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World Premiere of Čapek's War with the Newts

From November 12-21, the Georgetown Theater and Performance Studies Program presented the world premiere of Karel Čapek’s War with the Newts, adapted and directed by Natsu Onoda Power, in the Gonda Theatre of the Davis Performing Arts Center. 

Powerful, memorable, intense, humorous yet dark—Georgetown University students, under the direction of Professor Natsu Onoda Power, brought the audience to their feet for the world premiere adaption of War with the Newts on November 12, 2015, in the Gonda Theater. 

Based on the 1936 novel by Czech author Karel Čapek, the science fiction work centers on the discovery of an intelligent breed of newts who are initially exploited than rebel, leading to a global war. Georgetown adapted portions of the novel into a script noting: “all actors are played by newts.” Director Natsu Onoda Power cleverly adapted the novel for the Washington-based audience, incorporating “newtisms” such as the Washingnewton Post, NPR – Newts Public Radio, as well as an impressive use of props and media to set the scene. 

The premiere included a cameo by Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. The humor did not underscore the dark undertones from the United States' past and present– slavery, persecution, discrimination, nazism, and war. In today’s world, the subject matter seems all too familiar. A full theater of students, professors, and the Washington-based community roared with applause and a standing ovation at the end of the show. Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovič praised the performance saying that it has great potential beyond even the realm of the university that should be pursued. The show runs until November 21! Check out pictures from the premiere.

Georgetown student newspaper The Hoya reviewed War with the Newts directed by Natsu Onoda Power calling it “an expert adaptation and a modern perspective..feels unexpectedly relatable and relevant to today’s global issues.” The full article

Czech Television went behind the scenes to interview the cast of War with the Newts at Georgetown University. Professor Maya Roth called the piece an "exhilirating, unsettling, and entertaining work." The full article and video

The Georgetown Voice and DC Metro Theater Arts both raved about War with the Newts performed by Georgetown University students. Journalist Elizabeth Baker of the The Georgetown Voice wrote that the adaptation "blends several mediums to convey a twisting, thought-provoking narrative that will make audiences both laugh at and ponder the performance’s central themes. Though they may be small and cute, these newts may help today’s audience see his fellow man — or newt — in a different light."  John Stoltenberg reviewed the show for DC Metro Theater Arts giving it five stars, saying it's a "sensational show' with "fantastical imagination on display and a timely parable at play!" Check out the reviews by The Georgetown Voice and DC Metro Theater Arts.  


War with the Newts