, contradictory, and diverse. With collaboration at its core, the Lyric invites artists from all disciplines to work together to tell stories that resonate with a modern urban audience. Widely accessible, the Lyric Hammersmith has some of the lowest ticket prices in London. For more information please visit lyric.co.uk/.
Metamorphosis runs in the Eisenhower Theater evenings at 7:30 p.m. on February 20, 21, and 22. Tickets are $29 and up and available for purchase online, at the Kennedy Center box office, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or can visit kennedy-center.org.