The World We Live In (The Insect Comedy); a play in three acts with prologue and epilogue

By: Capek, Josef and Karel (adapted and arranged for the American stage by Owen Davis)

Price: $25.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good+


[minimal wear, a couple of tiny ink marks (initials?) at bottom of front cover]. (scene design diagram) A satirical morality play, something along the lines of "Animal Farm" (but with insects), co-written (with his brother) by the Czech playwright whose "R.U.R." had opened in New York just a few weeks earlier. (Josef Capek was primarily a painter, but also collaborated with his brother Karel on several of the latter's early plays; it was supposedly he who coined the word "robot.") Gilbert Seldes, reviewing the 1922 Broadway production for The New York Times, wasn't terribly impressed with the plot -- "left to itself, it would probably read badly, and if badly produced would approach stupidity" -- but was bowled over by the staging of the two central acts, "The Marauders" (about beetles piling up "wealth" in the form of dung) and "The Ants" (a satire on industrialism and war), about which he wrote that "the production and management of these two scenes is so skillful that the effect quite passes beyond anything the 'story' in them can give you." The second of these, in particular, "leaves one exhausted by the swift and final words it says." The production was designed by Lee Simonson, who (again per Seldes) "preserved every effective thing in the original" performance at the National Theatre of Czecho-Slovakia in Prague; it ran for __ performances in New York, and was later staged in Los Angeles, in 1929 and again in 1937. It was the latter production (under the auspices of the Federal Theater) that probably caught the attention of animation producers Max and Dave Fleischer; in November 1940 an item appeared in the trade press stating that the play was to be adapted for their second feature-length animated cartoon (following on the heels of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS the year before). Supposedly Norman Corwin and unnamed others had worked on the script, and Hoagy Carmichael had written the music -- but although the specific source seems to have been abandoned, the anthropomorphized-insect idea (and the Carmichael music) survived in the film they ultimately did turn out, MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN.

Title: The World We Live In (The Insect Comedy); a play in three acts with prologue and epilogue

Author: Capek, Josef and Karel (adapted and arranged for the American stage by Owen Davis)

Categories: *NEW ARRIVALS,

Edition: French's Standard Library Edition

Publisher: New York/Los Angeles, Samuel French: (c.1933, 1922)

Binding: Softcover

Book Condition: Very Good+

Seller ID: 25702

Keywords: Insects Theatre And Plays