From 04/30/1999 to 05/23/1999


A compelling and gritty story of a family’s attempts to deal with the unplanned pregnancy of their adolescent retarded daughter.


The reviews are in.

“Frank Theatre’s tenth anniversary revival of Franz X. Kroetz’s FARMYARD succeeds through fixed, almost clinical, detachment from its subject. Indeed, in the capable hands of Frank director Wendy Knox, lives of quiet desperation have never seemed so quiet or so desperate.”

“The setting is, as the title suggests, a ramshackle farm in a dusky wasteland–Germany in this case, but it could be almost anywhere. It’s the sort of place where the wind blows through gaping cracks in the wall and where a framed picture of Jesus casts an ironic sneer over the doomed inhabitants. Here, an itinerant farm hand named Sepp (Tom Sherohman) dreams of decadent indolence in “the city” while sneaking off to masturbate silently in an outhouse. Sepp takes under his wing his employer’s dull-witted adolescent daughter Beppi (Lisa Belfiori), an awkward, silent girl who squints out at the world from behind thick glasses. He tells Beppi stories and, for a time, the budding relationship between the lost souls seems full of hope. Then he methodically rapes her.”

“In keeping with Kroetz’s glacially paced dialogue, Knox lets the horror build slowly. We sense that something is very wrong here, but we are no more able to articulate it than the characters onstage are able to prevent it. In the climactic scene, Sepp sneaks Beppi into a carnival replete with flashing lights and torturously slow music. After stripping off the girl’s stained underwear, Sepp forces his sweating mass down upon her. Lying helpless beneath him, Beppi goes limp as a rag doll. It’s as frightening as theater gets and aptly reflects Kroetz’s nihilistic vision: Language is dead, and all that remains is silence and darkness.”
Peter Ritter, City Pages