Is it something in the pilsner? One wonders how a small country, the Czech Republic (and its former self, Czechoslovakia), has birthed so many brilliant writers. Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera, Jiri Weil: That's a very abbreviated list. Then there were the most prominent figures of the post-World War I Czech literary scene, Karel and Josef Capek, collaborating playwright siblings. Their 1921 work The Insect Play
, an allegory of human rapaciousness as manifested by a cast of anthropomorphized insect characters — plus a few token people — foretold the future of a nation that would come under the boot of first the Nazis and later the Soviets. Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts performs The Insect Play
at Emerson Studio Theatre in the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; 314-968-7128) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (September 29 through October 10). Tickets are $6 to $12.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 29. Continues through Oct. 10, 2010