September 18-20, NEC Open Door Theatre Presents Woyzeck
The Open Door Theatre at New England College presents Woyzeck by German playwright Georg Buchner on Friday, September 18 and Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 20 at 3:00 p.m. All performances will be held at the Mainstage Theatre in the New England College Science Building on Depot Hill Road in Henniker. Tickets can be reserved at 428-2485 or at. $7.00 for NEC commuinity membersand seniors and 10.00 for general public.
A series of 28 short and intense scenes, Woyzeck is the story of a soldier’s descent into madness following his mistress’ betrayal, leading him ultimately to murder her. Based on a sensational murder and execution that occurred in 1821, Woyzeck is both absurdly comic and tragically poignant.
Hailed by theatre critics and historians as the first truly modern play, Woyzeck was written by the 22-year-old genius Georg Buchner. Buchner, born in 1813, left only three pieces for the stage, but was an accomplished writer with scientific texts, philosophical treatises, political pamphlets, and a novella to his credit.
Buchner died at the age of 23 leading critics to speculate on whether Woyzeck was actually finished. “The play was assumed to be unfinished because of its uniqueness,” notes Glenn Stuart, Professor of Theatre and director of the production. “Buchner left no instructions as to the order of the scenes, which vary from a single line to several pages. There will always be a question as to whether the playwright intended the 28 scenes that we know of or whether he had additional scenes in mind.” According to Stuart, the work was first organized by a literary editor in 1879 and produced for the first time in 1914.
“Woyzeck is a tragic character,” notes Stuart. “Everyone betrays him and he has nothing to hold on to. He thinks too much and struggles for answers. In the end, the world acts on him and there is little he can do to change his circumstances. This is what happens when compassion leaves us and we are left to fend for ourselves.”
The Open Door Theatre was founded in 2003 by an ensemble of alumni and current students from the New England College Department of Theatre. For more information, contact Glenn Stuart, Professor of Theatre at firstname.lastname@example.org.