Friedrich Johann Franz Woyzeck, enlisted infantryman, second regiment, second battalion, fourth company. My favorite food is warm, nourishing, and enough to keep everyone fed.
Woyzeck is considered one of the greatest drama’s in German literature despite never being fully finished due to Georg Buchner’s untimely death at age 22 to Typhus. Why do you think this play is such an enduring classic?
It is a jumping off point for many different forms of storytelling, beyond the fact that it was never put into a true sequential order; which gives those working on it a lot of freedom to move things around. WOYZECK has elements of the surreal, existential, absurd, with a tinge of Brechtian bravado (before “Brechtian” was even a part of the vernacular). The speech is elevated, leaning into the poetic, yet is grounded in the themes that the story speaks of. It is a super-challenge, a beast of a ride.
So far, what is the scene you are most looking forward to playing or the line you are most looking forward to saying?
“Fucking Humans.” Yeah, that line says volumes.
The theme of oppression is certainly present in this story. Makes me think upon that more, to be sure. It is manifested in many facets of our world, as it always seems to do. You can’t have succession without oppression. You know, yin/yang and what not.
What has surprised you most about working on Woyzeck?
There is a clown locked away in this guy! It is a part of why he is so easily dismissed by his society. He is not taken seriously: how he benefits the world, how he is being crushed via the different forms of oppression, nor how he has the ability to enact a final solution to free himself by becoming the oppressor and doing it through the ultimate form of dehumanizing someone, murder.
Chris Mayse has returned to the Seattle theatre community recently; having been a part of things in the early to mid 2000’s. Locally, he has been fortunate enough to perform with such group such as Theatre Schmeater, Wooden O, Bellevue Civic Theatre, Tacoma Actors Guild, Open Circle Theatre, Atlas Theatre, Steeplechase Productions, the Mae West Fest, and most recently Taproot Theatre (playing Amos Calloway/ Doc Bennett in “Big Fish: The Musical”). Along with acting, Chris is busy directing, teaching all aspects of theatre, and serving as the Managing Artistic Director for Seattle Musical Theatre. www.seattlemusicaltheatre.org.