where the writers are

I find the plethora of Kafka interpretations and books is a positive thing , since I have a novel manuscript about him hunting for a publisher. But I am given pause by the format of some of those interpretations.

By the way, I'd love to see this. And I'd like to be sitting beside Kafka. We'd be quite the pair of chuckle heads.

The following is a brief excerpt from the review by Joe Brown of “Morphotic: A Kafka Fable” by Shawn Hackler and Franz Kafka

Hackler’s staging is sprung with deliberate and often witty anachronisms and incongruities, including the choreography by Jenna Wurtzberger — it’s truly surprising and somehow apt when Kafka’s on-again, off-again fiance Felice teases her inhibited lover by shaking it to Beyonce’s “Bootylicious,” tauntingly lip-syncing “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”


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Hi there, Dale.

 My name is Ariana and I happen to be part of the cast for "Morphotic" (playing Ottla [Ottilie] Kafka). I'm thrilled to be part of this amazing project. I think Kafka would have approved of Shawn Hackler's brilliant interpretations, dark humor, and ability to make the audience think and interpret. I'm sure you would love our little play! It's entertaining as well as intelligent. Thank you so much for the mention! It's so rewarding to hear positive comments about a project we've all put so much hard work in to!

 Ariana M.

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Sisterly Love

Hello, Ariana:

Thanks for stretching a hand through the ether of the Internet. Kafka would be impressed (though he might not do it himself - he even disliked the telephone).

Although I've only been exposed through reviews, I'm impressed by the obvious knowledge of Kafka to be found in the play. Even your use of the actual name for Ottilie (Ottla being a pet name) cheers me. Ottla was a God send to Franz. A fair portion of my novel is set when Franz lived with her on the *farm* in Zurau.

Since I am not far from the 'horse's mouth' (as it were) will you tell me the use of the horses which I see in posters for the play.

As you probably know, Franz had a great fondness for the theatre. And for the ladies of the theatre. He would have been doubly intrigued by someone portraying his favourite sister.

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Women, you say?

I think Mr. K would have been even more intrigued, then, to see that HIS role was being played by a woman. Cynthia Vodovoz was absolutely stunning as Kafka.

 The way the horses were incorporated into the play was fabulous fun. The whole idea is that the entire play is taking place in Franz's head - exploring Kafka's relationship with his family and the characters in his stories [with brief interruptions by the only events happening in reality: an exchange between Franz Kafka and Max Brod just before Kafka dies, during which Kafka asks Brod to burn his work]).

 The horses are among several of Kafka's characters to make cameos in the story. It's about Franz's struggle to come to terms with the way he's been emotionally crippled by his hatred for his father - and this manifests itself into a physical disablement. Franz awakens to find he's been transformed into Gregor Samsa, a monstrous vermin. His defects transition as the play goes on, and Franz concludes his journey by writing the infamous letter to his father.

Though the stories included aren't exact replications of the stories Kafka created, they come to life with interpretations that relate directly to Kafka's journey. It's an artistic look at Kafka, and it was an amazing project to work on!

 It's an infant now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Hackler's piece transitioned and refined over time. True Kafka fans can definitely appreciate the script.