When I began working on Farr and Gardarsson’s excellent stage adaptation of Kafka’s famous story, I knew I liked it. It was funny, scary and very theatrical. I didn’t anticipate how deeply the piece would eventually move me. Kafka’s young traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, who wakes up to find himself transformed into a hideous vermin and his family in shock, is a potent metaphor that triggers the imaginations of people around the world. Depending on your time and place, Gregor could be your gay kid, Jewish kid, communist or atheist kid. He could have some embarrassing disease. Anything that disrupts the accepted order. I set the production in the American 1950s, when a lot of deeply rooted fear and paranoia was barely contained under the cover of insistently happy appearances. What moves me most about the piece is the harrowing transformation of Gregor’s sister, Grete, who grows from compassionate young girl to ferociously self-concerned young woman. Her loss of empathy, and that under her charismatic leadership the entire Samsa family eventually succeeds in shoehorning their story into a happy ending, is to my mind the ultimate tragedy of the piece.