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Based on the story by Franz Kafka

Created by:


Jonathan Levin

Josh Luxenberg

Joshua William Gelb


"Are you still starving? When are you going to stop...?"

A man sits alone in a cage, starving himself for your entertainment. This darkly comic, visually-striking adaptation of the Franz Kafka short story uses physical theater, Victorian miniatures, puppetry, and a set of simple props to support a powerhouse solo performance.

Once cheered by thousands, the Hunger Artist is now forgotten by everyone except his one-time manager. What begins as a simple nostalgic story transforms into a startlingly inventive trip into the nature of memory, art, performance, and spectatorship, as told by the only person who remembers an artist whose act was simply... to hunger.

Winner of Summerhall's Lustrum Award for Excellence at the Edinburgh Fringe, and nominated for two Drama Desk Awards (Outstanding Solo Performance, Outstanding Puppet Design).


New YOrk Press

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"Directed by Joshua William Gelb from an elegant script by Josh Luxenberg, this visually arresting 'Hunger Artist' leads with enchantment... [Jonathan Levin] holds the audience in the palm of his hand."
—The New York Times
Critics Pick!
"Surprisingly lovable... full of jokes and sudden sympathy... The artist starves but we leave sated."
—Time Out New York
It’s almost as if Kafka himself willed it into being."
—The Huffington Post
"Beautifully imagined... full of heart... unfolding with ingenuity... It left me mentally and emotionally sated."
"Boisterously funny and chokingly sad... through pure showmanship it defies expectation at almost every turn."
"Makes you want to stand up and cheer. Possibly the best solo performance of the year!"
—New York Irish Arts

Edinburgh Press

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"A bravura display of theatrical skill... the best, most complete work I've seen this year. If I had a sixth star, it would get one."
"A magnificent performance that manages to enthrall and transport!"
—British Theatre Guide
"Ingeniously constructed... I simply have to say go and see it, you will not be disappointed."
—Theatre Full Stop
★★★★ ½
"One of the most imaginative shows… at this year’s Fringe!"
—Reviews Hub

The Team

Set and Costume Design: Peiyi Wong
Lighting Design: Kate McGee
Sound Design: M. Florian Staab
Puppet Design: Charlie Kanev and Sarah Nolen
Props and Toy Theater: Jonathan Levin
Additional Props and Puppets: Ariel Lauryn

Production Stage Manager (NYC)
& Production Manager (Tour):
Elizabeth Ramsay

Producer (NYC): Audrey Frischman
Production Manager (NYC): Will Jennings
Trailer: Jesse Garrison


Booking Inquiries

A Hunger Artist is available for touring.

Please contact:
Amanda Cooper
ALC Management


Past Performances


May 2019
at Vårscenefest
Hålogaland Teater
Tromsø, Norway
This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

September 2018
at Sandglass Theater’s
Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival
Next Stage Arts Project
Putney, VT

February 2018
at the Hartbeat Ensemble
Hartford, CT

January 2018
at the Connelly Theater
New York City

December 2017
at the Baltimore Theatre Project
Baltimore, MD

August 2017
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
ZOO Venues
*WINNER - Summerhall's Lustrum Award for Excellence

June 2017 (World Premiere)
at the Connelly Theater
New York City
Co-Produced by The Tank
*Drama Desk Awards nominations for
Outstanding Solo Performance and Outstanding Puppet Design

November 2016
at the UnitedSolo Festival
New York City
Work-in-progress presentation
*WINNER - Award for "Best Satire"

September 2016
at the New Ohio Theater
New York City
Work-in-progress presentation



A Hunger Artist was first developed at The Freight Residency (2015) and it has since been performed in developmental workshops at Cloud City and Jalopy.

The premiere production of A Hunger Artist was made possible by funding from:

The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

The Jim Henson Foundation

The Nancy Quinn Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York)

Subsidized studio space provided by the A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

The LIT Fund

All photos on this page by Kelly Stuart. Trailer shot and edited by Jesse Garrison.