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The Castle
About the Play:
Version Notes
The Script
The Kafkaesque
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Franz Kafka's The Castle

The English-language and American premiere of a dramatization by MAX BROD of Franz Kafka’s novel, adapted by David Fishelson and Aaron Leichter. Of Kafka’s two greatest novels, The Trial has often been dramatized (most notably by Andre Gide and Jean-Louis Barrault, as well as by Peter Weiss, Orson Welles, Harold Pinter and others). But Kafka’s other masterpiece, THE CASTLE has never been done for the stage—at least not in English.

This once-thought-to-be ‘lost’ version was written by none other than Max Brod: the man without whom the world might never have heard of Franz Kafka. Brod was Kafka’s
Franz Kafka's The Castle
best friend and, as executor of his estate, refused the author’s famous orders to “burn everything” after the novelist’s death. By turns sexy, comic and horrifying, THE CASTLE tells the story of a man who decides to fight a monstrous bureaucracy rather than give in to it—attempting, and failing, to gain entrance to a castle where he has been summoned to work.

INGMAR BERGMAN staged Brod’s version in Stockholm, in Swedish, in 1953, and a Hebrew version was performed in Tel Aviv in 1976. MET’s Artistic Director David Fishelson notes, “The Brod dramatization deserves a wider audience. In its depiction of an all-powerful bureaucracy (which some, including Thomas Mann, have called a metaphor for God), it’s a black comedy for our times." MET is planning several post-performance symposia to be hosted by noted tri-state area Kafka scholars after select performances.

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