Roee Rosen, Theatre of the Awkward
Location: Stadsschouwburg Utrecht
Explore the limits of the uncomfortable in Roee Rosen‘s Theatre of the Awkward! During this evening, IMPAKT and SPRING Performing Arts Festival present Rosen’s latest work-in-progress: Kafka for Kids; a film set as a pilot for a television series for preschoolers in which The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is translated into a remarkable children’s musical. The juxtaposition of childhood and tropes of the law, so crucial in Kafka’s writings, lead to the film’s own metamorphoses into a concrete political and legal realm.
The presentation includes a screening of Explaining the Law to Kwame (2018), the final part of Kafka for Kids, shown here as a self-standing short film. Explaining the Law revolves around a lawyer, played by Hani Furstenberg, giving a lecture on the ways in which Israeli military law deals with the definition of childhood in the occupied Palestinian territories. As in many of Rosen’s films the sombre political issue is explored simultaneously with surprising personal and erotic layers, in this case of the protagonist and her audience.
At the center of Theatre of the Awkward is a solo performance by Hani Furstenberg, the star of Explaining the Law. She will offer a live version of Rosen’s film Hilarious (2010), in which she plays a dysfunctional stand-up comedian whose bad jokes relentlessly address painful subjects. The studio audience, however, continues laughing on cue, seemingly oblivious to the alarming content of the jokes. This intense aspect of the film will also be activated in this event, with the Utrecht audience, acting, as it were the “audience” of the comedian. Rosen investigates the mechanisms of humor and how we deal with disturbing and forbidden subjects. What remains when the laughter has died out?
This event is a collaboration between SPRING Performing Arts Festival, IMPAKT Center for Media Culture and Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, and is organised alongside the exhibition Roee Rosen, Poetry and Catharsis, on view at IMPAKT Center for Media Culture from 19 April until 26 May.
Before Theatre of the Awkward you are welcome to visit IMPAKT Center for Media Culture at 17:00, where Arjon Dunnewind and Marcel Schwierin will be discussing the contexts of the provocative positions Roee Rosen takes. Visit Who Is Afraid of Roee Rosen? for free if you already have a ticket for Theatre of the Awkward!