An important thing that this project has been teaching me is that the initial reaction I have to a performance can also be really important. After reading the opera for the first time we then split off into groups to create an abstract storyboard of the text. We were not allowed to create a simple drawing depiction of the actions, but asked to focus more on showing themes and emotions.
My group looked at each characters emotions separately throughout the story. We then decided to do our storyboard like a graph. We plotted each characters feelings through each scene as if it were their heart beat on a monitor in a hospital. We then overplayed all of these onto the same graph. This was a really interesting exercise as it allowed us to see more clearly the relationships the characters had both with each other and the occurrences in the play. It also produced an interesting piece visually.
Other groups created visuals that were also interesting. One group, for example, focused on the decline of Woyzeck’s mental state. They created a hanging sculpture in the shape of a spiral that had more intense patches where he was in the most strain mentally and looser areas where he was at his sanest. It was interesting imagery that we could definitely take forward into the performance.
Alongside artistic responses to the play, we experimented with tableaus. A tableau is a short screen shot of action, almost like a photograph. We worked with key themes from ‘Woyzeck’ like; Adultery, madness, suicide, murder and experimentation. An interesting activity that was a part of this, was one where we stretched a piece of elastic. The way in which we manipulated this elastic was intended to mean something different. It was interesting what we were able to portray simply by moving elastic.