“The great Theatre of Oklahoma is calling you! It’s calling you today only! If you miss this opportunity there will never be another! Anyone thinking of his future, your place is with us! All welcome! Anyone who wants to be an artist, step forward! We are the theatre that has a place for everyone, everyone in his place! … All welcome!”
Free Theatre Christchurch becomes the great Theatre of Oklahoma and calls you to the first major new work to be produced in the restored Christchurch Arts Centre. Kafka's Amerika builds on the success of I Sing the Body Electric, which in 2012 was named by the Press, 'Best Theatre Production': "this was a production to plunge into rather than politely nibble and analyse... theatre for all the senses. Outstanding".
Conceived as an interactive multimedia theatre production, Kafka's Amerika explores the all-pervasive America of our present as achieved utopia or nightmare. How has the “American Century” (just passed) come to dominate our lives, the ways we think and act, and how might we in New Zealand move beyond the limitations of this mindset and forge a new identity in this century?
These questions are especially pertinent to Christchurch, where our notion of who, what and where we are has been shaken to the core, inviting a dynamic and urgent conversation about the multiple possible futures we might work towards as we embark on the creation of a new city. In Kafka’s unfinished novel Amerika, these hopes and fears are symbolised by large angels that dominate a theatre that goes beyond its limits. Another connection is Paul Klee’s Angel of History as interpreted by Walter Benjamin, taking further an exploration we started in our most recent production Canterbury Tales. These angels will serve as interactive touchstones for the performance. The last chapter of Kafka’s Amerika, “The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma” has served as a foundation and starting point for our theatrical exploration. A collage of texts, literary, theatrical, filmic and political make this a production that is very much of our times - exploring surveillance in contemporary culture, this theatrical enterprise presents a kind of interactive digital panopticon that is sure to engage and provoke.
This is the company's major new work for 2014. It is the first in a series of new works that will engage with contemporary Christchurch through the company's new space in the Arts Centre - The Gym.
8.00pm: Tuesday 14 October 2014
8.00pm: Wednesday 15 October 2014
8.00pm: Thursday 16 October 2014
8.00pm: Friday 17 October 2014
8.00pm: Saturday 18 October 2014
8.00pm: Tuesday 21 October 2014
8.00pm: Wednesday 22 October 2014
8.00pm: Thursday 23 October 2014
8.00pm: Friday 24 October 2014
8.00pm: Saturday 25 October 2014
8.00pm: Thursday 20 November 2014
8.00pm: Friday 21 November 2014
8.00pm: Saturday 22 November 2014
8.00pm: Thursday 27 November 2014
8.00pm: Friday 28 November 2014
8.00pm: Saturday 29 November 2014
8.00pm: Sunday 30 November 2014
Location: The Gym, The Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard.
Tickets: Waged $30. Unwaged $20. Online Bookings Essential
"Extraordinary creative drive"
Reviewed by Lin Clark for Theatreview, 15 Wednesday 2014
"Off-kilter Kafka adaptation unique production"
Reviewed by Charlie Gates for The Press, 16 Thursday 2014