Casimir and Caroline
4 Glen Morris Street, Luella Massey Theatre
Time: Nov 19th, 8:00 pm End: Nov 22nd, 8:00 pm
Interest Categories: Language Studies (UTM), German (FAS), English and Drama (UTM), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Drama, Theatre, Performance Studies (FAS), Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), 2000-, 1950-2000, 1900-1950
Performance of play
The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies is pleased to present four performances of
Casimir and Caroline: a Play by Ödön von Horváth
Performed by The Howland Company
“Nothing’s getting better” Casimir has lost his job. Caroline wants to have fun. They go to a party, and everything falls apart.
Casimir and Caroline is a play about love in the cold atmosphere of modern capitalism. Its world is full of chronically unfulfilled characters, whether they see themselves as victims, winners, or just living in the moment. They all desperately long for something more. None of them can say what that might be. But at least their lives look dope on Instagram.
The Howland Company is pleased to announce a weekend presentation of two new works in development – a four-night staged workshop presentation of the new translation and adaptation of Ödön von Horváth’s Casimir and Caroline by Holger Syme and a reading of take rimbaud, a new performance text in development by Toronto playwright Susanna Fournier. Casimir and Caroline will run as a staged presentation from November 19 to 22 at 8pm, at the University of Toronto’s Luella Massey Studio Theatre, with a public reading of Fournier’s take rimbaud on Sunday November 22 at 2pm.
More information about take rimbaud is available HERE.
Ödön von Horváth’s 1932 tragicomedy is one of the most frequently staged plays in the modern German repertoire, but it has never been professionally produced in North America. Veering wildly between raucous and intimate scenes, between destitution and orgies of consumption, between heartbreak and vicious satire, between hilarity and anger, Horváth’s play could have been written yesterday. Its political analysis remains astonishingly up-to-date.
“We took our cue from Horváth’s insistence that the play takes place ‘now.’ We set the action in our world, at a corporate party inside a nightclub, among the shallow and overly thoughtful, the eager and disillusioned, the over-privileged and desperate twentysomethings of contemporary Toronto. Aesthetically, our staging is indebted to Horváth’s own commitment to theatricality: as he wrote, “naturalism and realism would kill my plays.” In the past three months we’ve been striving to blend European and Canadian stage sensibilities. In this exploration we are looking to find a contemporary theatre language to approximate Horváth’s distanced but faithful, unflinching but sympathetic portrayal of ‘people as they are.’” – Holger Syme, Adaptor & Director
This four-day run is conceived as a workshop production, reflecting the results of an intensive and extended rehearsal process. It is being presented as a fully staged production, a preliminary end point of the company’s process; the anticipated future development of the project will focus on the production as a whole rather than solely on the text. Audience feedback and commentary will be actively solicited during talkback sessions after each of the four performances.
Ödön von Horváth was born in Croatia in 1901, grew up in Hungary and worked as a dramatist and novelist in Germany from 1920 through 1933. He left Nazi Germany for Vienna in 1933, and emigrated to France after the German takeover of Austria in 1938. He died shortly after relocating to Paris, when a tree branch fell on his head on the Champs-Élysées. Horváth’s major plays include Tales from the Vienna Woods and Judgment Day as well as Casimir and Caroline; his oeuvre was rediscovered in 1960s Germany, eclipsing Brecht’s presence in the repertoire for many years, and has remained a staple of German theatre seasons. Tales from the Vienna Woods has twice been staged with great success at the UK’s National Theatre, in 1977 and 2003; Casimir and Caroline had its first professional production in English earlier this year in Manchester (as Funfair), in a translation by Simon Stephens.
Holger Syme is the chair of the Department of English and Drama on the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus. As a researcher and teacher, he specializes in Shakespeare and contemporary European theatre, and frequently blogs at dispositio.net. As a director, he has worked on a dozen short films and stagings of plays ranging from Büchner’s Woyzeck to Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.
Information about the play and the Howland Company is available at the event website, HERE