Roy Sillings’ "Troubled Dreams: a Kafkollage" is the current offering of the Monroe County Community Theatre in a production directed by David Nosko.
The "…Kafkollage" takes on the novella "Metamorphosis" and three short stories: "In the Penal Colony," "The Hunger Artist," and "Report to the Academy." When I talked with Sillings and Nosko about the extent of the project a few weeks ago, I could only say "You guys, have got a lot of nerve." First-time full-length-playwright Sillings and first time director David Nosko have worked it into twenty-four brief and quickly moving scenes. It’s definitely a labor of love with Nosko producing, directing and painting the set while Sillings joins him with a paint brsuh and then handles the props and plays four parts. They’re joined by a talented group of seven actors playing twenty-six listed parts.
"Troubled Dreams:…" moves from one story to another in a very disciplined fashion. David Nosko’s background is in film and he complained that the way film work, the extensive set ups and markings with shot after shot made story telling hard. It’s perhaps appropriately ironic that in "…Kafkollage," his first-time effort as a stage director, he seems to be back to those short scenes. Kafka is certainly an author who deals plenty of irony, but these rapid juxtapositions allow for some new levels and distinct focuses.
Surprising enough for a Kafka fest, "Troubled Dreams…" ends rather sunnily. The family of the unfortunate metamophosee is actually relieved by his death and cheerfully prepare for a holiday. ‘The Hunger Artist" has succeeded in reaching his goal of starvation and as one commentator remarks, actually looks better in death than when alive. The condemned prisoner of "The Penal Colony" is set free as the system destroys itself. The ape who’s taken on human ways in the ‘Report to the Academy" finishes his talk credibly and prepares for an evening with a cute little chimpanzee. Playwright Sillings has even come up with a slightly tawdry, but neat twist that piles irony upon irony with a link between the prisoner and the ape that can cause one to ponder.
The Monroe County Community Theatre production of Roy Sillings’ "Troubled Drams, A Kafkollage" has its final two performances this Friday and Saturday in the Rose Fire Bay of the John Waldron Arts Center at eight.
You can find an interview with playwright Sillings and director David Nosko on our Arts Interviews page .