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March, 2006 - Nr. 3


The Editor
Guten Morgen lieber Frühling
Ball Austria 2006
Two by Puccini
KW & Beyond
Scholtes Donates Organ
Zonta's Extravaganza
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Mendelssohn Choir Presents
COC's Norma
Berg's Wozzeck
Kafka and Son
COC Inaugurates Opera House
TSO March Events
Celebrate Mozart Tour
German Events
Kerry Straton Conducts
Cologne Literature Festival
Students Get Active
Mozart in Augsburg
Successful Gardening Show
German World Alliance
Killam Research Fellowships
Munch In Hamburg
International Student Study
Operation Clean Sweep
World Cup Info Shop
Europe's Fastest Computer
Merkel: Equality

Kafka and Son

  by John Young

The World Premiere of Kafka and Son opened on March the 7th and runs until the 18th at the Al Green Theatre in downtown Toronto’s Miles Nadal JCC. This is a play based on the Letter to his Father that Franz wrote to reveal how he felt about him. Kafka appears to have been a failed artist and timid Jewish son who at 35 still lived at home. How his father judged him dominated his thoughts and decisions. This letter, that his father never received, revealed connections between his life and his fiction. Was he blaming his father for a life that did not go right? Or was he writing this letter to explain his own inabilities to handle life. Regardless, the letter exposes the author’s soul to the reader, and now to an audience, that experienced Kafka’s cages, real or imagined, with the visual aid of stage props, designed by Camellia Coo.

In this year of the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s birth why the fascination about Kafka? Kafka and Son is a joint presentation by Theaturtle and Threshold theatre in association with the Miles Nadal JCC. This play is adapted by Mark Cassidy and Alon Nashman and has been in the making for the last 6 years. Dora-nominated actor Alon Nashman portrayed the part of both Franz Kafka and his father.

When the play opens the stage is dark except for a single beam of light. The main props are four cage-like structures that represent a form of imprisonment. Throughout the play he moves from one moment of confinement to another. He strips down to only his boxer shorts and socks to show and bare his soul.

The whole experience reminds us of how we have choices to make in our own lives: Do we accept responsibility for our own actions or do we absolve ourselves of any blame? I am a failure because my father controlled me? Or isn’t it better to have an attitude of "Let’s get on and make something happen in life!"?

Why the fascination with failure and suffering as a cultural expression? Perhaps it gives us a chance to take one of life’s great lessons and make a success out of our own lives. No matter what, this is one of those few performances that will be talked about for a long time to come.


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