September 15, 2014, 6:34 PM
Actor Drew Valins presented a memorable performance as RotPeter in an adaptation of Kafka's A Report to an Academy, leaving the audience filled with laughter and thought at the Czech Embassy on Sept. 9. As guests entered the main hall, the music of Bach greeted them as well as a projection of images featuring apes in the wild above the main set of the performance. The "Impressario" opened the action inviting guest to flap their arms together and make a loud noise to welcome the star of the evening. After much pause, an ape in a tuxedo named Rotpeter emerged from a side door and made his way to the stage. Through Rotpeter, Drew cleverly presented his "report" to guests at the Czech Embassy of his journey from the wilds of the jungle to seemingly civilized humanity. His humor was full of wit, and he even took a slight "intermission" on stage to eat a banana with a fork and knife to show his cultured growth and share a bit of wine with a guest in the audience. After his "report," he agreed to take questions from the audience and the improvisation was hilarious. Rotpeter answered a variety of questions including, "What does he, as an ape, believe is the greatest gift that he can provide to humanity?" Kafka, through this story, took an outsider's perspective of the world to really examine the world around us and ask: "What is freedom?"
September 08, 2014, 11:19 PM
The press are on to Kafka. Journalist Celia Wren for The Washington Post wrote the article "An Homage to Kafka" The artical debates not only whether or not Kafka was funny, but it also explores the term "Kafkaesque." Meanwhile, freelance writer Marsha Dubrow from the examiner.com presents an overview of festival events and covers the recent opening of the exhibition KAFKA & CO. by Jiří Slíva. Be sure to check out the articles and enjoy the many upcoming events!
September 04, 2014, 7:30 PM
A full house at the Embassy of the Czech Republic enjoyed renowned Czech cartoonist Jiří Slíva's humorous illustrations in the exhibition KAFKA & CO. on September 3, launching the Mutual Inspirations Festival in celebration of the prolific writer Franz Kafka. Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovič kicked off the program acknowledging the roots the festival has taken in DC and celebrating the ties between Czech and American cultures. Guests grooved to smooth jazz tunes performed on electric guitar by American University student Evan Maltz as they perused the many sides of Kafka, viewed through the wit of Slíva's drawings. Featured in over 150 publications including the The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, Slíva is renowned for his creativity. He believes that “Kafka had fun for us” and portrays this belief through his cartoons and illustrations. The exhibition will remain on view until October 31.
May 10, 2014, 8:32 AM
The Embassy of the Czech Republic announces the launch of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2014 – Franz Kafka website www.mutualinspirations.org. This site features upcoming events, stories about Kafka’s life, US-Czech inspirational personalities, and more. Be sure to check the website periodically for updates of new events and information leading up to the festival this fall.