KafkaFest @ Columbia University

The KafkaFest is a ten day (12/3 – 12/13) festival of new theater and art inspired by the work of Franz Kafka. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved as Curator for the interdisciplinary parts of the festival including a gallery exhibit and pre-show discussions.

I have also been working on one of the theater pieces: EDIT.  The piece has been developed over the course of three months with a talented creative team including director, playwright, choreographer, composer and actors.  We have created a movement piece with original music and text looking at that which we share with Kafka: a basic need to create.  The piece only has 5 performances (Dec 10 – 13th) and I would love to see you there.  Click HERE to reserve your FREE tickets!


direction by Jess K Smith
dramaturgy by Hannah Hessel

The outcome of a three-month collaboration between seven different types of artists inspired by both the personal and professional writings of Franz Kafka. This movement piece with original music and text is our way of allowing an audience into our process as we journey through the mind of Kafka, searching for that which we share: a basic need to create.

Creative Development Team

Jess K Smith
Hannah Hessel (SLC ’03)
Jennifer Lane (SLC ’06)
Shelley Virginia
Andrew Zox
Gabriel Baron
Trystan Phillip Toole

Gabriel Baron*
Meghan Grady*
Megan Brunsvold
James Sargent
Simone Zvi
*performing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

Performance Location
Schapiro Studio
605 W 115th Street, basement

Performance Schedule
Thursday, 12/10 at 8pm
Friday, 12/11 at 7pm
Saturday, 12/12 at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, 12/13 at 2pm


Design Team
Set and Costumes… Lou Regele, Marte Ekhougen
Original Music… Trystan Phillip Toole
Lighting… Lou Regele

To reserve FREE tickets, click here!

It’s almost time for KafkaFest! I hope that you will be able to join us for the first ever festival of Franz Kafka inspired works on the Columbia University campus. The second year MFA Directing students have created SIX new Kafka inspired plays that will be featured alongside work from other artists within the Columbia School of Art community. Come before performances and you can catch pre-show discussions with Anne Bogart, Gideon Lester and more!

KafkaFest runs from December 3 – 13, 2009.  Below is a list of all performances.  To reserve FREE tickets, please visit: http://cuarts.com//calendar/view/type/4/event_id/4233

Click here for a full performance calender.  Keep checking http://columbiastages.org/season/schapiro.html for updated information on discussions and the KafkaFest Closing Night Party!

Please contact me if you have any questions or need any help reserving your tickets.  I look forward to seeing you at KafkaFest!



Directed by Kon Yi
Written by John Douglas Weidner
December 4-6, Horace Mann Theater
8pm Fri & Sat, 3pm Sun

A world premiere prequel to Kafka’s The Metamorphosis written by MFA playwright John Douglas Weidner. This new play will explain why Kafka’s protagonist Gregor becomes a beetle. Reserve Now
Adapted & Directed by James Rutherford
December 4-13, Conference Room, Schapiro Hall
8pm Fri 12/4, 8pm & 10pm Sat 12/5, 5pm Sun 12/6
8pm Mon 12/7, 8pm Wed 12/9, 8pm & 11pm Fri 12/11
7pm & 10pm Sat 12/12, 5pm Sun 12/13

Eight nights only: through the miracle of modern technology, Mr. Franz Kafka’s Letter to His Father, hitherto undelivered, may reach its intended destination. This production makes use of psychophonic amplication, abstract whispering, and silence. [Spectatorship limited to 10 per performance.] Reserve Now
ROOM 603
Directed by Carin White
December 10-13, Room 603, Dodge Hall, Columbia Univ.
8pm Thu & Fri, 4pm & 6pm Sat & Sun



A new performance piece inspired by Franz Kafka. Reserve Now
Directed by Jess K Smith
December 10-13, Schapiro Theatre
8pm Thu, 7pm Fri, 2pm & 7pm Sat, 2pm Sun

The outcome of a three-month collaboration between seven artists, all coming from different artistic backgrounds. The goal: to present a journey through our minds as we journey through Kafka’s mind. Reserve Now



Written & Directed by Jonathan Vandenberg
December 11-13, Horace Mann Theater
8pm Fri & Sat, 3pm Sat & Sun

In the beginning there was the word. A search. A journey from author to the penal colony. A short work utilizing gesture, image, and sound freely adapted from writings of Franz Kafka. Reserve Now
Directed by Anna Brenner
Written by John Douglas Weidner
December 10-13, Schapiro Theatre
9pm Fri, 3pm & 8pm Sat, 2pm Sun



“I got it…I’ve finally got it this time. No. It is lost. Now the world seems a mystery to me yet again.” Franz Kafka inspires us to look closely at creation, destruction, and connection in a new play to invigorate the theater with character, dance, humor, and pathos. Reserve Now


In addition to the performances, join us at Watson Hall for an art exhibition.

Plus, don’t miss our pre-show performances: Sat 12/5, 6:30-7:30pm  – “Metamorphosis” with Anne Bogart, Sun 12/6, 6:30-7:30pm – “Amerika” with Gideon Lester and visual artist Tracey Molis,  Sun 12/13, 12:30 – 1:30 pm “A Hunger Artist”.  All discussions will be held in the lobby at Dodge Hall.

For more information please visit:

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