Woyzeck at Butler

Indianapolis’ Butler University Theatre Department finishes their season this weekend with Woyzeck, a social commentary on the dehumanizing effects of class. This Indianapolis theatre production offers a combination of visual and performance art that Butler has become known for in Indy. Woyzeck, by George Buchner, opens Wednesday, April 14 and runs through Sunday, April 18 in Lilly Hall on the campus of Butler University. Tickets are $10.00 for Indianapolis people and $5.00 for Indianapolis kids with a student ID.

In the absence of the former Chair of Butler University’s Theatre department, John Green, the work at Butler has pushed to maintain its reputation for presenting internationally influenced work with a visual focus. Earlier in the school year, visiting artist in residence Tim Hardy rounded out the theatre faculty as he directed students in The Merchant of Venice. Bernardo Rey took his place at the change of the semester, teaching classes on scenic design and mask making as he took on the challenge of directing Butler’s fourth production.
With a season themed, “The World Comes to Butler,” these two men, from England and Colombia respectively, facilitated Butler’s foray into international theatre. Rey is a Colombian born director, designer and performer who currently resides in Italy. His resume reads as a “Who’s Who” of modern theatre, having worked with both Eugenio Barba at the International School of Theatre Anthropology and in Jerzy Growtowski’s Laboratory Theatre and Theatre of Sources. Bernardo Rey will illuminate Buchner’s script through his focus on the research and application of the visual arts in the performing arts, creating sceneries, masks, objects and theatrical machines, sculptures and posters.

Woyzeck is a “working class” tragedy, which focuses on the dehumanization of one man by his superiors. Franz Woyzeck is a low level soldier stationed in a small German town, with a wife (Marie) and a child, who has not been blessed by the church (most likely due to lack of funds). Woyzeck works to support his family by picking up odd jobs and menial tasks from his Captain, which includes participation in medical experiments conducted by the Doctor. The experiments, which include directions to eat nothing but peas, slowly break Woyzeck’s mental stability.
Woyzeck is heartlessly taken advantage of by these upper class men, who view him as morally bankrupt because of his financial situation. In the mind of the Captain, wealth and status are inextricably linked to morality. Because Woyzeck has none of the former, he can have none of the latter. He is pushed over the edged by the cruelty of the Doctor and the Captain.

As his relationship with Marie begins to falter, he suspects her of infidelity with the handsome drum major. As suspicion abounds, Woyzeck confronts the drum major, killing him. Though Buchner died before his was able to finish the script, various translations and adaptations have presented endings, which are in keeping with Buchner’s established themes.

Don’t miss the directorial work of Bernardo Rey as he presents Butler University Theatre students in Woyzeck. This troubling drama is sure to enlighten as it holds a mirror to the face of Indianapolis society. Performances are at 8:00 pm April 14 to 17 and 2:00 pm on April 17 and 18.

After this Indianapolis performing arts event, head to the nearby Indianapolis cultural district, Broad Ripple Village, for a bite to eat. With a great variety of Indianapolis restaurants and Indianapolis bars in Broad Ripple, there is something for everyone! Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Events and Information on Fun City for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. We cover Indianapolis arts to Indianapolis sports and everything in between! Get out in Indy and find some fun!

April 14 to 18, 2010

Butler University Theater

1600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208