• Plays for the Festivals of the Year

    by  • 26 July 2017 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    This summer Floris Books has published the latest installment in the Karl König archive,  König’s complete dramatic works, Plays for the Festivals of the Year. This anthology contains the complete, original texts of all the plays. Many of our readers, particularly those within Camphill Communities, will already be familiar with König’s dramatic work. Today we’re exploring why this new volume is such a valuable asset for performers everywhere.

    About the Plays

    Karl König’s Plays for the Festivals of the Year are arguably his most original creations. Composed between 1938 and 1962, with one exception all fourteen plays were written during the early years of the Camphill movement. The plays are for performance throughout the year, revolving around the various Christian festivals from Easter to Christmas. König’s hope was that their performance would help bring communities together, particularly the Camphill communities he founded.

    Since then, the plays have been translated into many languages and performed in Camphill and other communities around the world.

    Not only is their content entertaining and informative, but the act of performing them provides great benefits as social therapy.


    Karl König Plays for the Festivals of the Year

    Karl König at the official opening of Camphill Hall, September 1962.


    This is the first time that the original texts of all the plays have been published together in the English language (they were, of course, originally written in German). Performers producing a play in English can now fully realise and understand König’s vision for his drama. With commentary, notes, analysis, performance photographs and diagrams, this new edition provides performers with a deeper understanding of the original texts and insight into how König imagined the dramas would be enacted.

    The Drama is in the Detail

    On the See Inside page of the book you can read an extract featuring The Little Christmas Play. It’s fascinating to see König’s attention to detail in the stage directions, with suggested choreography, exits and entrances. There are even diagrams to illustrate this, like in the example below from An Advent Play.

    Plays for the Festivals of the Year

    König states where the actors should sit around the table in An Advent Play.

    Plays for The Festivals of the Year even includes extracts of original music composed by König, such as the short piece below from An Advent Play.

    Music by Karl for Plays for the Festivals of the YearFor people looking to produce and perform a König play this new volume, containing this level of detail, will help them to fully realise König’s vision for his dramatic work.

    Insightful Commentary and Analysis

    The late Ruth von Ledebur, Professor of English Literature and board member of the German Shakespeare has also written an insightful essay on König’s work within the context of European Drama, bringing a fresh perspective to his Plays. She is a great advocate of his, arguing, “König’s plays were – and still are – the most important entry gate for me to his way of thinking and to the spirit of Camphill.” Additonally, Richard Steel’s enlightening commentary is particularly insightful for work like St John’s Play of which, Richard says, there is no mention anywhere bar a few short diary entries. This volume is, therefore, helping to illuminate the little we know about such oft forgotten plays.

    Why the Plays are Important

    Von Ledebur was one of the parents who welcomed König and Camphill to Germany. As she says, “We all know that in giving and receiving the plays – and especially the Easter plays – we continually enlarge and enhance the spiritual substance of Camphill.” Likewise, Floris Books hopes that this anthology will ensure the continued performance of these plays and thereby the sharing within and strengthening of these communities.

    Discover the Dramas Yourself

    Floris Books wants everyone to discover these spiritual plays. When you have purchased this book from our website, you can click on the ‘Links’ tab to download the resources for performers you’re working with.

    Favourite Play

    Do you have a favourite drama from König’s body of work? Comment below with your experiences of the Plays for the Festivals of the Year.

    Plays for the Festivals of the YearPlays for the Festivals of the Year is out now and available from Floris Books.










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