The Austin Jewish Repertory Theater has become known for its fresh, imaginative productions. In 2013 AJRT mounted the first production of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin's Tongues to be staged in a swimming pool. That summer, the theater commissioned Aggadot Baya'ar: Folktales in the Forest as a promenade performance on the grounds of Camp Shalom. Its multi-award-winning production of Fiddler on the Roof immersed audiences intimately within the shtetl of Anatevka, and Into the Woods turned the traditionally lush setting of Grimms Brothers greenery into a barren winter landscape.
This summer, AJRT continues its tradition of innovative stagings with W., a one-actor adaptation of Georg Buchner's landmark expressionist drama Woyzeck. In just one hour, acclaimed Austin actor Joey Hood will portray seven characters in Zachary Christman's fast-paced adaptation. W. follows the story of Franz Woyzeck, an impoverished soldier entrapped by 19th century social systems. Based loosely on the real-life story of Johann Christian Woyzeck, a German man who murdered the widow with whom he was living in 1821, the play remained unfinished at Buchner's death. With set designs by Scott Ferguson designed to immerse the audience in the action -- in addition to an exciting original score by local composer Tyler Mabry -- W. will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
So, what does W.'s leading man think of tackling seven roles in a one-hour performance? "It's quite the challenge," he says. "I've done a couple of one-person shows in the past, but never one where I've played seven characters. [The production's director] Adam Roberts and I have been brainstorming something like this for a year now. I'm extremely excited to share it with our audiences."