Thursday, July 08, 2010

Woyzeck - Spoilers Ahead!!!

I had a conversation today with some tweeters about this Woyzeck Festival that is apparently happening. We each seemed to be coming at it from different angles, but one of us asked if anyone could participate in the festival since the work was in the public domain. I thought that just because anyone could didn't necessarily mean that it was a good idea, especially for smaller companies who may feel that they were already struggling for audience and/or exposure.

Whereas, some can imagine this as a diverse experiment, others might consider that after a single version or perhaps two different versions, and audience might get Woyzeck fatigue. Comparisons were made to the success of the O'Neill festival and how that could translate to this sort of endeavor. But, I don't know that that is an apt analogy. This isn't a Buchner festival of many companies performing all four of his works, this is just one specific play.

Some of the play's fans suggest that this specific piece could transcend fatigue since there are endless possible variations of production. For those of you who aren't familiar with Woyzeck, there is no definitive version. Many different versions in different scene orders exist, which has meant that the events in the play are open to recombinations.

But, even despite this, the question for me remains (spoiler alert)... how many times can I watch Franz stab Maria in a single season before I decide to spend my audience dollars on a more diverse selection of stories?

Any thoughts? Is audiene fatigue a possibility here? Does it matter? If not why not?

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