WOYZECK THALIA THEATER HAMBURG
GERMANY | AUSTRALIAN EXCLUSIVE
ADAPTED FROM GEORG BÜCHNER CREATED BY TOM WAITS, KATHLEEN BRENNAN AND ROBERT WILSON SONGS AND LYRICS BY TOM WAITS AND KATHLEEN BRENNAN DIRECTED BY JETTE STECKEL
FREE PROGRAM PROUDLY MADE POSSIBLE BY
THALIA THEATER HAMBURG GERMANY | AUSTRALIAN EXCLUSIVE ADAPTED FROM GEORG BÜCHNER CREATED BY TOM WAITS, KATHLEEN BRENNAN AND ROBERT WILSON SONGS AND LYRICS BY TOM WAITS AND KATHLEEN BRENNAN DIRECTED BY JETTE STECKEL TEXT ADAPTATION BY ANN-CHRISTIN ROMMEN AND WOLFGANG WIENS CARRIAGEWORKS BAY 17 7–12 JANUARY AT 8PM NO PERFORMANCE ON SUNDAY 110MINS NO INTERVAL
ACTORS Tambourmajor Bernd Grawert Karl, an Idiot Julian Greis Marie Franziska Hartmann Hauptmann Philipp Hochmair Franz Woyzeck Felix Knopp Andres Jörg Pohl Margreth Gabriela Maria Schmeide Doctor Tilo Werner
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Gerd Bessler († 14. Juni 2011), Laurenz Wannenmacher
MUSICIANS Gabriel Coburger, Uwe Granitza (Dieter Fischer † 24. Juni 2015), Johannes Huth, Stephan Krause, Edouard Tachalow, Laurenz Wannenmacher
LIGHT Paulus Vogt
DIRECTOR Jette Steckel
DRAMATURGY Susanne Meister
STAGE DESIGN Florian Lösche COSTUME DESIGN Pauline Hüners
SOUND Rewert Lindeburg, Gerd Mauff
Sydney Festival wishes to thank the following people for helping to make this production possible: Antoinette Albert, Hans and Petra Henkell, Dr Kathryn Lovric and Dr Roger Allan & Rebel Penfold-Russell OAM
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MAKING A WOYZECK OF TODAY The drama Woyzeck by the famous German writer Georg Büchner is a very special German ‘Klassiker’. Written in 1836, it became epoch-making for modernity. Georg Büchner, himself politically active, created the first proletarian hero on stage. He tried to escape the restorative politics in Germany at his time by studying medicine in Strasbourg. Back in Germany, very much impressed by the ideas of the French Revolution, he founded a ‘society for human rights’. After his friend was put into prison, Büchner had to leave Germany as he was being searched for by the police. Jette Steckel, a young director regularly working for Thalia Theater, was interested in Woyzeck as a play of the social revolutionary Georg Büchner and his focusing on a young man fighting against his fate. Woyzeck is a common soldier, he is in love with Marie, they have a young child together, but what has he to offer? He is living on the edge of society, ruining his health with medical experiments – a wretched life. When Marie is fascinated by a drum major giving her presents, reality for Woyzeck gets out of control. First premiered in 2000 in Copenhagen by director Robert Wilson, the evening brings together the 20th century music of American songwriter Tom Waits with the language and topics of a German play from 1836. Both Büchner and Waits focus on people from the very bottom of society, and Waits adds American myths of today to the miserable social situation in Germany before the failed Revolution of 1848.
Like Woyzeck, the heroes of the ballads of Tom Waits are dropouts, outcasts, losers – people not being able to function in a rationalised world. His music reports of broken lives on the edge of society, little stories out of catastrophic everyday life. Both literature and music are full of popular influences; as Büchner breaks with literary conventions, giving his Woyzeck the language of common people, so does Waits with his music using unusual instruments, being inspired by vaudeville, jazz and carnival. In Hamburg, the young director Jette Steckel developed a version with the ensemble of Thalia Theater, together with Gerd Bessler, who had originally worked with Waits in other productions at Thalia Theater. Steckel put in more scenes of the original drama by Büchner to focus on the social circumstances of the characters. For her it was important to combine singing and acting to create a Woyzeck of today. Waits’ music for her is the emotional background of the characters, giving an inner language of music to the reduced language of literature. Thanks to Jette Steckel, Gerd Bessler, the musicians and the actors working together closely, some special kind of music theatre was developed during the rehearsals, and an evening that is very much influenced by the stage setting of young set designer Florian Lösche. Focusing on a simple, but technically complex object – a huge net – Lösche enables stunning images of people trying to hold on to something, losing their equilibrium and not being safe in a changing, unstable world. A Woyzeck of today. Susanne Meister, Dramaturg
Director Born in Berlin in 1982, Jette Steckel studied theatre directing at the Hamburg Theatre Academy from 2003 to 2007 and also worked as a guest listener at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, GITIS in Moscow. She staged Nachtblind by Darja Stocker at Thalia in Gaußstraße in 2006 and the production was invited to the Heidelberg Stückemarkt. Her production of Saved by Edward Bond at Thalia in Gaußstraße earned her the Eysoldt Prize for Young Directors and was invited to the Radikal Jung Festival in Munich. In 2007 she was voted Young Director of the Year by Theaterheute magazine and in 2008 she was nominated for the Viennese Nestroypreis in the category of ‘Best Newcomer’. Steckel has worked in cities including Cologne, Vienna and Hamburg. In the summer of 2009, her adaptation of Ilija Trojanow’s novel Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall had its world premiere at the Salzburg Festspiele and was then performed at Thalia in Gaußstraße, just like her production of Caligula by Albert Camus, a transfer from the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, where she also works regularly. She made her opera debut in Basel in 2013, with Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. At Thalia she directed Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck, created by Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan and Robert Wilson. The 2010/11 season saw the premiere of her production of Don Carlos, for which she was awarded a grant by the Berenberg Bank Foundation and the Hamburg Theatre’s 2011 Rolf Mares Prize in the category of ‘Outstanding Production’. From the 2009/10 season to the 2013/14 season, Jette Steckel worked full-time as a director at Thalia. Jette opened the 2014/15 season with Romeo and Juliet, for which she not only worked with actors, such as longtime collaborator Mirco Kreibich: she staged the iconic love story with the additional support of 40 young people from Hamburg, as well as musicians Anja Plaschg (Soap&Skin) and Anton Spielmann (1000 Robota). Jette Steckel was presented with the Faust Award for Die Tragödie von Romeo und Julia. Her production of Ödön von Horváth’s Kasimir und Karoline – Glauben Lieben Hoffen opened in November 2015.
Tambourmajor Born in 1962, Bernd Grawert studied at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen before working at the Schauspiel Köln in Cologne, the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus and with Frank Baumbauer at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. Grawert, who has lived in Hamburg for many years, is an actor and musician, just as impressive on the piano as he is on the saxophone and guitar. He regularly works at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin and at the Münchner Kammerspiele in Munich. Grawert has played roles in productions by the likes of Frank Castorf, Karin Beier, Johann Kresnik, Martin Kusej, Jossi Wieler and Andreas Kriegenburg. In 1992 he was awarded the Nordrhein-Westfalen Prize for Acting for his performance as Jean in Dimiter Gottscheff’s production of Miss Julie. Grawert has a long-standing working relationship with director Luk Perceval, which began in 1999 with the Shakespeare marathon BATTLES! at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus and also includes Othello, Lulu live and Troilus and Cressida at the Munich Kammerspiele as well as Maria Stuart and Platonov at the Berlin Schaubühne. He continued to collaborate with Luk Perceval at Thalia in roles including Dmitrij Karamasov in the 2012/13 season production in The Brothers Karamazov and Paul Bäumer in the world premiere of FRONT in March 2014.
Karl, an idiot Julian Greis was born in Hattingen in 1983, and first took to the stage in youth theatre productions at the Schauspielhaus Bochum. After this he went to drama school in Stuttgart and guested at both the Landestheater Esslingen and the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus. In 2006 he received the individual and ensemble awards at the Schauspielschultreffen for his performance in Merlin oder das wüste Land. In 2006, Anna Badora brought him to join the ensemble at the Graz Schauspielhaus for three years. During this period he worked with directors including Viktor Bodó, Ingo Berk and Tom Kühnel. After three years in Graz, Julian Greis transferred to Thalia during the 2009/10 season for his second long-term appointment. In December 2012, while at Thalia, he was awarded the Boy Gobert Prize for young emerging Hamburg talent. The panel explained their decision: “Julian Greis is an upstanding actor – fair, friendly and very special in his sensibility. There are so many ‘cool’ young men around the age of 30 on German stages, who casually pull absolutely everything out of the hat. He’s not like that. Candidly sensitive and with the necessary shame, he defends his characters and always puts himself at their service.”
Marie Franziska Hartmann was born in 1984 and grew up in Munich. She studied acting at the Leipzig Academy for Music and Theatre from 2004 to 2008, as part of which she spent two years at the Chemnitz Theatre. During her training she also performed at theatres in Esslingen, Cottbus and Ingolstadt, and then subsequently at the Theater Bonn and the Schauspiel Cologne. Franziska Hartmann loves to combine theatre with her other passion – music. She sings and plays the violin. She revealed her musical talents in the musical theatre production, Die Krönung der Poppea, Die Kontrakte des Kaufmanns by Elfriede Jelinek (directed by Nicolas Stemann), Festzeitstory and, recently, Tonight: Fraktus. Franziska Hartmann became a regular member of the Thalia ensemble during the 2009/10 season. Among her many achievements, she has worked extensively with Jette Steckel, including in Woyzeck and Der Fremde.
Hauptmann Philipp Hochmair was born in Vienna in 1973. He realised very early on that he needed to express himself artistically. Initially he painted, but soon he knew that he wanted to be an actor. From 1993 to 1997 he completed his acting training in Vienna and Paris. But he learned his most important lessons about the theatre through his collaborations with Klaus Maria Brandauer and Peter Zadek, in whose production of Sarah Kane’s Cleansed he performed. Another artistically influential encounter came when he got to know director Nicolas Stemann. Together they celebrated their first big successes, with Hamlet at Schauspiel Hannover and Goethe’s Werther, which he still often performs to this day. Together they went to the Burgtheater in Vienna, where Hochmair became a regular member of the ensemble. He also worked with Stephan Kimmig, Elias Perrig, Igor Bauersima and Friederike Heller and guest starred in productions in Zurich and Berlin. He could also be seen on the big screen in Claude Berris’ 1997 film Lucie Aubrac. Franz Novotny’s Nachtfalter and Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Das Experiment followed in 2001. In 2006 he appeared in Hans Steinbichler’s film Winterreise and in 2012 he starred in Austrian documentary drama Der Glanz des Tages (directed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel).
Franz Woyzeck Felix Knopp was born in 1975 in Gelsenkirchen. He began studying drama in Bochum. A year before graduating, Bochum’s artistic director, Leander Haußmann, hired him for his production of Measure for Measure. Then began Knopp’s collaboration with Dimiter Gotscheff on Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author and he followed him to the Schauspielhaus in Graz to play Aleksander/Andrej/Kiril in Dejan Dukovski’s Powder Keg. In film, Helmut Dietl cast Knopp in Late Show and Margarethe von Trotta cast him in her screen adaptation of Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries. Thalia has been his artistic home since 2001, where he has worked with directors including Andreas Kriegenburg, Jorinde Dröse, René Pollesch and his frequent collaborators Michael Thalheimer and Stephan Kimmig. It is there that he played the roles that earned him the accolade of 2003 ‘Newcomer of the Year’ from Theaterheute magazine. Thalia Theater also saw the beginning of Knopp’s working relationship with Nicolas Stemann with Ulrike Maria Stuart in 2007, which continued with Iphigenia by Euripides/Goethe and The Robbers by Friedrich Schiller. Knopp sings, plays guitar and also composes for the theatre, or goes one step further in concerts such as My Darkest Star - A Trip Along Depeche Mode, in which he takes centre stage.
Philipp Hochmair joined the Thalia ensemble as a regular member during the 2009/10 season. Since then, he has starred in plays such as Faust I + II, Jedermann, Die Räuber and Amerika.
Felix Knopp was a full-time member of the Thalia ensemble from 2001 to 2011. He left during the 2011/2012 season, but can still be seen guest starring in Thalia productions.
Andres Born in the Ruhrgebiet in 1979, Jörg Pohl studied acting at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Bochum from 2002-2005. Even as a student he was already performing at the Bochum Schauspielhaus. He acted in the production of Solaris at the former airfield in Neuhardenberg, under the direction of Martin Wuttke and in 2005, following a guest spot in Bochum, he became a regular member of the ensemble at the Zurich Schauspielhaus. There he worked with the likes of David Bösch, Alvis Hermanis, Matthias Hartmann, Barbara Frey, Schorsch Kamerun and Jan Bosse. He played Alex in Clockwork Orange and Prince Myshkin in The Idiot by Dostoyevsky. He faced a particular challenge when he played a practically mute blind man in Brennende Finsternis by Antonio Buero Vallejo. In 2008 he was awarded the prize for most promising newcomer at the Max Ophüls film festival for his role in the film Nichts geht mehr by Florian Mischa Böder. Jörg Pohl joined the Thalia ensemble as a regular member during the 2009/2010 season. In 2010, Jörg Pohl was awarded the Rolf Mares prize for ‘Extraordinary Achievement by an Actor’ for his role as Alexandar in Jette Steckel’s production, Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall at Thalia in Gaußstraße. He has also collaborated with Jette Steckel on other productions.
GABRIELA MARIA SCHMEIDE
Margreth Gabriela Maria Schmeide was raised in a bilingual household, the daughter of Sorbian parents in Bautzen. After finishing her school exams she wanted to study medicine, but was denied the chance in the former GDR, because her father previously fled to the West. Instead she got her first job as a prompter in Bautzen and following singing and violin lessons she turned to acting, studying at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. Shortly after, she was awarded a scholarship by the Academy of Arts. After drama school she initially stayed in Berlin and joined the Berliner Ensemble. In 1992 she was voted Newcomer of the Year by Theaterheute magazine. In 1994 she then moved to Bremen, where she performed with the Theater Bremen ensemble until 2009, firstly as a regular member and then as a guest. She worked with directors including Konstanze Lauterbach, Karin Henkel, Andrej Woron and Peter Palitzsch. She played roles including Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. She is well known for her TV and film roles, most notably her recent title role in Andreas Dresen’s film Die Polizistin, for which she was awarded the Adolf Grimme Prize. Her credits also include Andreas Dresen’s Halbe Treppe, Hans-Christoph Blumenberg’s Der Aufstand, Kai Wessel’s Leben wäre schön, Michael Haneke’s Das weiße Band, Franziska Buch’s Patchwork as well as Polizeiruf 110, Tatort and countless other films. She has also starred in TV programmes, including taking the lead role in Doris Dörrie’s 2010 show Die Friseuse. She played the role of Hete Häberle in the premiere of Luk Perceval’s production of Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Alone in Berlin), which was invited to the 2013 Berlin Theatertreffen. Gabriela Maria Schmeide joined the Thalia ensemble as a regular member during the 2009/10 season.
Doctor Tilo Werner was born in Braunschweig. After working as an assistant director in Mannheim, he went on to study drama at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts. There he met Thomas Ostermeier, Tom Kühnel and Christian von Treskow. After his third year at drama school, he was employed by the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. Tilo Werner stayed in Berlin for many years and transferred to the Deutsches Theater when Thomas Ostermeier and Jens Hillje were directors of the Barracks and then finally to the Schaubühne at Lehniner Platz. After an encounter with Arpád Schilling, he began looking for a new challenge and transferred to the Krétakör Theatre in Budapest. For this he even learned to speak and act in Hungarian. Later he became a member of the ensemble at the Vienna Burgtheater, but remained connected to his adopted home of Budapest. Over the years he worked with many other directors including: Thomas Ostermeier, Thomas Langhoff, Arpád Schilling and Kornél Mundruczó, with whom he had already developed Das Eis by Sorokin and Nibelungen Residenz by János Térey in Hungary. Tilo Werner has played roles including Banquo in Macbeth and Trigorin in The Seagull and can be seen in countless Hungarian short films and cinema releases. Moreover, he also starred in Dimiter Gotscheff’s production of Peter Handke’s Immer noch Sturm (Still Storm), which was voted 2012 Play of the Year. Tilo Werner joined the Thalia ensemble as a regular member during the 2009/10 season.
Musical Director Laurenz Wannenmacher was born in 1961 in Bielefeld. After graduating from his piano studies at the music academies in Nuremberg and Karlsruhe, he came to Hamburg in 1992 for Tom Waits and Robert Wilson’s production of Alice at Thalia. This was followed by more productions at Thalia including Woyzeck, Peer Gynt and Playing With Fire and others at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg, the Schauspiel Kiel and the Schauspielhaus Zürich, working with directors including Jette Steckel, Jan Bosse, Katharina Thalbach, Claus Peymann and Daniel Karasek. In total, Laurenz Wannenmacher has worked on more than 30 theatrical productions as a conductor, voice coach and musician. He took on the musical direction of the 2013/14 season production of In der Republik des Glücks by Martin Crimp, under the direction of Anne Lenk.
All images by Krafft Angerer.
Stage Design Born in Munich in 1981, Florian Lösche began his career immediately after leaving school, working for a set designer, building models and stage sets for private theatres in Munich and playing the saxophone. In 2003 he began studying set design under the guidance of Ezzo Toffolutti at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, before transferring to the College of Fine Arts in Hamburg in 2005. Even as a student, he was already designing sets for productions by Jette Steckel at the Staatstheater Kassel, at Thalia in Hamburg, at Kampnagel and at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Florian Lösche now works for the Thalia Theater, the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Deutsches Theater in Berlin as well as in Zurich. His stage sets for directors such as Antú Romeo Nunes and Jette Steckel are an integral part of the aesthetics of the Thalia Theater.
Costume Design Pauline Hüners was born in Hamburg in 1981 and studied costume design under the guidance of Dirk von Bodisco and Reinhardt von der Thannen at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. As a student, she designed her first pieces for directors Elisabeth Rech and Jette Steckel, whom she has been collaborating with since 2006. Working in Jette Steckel’s creative team, Pauline Hüners designed the costumes for productions including The Stranger, Dantons Tod and Romeo and Juliet at Thalia, Caligula, Dirty Hands, and Das weite Land at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, as well as Tosca at the Theater Basel and Antigone at the Burgtheater in Vienna. At the Deutsches Theater in Berlin she has also worked with directors including Lilja Rupprecht, Ulrich Matthes and Christian Schwochow, and at Thalia she has collaborated with director Alia Luque. She has designed costumes for many final year films at German film academies and also for Jan Bolender’s Das kleine Fernsehspiel.
GERD BESSLER († 14TH JUNE 2011) Musical Director Gerd Bessler was a composer and versatile instrumentalist – he played the piano, viola, viola d’amore, guitar, waterphone, digital violin, keyboard, live-electronics, Chinese Erhu, Egyptian violin, harmonium carillion, PVC membrane saxophone (only for Tom Waits), phono viola and the five-string phono violin. The date and place of his birth are unknown, but he studied Musicology, Composition and Electronic Music in Frankfurt. After several years struggling to get his break, he then began collaborating with the likes of Robert Wilson in 1987, working with Tom Waits, Philip Glass, William S. Burroughs and Anja Plaschg from Soap&Skin. Furthermore he worked as a composer for the likes of Luc Bondy at the Schaubühne in Berlin, for the Burgtheater in Vienna, at the Wiener Festwochen and the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. He was responsible for the sound design and music production on The Black Rider at Thalia, and played the phono viola in the orchestra for Alice. He created countless radio play compositions and some radio play productions for ARD and Deutschlandradio. In 2003 he was awarded the ARD Radio Play Prize by the Academy of Arts in Berlin. In 1995 he began accompanying Otto Sander on his now legendary readings and CD productions. In 2007, his long-standing friendship with Californian patron for contemporary music, Betty Freeman, led to the cycle Blue Goose Variations – Music for Piano and Viola. He also performed on a live tour with avant-garde trio Arbeit/Bessler/Quirin (ABQ/Berlin), with Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Hopek Quirin. Bessler also wrote a chamber opera – SIRENE 16/8/34 Die verlorene Stimme for mezzo soprano and a small orchestra, based on a Libretto presentation by I. Morgner /Ch.Nagel. He also worked on an international web music production, BLOOD OF UNION, with Paul Amlehn, Michael Blair (Lou Reed), Cor Fuhler (Sonic Youth), Mick Rossi (Leonhard Cohen), Jem Finer (The Pogues), Terry Edwards (Tindersticks), Leo Abrahams (Roxy Music), Andrew Sterman and David Crowell (The Philip Glass Ensemble).
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