A MODERN FAIRY TALE; an Allegorical-Philosophical-Existentialist Fantasy

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“Nobody belongs here, but here we are” – THE KING

THE CAVE DWELLERS by William Saroyan

In a post-apocalyptic New York City, THE CAVE DWELLERS explores the adventures of a ragtag group of broken-down theatre folk who are camping out on the stage of an abandoned New York theatre that is about to be pulled down for a housing project. They grapple for a living by day and enact their past triumphs and dreams at night. Although food is scarce and the cold is congealing, the characters have glowing spirits and wonderful memories of their triumphant days. One who calls herself “The Queen” is the ruin of a former actress.“The King” used to be a celebrated clown. “The Duke” was once a prizefight champion. “The Girl” is a homeless, frightened wretch. Together they form a tentative family of sorts, illustrating that Love is a necessity of Survival. Humor, grace, innocence and improvisation distinguish this Broadway classic.

A Modern Fairy Tale or an “allegorical-philosophical-existentialist fantasy”

The Girl is a kind of Alice who tumbles into a strange Wonderland of unusual and eccentric characters. The King, a Clown, and The Queen, a classical Actress, are both seasoned pros at their craft. Dukes was once a Champion Prize Fighter, The Man and The Bear perform together on the streets for money. The Woman has just given birth to a baby; itself quite a performance / achievement!

The Silent Boy is as innocent and reserved as The Girl; they were made for one another and under different circumstances they would be a lovely pair. The Girl’s loyalty and gratefulness to Dukes make it difficult for her to make a definitive decision in this Love Triangle.

The kind hearted, emphatic Boss of the Wrecking Crew takes pity on the inhabitants of the theatre and constructs a scenario which allows them to stay on for several more days. He acts the role of playwright and director; telling his workers to call in / act sick in order to delay the demolishing of the crumbling old theatre; illustrating compassion and benevolence.

The theater stage is a derelict hulk of itself, with a long-extinguished chandelier dripping dust and tattered curtains shivering in the wind. Against a background of alarms and bomb blasts (it could be Armageddon or it could be encroaching gentrification), a “family” of sorts has sought shelter in this abandoned theatre.

Everyone is shuddering, shivering, convulsing with cold, moaning in their troubled sleep. Yet they’re unflaggingly kind to one another, sharing what crumbs they manage to amass and even engaging in a form of musical beds. The situation is fraught to the max — even more so at the climax of act one, when a whole new gang of unfortunates pounds on the door, demanding admittance.

Saroyan’s credo, in life and in art, was summed up by the title of his best-known play, ”The Time of Your Life,” for which he won — and rejected — the 1940 Pulitzer Prize. ”Live!” is his command, ”so you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world.”

CastDerrick Jenkins, Kirsten Schulze, Elina Viksna, Helen Khorrami, Azin Rekowski, Ravi Kanth, Rabah Khilfeh, Vikrant Mangal

CrewRebecca Bullock, Vedrana Mijosek, Mohammed Sabouni, Charles C. Urban

Costumes Enel Kerler

Premiere Performance at THEATER AM OLGAECK – 

October 25 at 20:00 hrs

Further Performances at THEATER AM OLGAECK –

November 1. / 8. / 15. / 29 at 20:00 hrs

December 6 at 20:00 hrs


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