Adventures of Siggy and Carl
I performed a ten-minute excerpt of my new comedy,
working title "The Adventures of Siggy and Carl," directed
by Stanley Allan Sherman, as part of Theater for the New City's
Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.
The comedy is about the troubled "master-student"
relationship of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. It is ridiculously
based on actual historical events and the two geniuses' published
When a friend suggested that my next role should be Sigmund Freud,
Mr. Sherman, who also directed "Duet for Solo Voice,"
invited me to participate in a couple of workshops he had created
for clown theater performers in writing their own material.
In my reading about Freud and Jung, I found some of their history
so bizarre that it just cries out for comedy. For example, as a
young man in Switzerland, Jung had a persistent hallucination of
God crapping from his golden throne onto the Bern Cathedral and
smashing it asunder with a giant turd. You just can't make up material
and Carl in Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, Theater
for the New City. Photo by Clarissa Marzan.
An approach that finally worked for me came from reading their
published letters and then "riffing" with my own thoughts
and dialogue, leaving the historical sources far behind. There is
a lot of physical theater.
The episode that was presented in the festival had Siggy and Carl
paying a house call on Mrs. Hitler to see about her emotionally
disturbed child. The scene is made up, but the info it relates about
the Hitler household is strictly on the record. Adolph's mother
lived close enough to Vienna that she might have considered engaging
a psychoanalyst for her nasty little kid. I don’t think she
ever did, but I wish she had.
This "little experiment" was a rousing success and tremendously
encouraging. I have been adding to the play steadily, with the goal
that it can be performed as a full production.
Theater for the New City presented me in "Duet for Solo Voice"
and has been a place of many creative beginnings for me. I am very
grateful to TNC's Artistic Director, Crystal Field, for making this
new one possible.