On September 11, not a seat was empty for an adaptation of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis directed by Susan Galbraith of the Alliance for New Music-Theatre at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Ari Jacobson seemed perfectly cast to play Gregor Samsa in the tale of a man turned into vermin overnight, and a family haunted by what they should do with "Gregor." Jacobson even embodied the look of Kafka at times. The director also chose to use some of Kafka's drawings interspersed throughout the piece. Additional animations created by Janet Antich were used to set scenes, bring characters to life, and present the absurd where dreams became reality. The cast was rounded out by Pamela Bierly Jusino (Mrs. Samsa), David Millston (Mr. Samsa), and Lily Kerrigan (Greta). The repetition of some of the actions in the stage version drew out the tension in the family, routines to get one through the day. The nightmarish situation was heightened by the music of the cello, performed by Yvonne Caruthers, which served to slow down the action and set the tone. The stark set included a ladder where "Gregor" would crawl up and down, and the use of shadow and light further transported the audience into the feeling of being an outsider. The director was further inspired by Yiddish folk tales, and through her direction she asks, "What does it mean to transform from man to animal, and is Gregor the only one who experience the feeling of being something other than human?"
Photo credit: Hilsdon Photography LLC