Kafkapalooza

Known for being one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, Franz Kafka will be celebrated in a unique way in Chicago this week. Kafkapalooza, the First Floor Theater's third annual literary festival kicked off August 14, after previously hosting literary festivals celebrating the Brothers Grimm and Mark Twain.

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The festival features eight world premiere plays, all inspired by the life and works of Franz Kafka, the German author most known for his works "The Metamorphosis" and "The Castle."

Despite Kafka's tragic life, the event promises to be a fun and engaging one - each of the eight plays, presented back-to-back every night of the festival, is an original work based on stories originally written by Kafka.

The slate of performances includes "Red Right Hand" by Ike Holter, who was named the Theater Chicagoan of 2014 by the Chicago Tribune. Holter's playwriting has been adapted into works at The Playwrights Center, The Eugene O'Neil Theater Center and the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival.

The other plays running throughout the festival are "Justice for All" by Karen Kessler, "Fugitive Awareness" by Skye Robinson Hillis, "the old ball game" by Kristiana Rae Colón, "Shrine to Caitlyn Jenner" by Ariel Zetina, "10-Minute Kafka" by Marilyn Campbell-Lowe, "The Applicant" by Amanda Fink, and "Unhappiness" by Brett Neveu.

All of the plays run each night of the festival, divided into two acts with a brief intermission. Performances run tonight, Monday, August 17 at 8 p.m.; Thursday, August 20 through Saturday, August 22, all at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit firstfloortheater.com/kafkapalooza.