"Call Me Adam" chats with director Jeremy Duncan Pape about his adaptation of Georg Büchner's Woyzeck. Presented by No-Win's Productions, Woyzeck, FJF will play at the New Ohio Theatre in NYC (154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets) through March 21.
Using Büchner's original dialogue, Woyzeck, FJF, examines the end of a man’s life through the lens of his own insurmountable madness. It has been radically re-imagined as the haunting story of a condemned man desperate to uncover the truth in a dangerous world. Click here for tickets!
1. From February 28-March 21, your adaptation of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck will be playing at the New Ohio Theatre in NYC. What made you want to adapt and direct this show? I first read Woyzeck in undergrad and immediately felt a connection to it. Büchner’s stunning language was just too much for me to ignore. Over the years I would occasionally pick it up and read it and eventually I decided to completely re-approach the play. Things crystalized and Woyzeck, FJF came to be.
2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Woyzeck, FJF? The long answer is that I want people to have a better understanding of what it means to live without being able to relate to the world as everyone else seems to; a better understanding of what it means to be mad. The real person that this play is based on was almost certainly a schizophrenic, a condition that we know very little about, much less understand. If a better understanding ultimately leads to compassion for a murderer, then I will feel that we have accomplished our goals.
3. What excites you about having this cast bring Woyzeck, FJF to life? I trust each and every one of them, they trust me, and they trust each other. They are creative, passionate artists who bring everything that they have to every role. To have them invest themselves in this idea is an honor. You really just have to see them at work to understand.
4. What makes The New Ohio Theatre the perfect venue for this production of Woyzeck, FJF? As with many productions, the space in which these characters live is a character in and of itself. Wide open, unique, challenging, the New Ohio stage is just right for a play like this. Then you add in the wonderful people who make up the New Ohio and you get something perfect. Robert, Marc and Alan have been so welcoming and supportive and I cannot imagine our first production happening anywhere else.
5. This production of Woyzeck, FJF is set within the claustrophobic confines of a hospital. Tormented by the figures of his mind, memory and reality, "Woyzeck" struggles to understand why he is being held, and must finally face the terrible truth of what he has done. When has there been a time in your life when you had to face the truth of something you've done that you didn't want to see? August 2003.
6. Additionally, Woyzeck, FJF examines the end of a man’s life through the lens of his own insurmountable madness. If you were at the end of your life, how would you want to be remembered? A teacher, a father and maybe a little bit mad.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a director? I have learned how much I like listening.
9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Pyrokinesis.
10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? Bourbon. Or rye. Or both. And cigar bitters. And I’m not telling you the rest. I think I’ll call it a Last Breath.
Jeremy Duncan Pape holds an MFA in directing from the New School for Drama and a BFA in acting from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. His directing credits include Carlos Cisco’s The Last Days, Bill Winegardner’s Waste of Space and William Whitehurst’s Knuckleball, which won Best Drama and Best Overall Production at the 2008 San Francisco Fringe. Jeremy’s directing and design work was seen in the Amoralists’ critically acclaimed 2008-2011 seasons at P.S. 122 and Theater 80. From 2006-2010 he was the Associate Artistic Director and Technical Director of EndTimes Productions. Currently, Jeremy is the Production Manager for The Amoralists and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and the founding Artistic Director of No-Win Productions.