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Final performances: The Kafka Project

January 2, 2012

Walt Jones, the cast, and creative team in the Theatre Program present a world premiere of The Kafka Project, a work sampling the bizarre world of Franz Kafka, one of the most important writers of the 20th century.

Image by Bill Cotton, CSU Photography.Bringing high quality, affordable live theatre to the Front Range, the Colorado State University theatre program presents The Kafka Project, written and directed by Walt Jones.  

The February 1-5 performances wrap up the School of the Arts' presentation of this collectively-created work sampling the bizarre world of Franz Kafka.

Kafka's works are characterized by a grotesque vision of the world in which an individual undergoes a transformation in ways that society often finds reprehensible.

The production is being presented in the University Center for the Arts' University Theatre.


  • Wednesday, February 1, 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 2, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, February 3, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 4,  7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 5, 7:30 p.m.

Amalgamation of major works

The project will feature stagings of six major works, and entries from his diaries and letters.  

  • A Hunger Artist is a first-person monologue by a man who, as a side-show act, is starving himself to death.
  • In A Report to an Academy, an ape tells a group of scientists why he chose to become a man.
  • The Penal Colony describes the last use of an elaborate torture and execution device that carves the sentence of the condemned prisoner on his skin in a script before letting him die, all in the course of twelve hours.

The centerpiece of this haunting evening is Kafka's most famous work, Metamorphosis, based on the playwright's 1915 alienation fable of the same name. In this six-legged nightmare, a traveling salesman named Gregor Samsa awakes one morning transformed into a bug.

Image by Bill Cotton, CSU Photography.The actor playing Gregor scrambles over walls, over furniture and down banisters without the aid of wires or harnesses, the wrenching sense of a terrified creature being drained of life as he seems to defy gravity on the out-of-kilter set filled with cleverly disguised strategic grips, trompe l’oeil and trampoline flooring.


  • $8/CSU students
  • $18/public

Purchase tickets. Advance purchase is highly recommended to avoid at-the-door ticket fees.

Faculty collaborate

One of the hallmarks of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University is the synergy between the performance arts programs.

The Kafka Project, written by Theatre Director Walt Jones, is a perfect example of the collaboration that is characteristic of the department. Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Theory James David composed three movements for The Kafka Project. The complete work, performed by Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies Peter Sommer, is a concerto for saxophone meant to capture the elusive nature of Kafka’s stories. 

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603