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October 29, 2008

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Mac

Oh my god, I was thinking this exact same thing the other day! (And I too was in Woyzeck once, and had a blast doing it.) I was hanging out at Manhattantheatresource, I was in a tired, grumpy mood, I saw a postcard for an upcoming production of Woyzeck (broody bald guy soaked in water), and I muttered, "Oh great! More Woyzeck! Lemme guess: your production will focus on man's alienation in a disconnected and violent world! How groundbreaking!" Then I felt a little bad.

Joshua James

Mac, I feel that way about nearly every shakespeare play that's done these days . . . Macbeth has been done a lot more than Woyzech . . . when the source did Macbeth, there were four other productions of that play opening the same month.

I enjoy some of the Shake shows, I've been in more than a few that were great (I was actually rehearsing Pericles before I moved to NYC) but really . . . too much. Going without for awhile couldn't really hurt.

devilvet

Too much Woyzeck?!!!

How East Coast Liberal Elitist of you!!!

(wink)

If another production is just to toy with the visuals... I can see that as trying.

But, if you total overhaul it and make it your own... I say go for it. I talk some today about get the Shakes too much. Stop by y'all.

Ben TS

I feel like the idea of Woyzeck is better than the reality of Woyzeck. The extant text is interesting for historic reasons, but it's so insubstantial that my inclination as a director would be, like, why are we doing THIS flimsy play instead of a new flimsy play?

As for the Shakespeare moratorium, it depends. This might make sense for regional theatre. What kills the regionals is their lifeless, calculated programming. Remove a rigid category from their scheduling options and it might improve things.

However, I don't think this applies to New York. Maybe a moratorium on Summer Shakespeare in the park (with Boomerang and Gorilla Rep given a well-deserved reprieve). But honestly, off-off-Broadway productions of Shakespeare performed in ACTUAL THEATRES is surprisingly rare. I'm going into rehearsal for a Shakespeare show now, and there was a moment when I realized that I had not seen one Shakespeare play in an off-off house in the entire ten years I'd been here.

herxanthikles

Let's compromise on Woyzeck: a moratorium on the play, but a mandatory production of Alban Berg's operatic adaptation in every major American city. See, compromise isn't so bad!

herxanthikles

Oh, and re: Shakespeare, only a limited moritorium please, namely on genteel representations of phalluses in order to illustrate an sex joke.

Rolando Teco

I second the motion of "herxanthikles!" The opera is a 10-fold improvement on the play. The same is true of Marc Blitzstein's opera "Regina" which is far more dramatic than "The Little Foxes" ever could be. If you don't know it, check it out.

p.s. Thanks for the shout-out on my talk-back post, Isaac!

Laura Ginters

Any GOOD and/or important productions of "Woyzeck" (or "Leonce and Lena") you can tell me about? I'm writing a book chapter on productions of B├╝chner's plays and I know a lot about German productions - and not much at all about American (or English) ones. Can I harness your collective knowledge??

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