Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA School of Theatre to open psychological thriller

September 23, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Although the run dates for the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's production of Georg Büchner's "Woyzeck" are Tuesday, Oct. 6, through Saturday, Oct. 10, the play's storyline makes it appropriate fare for a Halloween weekend.

Through a series of brief vignettes, the German playwright reveals the title character's descent into madness while he is serving as a human subject in a psychological/medical case study, explained Dr. Rick Jones, SFA associate professor of theatre and the play's director.

Woyzeck has thoughts of suicide and hears voices inciting him to violence.

Although Büchner wrote it in the 1830s, "Woyzeck" is often described as the "first modern play" because of the playwright's seeming awareness of some of the seminal thinkers of the 19th century such as Sigmund Freud, Jones continued. "At the time of Büchner's death, Freud wasn't even born, but the play anticipates the acclaimed psychologist through its linkage of sexuality and violence, as images of sexuality, blood, knives, penetration and redness intertwine throughout the play."

"Woyzeck" also contains themes that anticipate theories made popular by Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and Friedrich Nietzsche.

"Our audience will not find the material 'dated,' and we're employing some interesting effects and techniques that will highlight the play's modern themes," Jones said.

The play, which will be presented each night of its run at 7:30 in W.M. Turner Auditorium, is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Theatre and is sponsored in part by Tipton Ford-Lincoln-Mercury. It is recommended for mature audiences.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. For tickets or more information, please visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.