Woyzeck_ Chronisms of a Play
Stage design Project on Buchner’s play Woyzeck.
- Title: Woyzeck_ Chronisms of a Play
- Year : 2015
- Function: Scenegraphy Project
- Site location: Athens Festival Venue
- Nationality: Greek
- City and date of birth: Marisa: Athens 8th February 1991, Christos: Athens, 19th July 1990
- University / Institution : National Technical University of Athens
- Tutors: Stavros Gyftopoulos
- Contacts: Marisa: email@example.com, http://issuu.com/marisadaouti/docs/exo_combine,
Why is Woyzeck a tragic figure?
Reading Buchner’s unfinished notebooks, we observe a strenuous effort to describe a cruel life of routine, monotony and exploitation. Woyzeck is unlike any other male theatrical part, not a noble man of heroic acts and admirable passions, he is not to be judged as good or bad. Never experiencing a fear of death, he is lost and trapped in a mundane ordeal, living a life of pain and humiliation, where catharsis seems unobtainable. In the end, absorbed by the swirl of grotesque figures and distorted situations, hemmed in the constant repetition of acts, Woyzeck surrenders to insanity and collapse.
Recognising that the tragedy derives exactly from the repetition of the humiliating and disgraceful acts, and taking advantage of the Play’s nature- as unfinished -, we raise the issues of randomness and repetition as the central directing and design principles.
The abandoned industrial building of Pireos 260 in Athens, will serve as the background and setting of our unusual play. The set itself, consisting only of furniture and one single lighting source, resembling a warehouse, creates the feeling of Theatre’s invasion into the Real. The stage is an intangible space, indicated only by the rectangular lighting source hanging from the roof structure, consequently stressed in the four corners of a square, but at the same time giving a feeling of total freedom and random order.
We also introduce the enigmatic figure of a narrator, a human figure floating over two worlds, the real and the theatrical. Holding the order of the acts in his hands, he is the one to comment and criticize, reflecting upon what he sees, even forgetting sometimes, returning to previous scenes in order to relive and make clear. Inspired by the complicated emotional topography of the troubled Woyzeck, the direction obliges the audience to follow randomness and realize the escalation of the plot through the constant repetition of scenes.
The set follows the choices and interruptions of the Narrator, falling apart and being reassembled in a choreographic way by actors dressed as backstage workers, with the spotlights turned out and the stage deemed into darkness as if the play is over. The egotistic Narrator, being the Voice of Reason, holds Woyzeck captive in this constant Theatrical act. He and the main character are not simply the same person. Their co-existence only indicates Woyzeck’s interior fission. Theatrical space then is just a simulating machine, a fragmented psyche’s last attempt to react to the falling apart of everything. Reality proves crueler than Fantasy. Bestial Woyzeck is set free when the rational one remains, defending the game, constantly absorbed in a Hall of Mirrors. Each spectator is expected to take sides.
Author: Marisa Daouti, Christos Montsenigos