Woyzeck

Woyzeck

by Georg Büchner

directed by Izumi Ashizawa

 

Experience the Immersive psycho-journey

Director's Note:

The source for our imaginative reinterpretation of Woyzeck is the 19th-century play, by German playwright Georg Büchner. Büchner’s sudden death forced him to leave the play unfinished, and out of order. Four different drafts were left behind, and the fragmented scenes were translated and re-assembled in narrative order, then finally published more than 40 years after Büchner’s death. There was no clear indication of the author’s exact intention, therefore scholars and critics still debate on the righteous order of the scenes.

 

Büchner based his play on the actual criminal case of a soldier/barber Johann Christian Woyzeck who was executed for murdering his mistress out of jealousy. The real Woyzeck exhibited symptoms of paranoia and hallucinations when he was arrested, and Büchner referred to Woyzeck’s medical records from this criminal case. The first draft of the play was rather a rearrangement of this criminal case document. 

 

The confused and disordered nature of the text left behind by Büchner is one of the most fascinating factors of this drama because the structure of the play itself represents the psychological state of the protagonist, Woyzeck. 

 

I aim to capture this essential part of the play in our production. Our Woyzeck is a physical embodiment of the psychological journey of the tormented soldier–a victim of the society. In order to symbolically represent these concepts, we got rid of the conventional theatre seating from the venue. The audience will constantly move around and shift their perspectives throughout the big black-box theatre space. The story is delivered through a highly athletic physical style of theatre, and the audience is made to feel as if they have lived the life of a soldier in a military camp. 

 

Experience and feel the mental journey of a soldier– in an unjust society, where the victims attack and suffocate each other, and finally start to lose their minds. Wander around the psychological paths with the characters of Woyzeck and help reassemble Büchner’s intention. Let the play commence.

Photo by Wendy Zhao and Izumi Ashizawa
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