Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Open Stage Presents KAFKA'S SHORTS

This compilation of short stories combines absurdity, humor, and tragedy that brings Franz Kafka's existential world to life.

Open Stage Presents KAFKA'S SHORTS

Open Stage will begin streaming an staged production of Kafka's Shorts on January 8, continuing the theatre's unconventional 35th season, wherein the staff has planned and produced staged performances that are filmed and may be streamed on TVs, computers and smart devices. With stories like A Country Doctor, The Hunger Artist, and A Report to an Academy, this compilation of short stories combines absurdity, humor, and tragedy that brings Franz Kafka's existential world to life.

"This is really a love letter to 2020," jokes director Chris Gibson. "Franz Kafka had a bleak outlook on the world." Kafka was a Bohemian novelist and short story writer best known for The Metamorphosis. Many works of fiction highlighted themes on anxiety, alienation, isolation, and frustration with worldly conventions. He was considered a complex and aloof man, who struggled with the demons of depression and anxiety. Upon his death, he asked his executor to have his unpublished manuscripts destroyed. These instructions were ignored, and many of his most popular works ended up being published and celebrated after his passing, an irony that Kafka himself may have enjoyed.

The play was filmed using CDC guidelines on social distancing and mask wearing, and is the first show to feature an expanded cast in Open Stage's season. "We were so excited to welcome artists back into the space, and those that had been living in their own "pods" - partners, co-workers and married couples - were able to act together in scenes. We managed to integrate the world of mask-wearing into these stories - it was almost seamless involving it into the concept of the show. I think Kafka would be unsurprised by the world of 2020. It was a year of dark days."

Gibson hopes that the audiences viewing this play at home on their televisions and computers will find something transformative in Kafka's pessimistic and jaded view. "I think theatre is therapeutic - and seeing and living in this dark and dreamy world for 90 minutes will help people leave 2020 behind. Hopefully to look forward to a year of new opportunities, healing, and growth."

Kafka's Shorts will run January 8-24 through Open Stage's online streaming program - playing on YouTube and Facebook. Open Stage has made the 35th Season completely free to increase accessibility - both for those familiar with the theatre and those without. But donations and subscriptions can be made on the website at, as well as tickets to the "Watch Parties."





Twitter/Instagram: @openstagehbg

Box office: | 717-232-6736

Kafka's Shorts

January 8-24, 2021

Friday and Saturdays at 8:00pm

Sundays at 3:00pm

Based on the short stories of Franz Kafka

Adapted by David Karl Lee (he/him)

Directed by Chris Gibson (he/him)

Original Score written and performed by Nicholas Werner (he/him)

Assistant Directed by Benny Benamati (they/them)

Scenic Design by Chris Gibson (he/him)

Original Artwork by Stephen Michael Haas (he/him)


Benny Benamati (they/them)

Christopher Ellis (he/him)

Chris Gibson (he/him)

Matthew Golden (he/him)

Rachel Landon (she/her)

Aiden Roth (he/him)

Hanniel Sindelar (they/them)

Nicholas Werner (he/him)

Stacey Werner (she/her)

Featured This Week on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Central Pennsylvania Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You