Costume Inspiration

These were a few pictures I came across when looking into some costume ideas. Most of them are taken from Werner Herzog’s film Woyzeck, but it gave us a good insight to the style/colour we needed base our costume on. Some of the pictures are some examples of how other productions used costume. It was interested to see how they had interpret the play and the vision they had for the characters.






Doctor! Doctor!

I must admit I started off with the wrong idea for the Doctor’s characterisation. I took the character to be a comical ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ who would be naturally awkward around others. But through the rehearsals this came to change. The character was to become more sinister and confident with his elaborate use of language.

Watching the film and continuous reading of the play started to change my mind about my first impressions of the Doctor. He uses aggressive language towards Woyzeck, and even speaks confidently to the Captain. He uses his knowledge to his strength, as no-one else seems to know what he is talking about with regards to the Latin words he uses. Rachel also noticed the more sinister side of the Doctor and so directed me to play him in a creepy and sinister way.

The character was then split into two due to the fact that there were not enough strong women parts in the play. I would be sharing the character with Amie. We looked at how their relationship would be and decided that they could be a husband and wife figure, both correcting and interrupting each other. We felt that this could continue on to Theatre Company where the two Doctor characters could end up having what the cast call a ‘Latin-off’ where each character would attempt to say the most and the longest Latin word.


The dramaturg within our group…

I feel I have learned a lot about dramaturgy and the role of the dramaturg. Which is something I had no idea about at the beginning. In fact, I hadn’t even heard the term. Although know one took of the specific role of the dramaturg, we all contributed to the developing of ideas and the gathering of materials for the play. After discovering that the dramaturg has a huge role within a company/organisation, when applying all of the dramaturgical jobs to our performance, I think it would have been unfair to give one person the role of the dramaturg and that much responsibility. We cast the position of director in our very first session after decided on the groups, we then each took a job/responsibility in order to share the role. With Rachel as director. Kirsty, in charge of props, Sally in charge of lighting, Aaron in charge of sound. These were the main categorised roles. Martyn and Jimmy did a lot of research regarding using the space, concepts of spatiality and the use of promenade. Braden with the main role as Woyzeck did a lot of research around characterisation, as well as the staging and stage combat techniques during the fight scene.

I was responsible for costume, researching around costume ideas, researching what the characters wore in the original productions and in the film. Researching costumes suitable for the period and what can be portrayed through costume, for example, the masks for the circus characters. I made an visit to the costume/props stores in attempt to find the majority of costume that we needed. However the style or sizing was not quite right. The success of my rummaging lead me to find a suitable cap for the sergeant. I think this created a appropriate look for the sergeant, which really suggested his authoritative status that a green army jacket and black trousers couldn’t have created on their own.

Luckily, most costume we needed for the performance didn’t need to be anything outrageous or unique. We mostly needed green/army style jackets, which Rachel had at home. The majority of the cast wore blacks underneath, which again we all had in our own wardrobes. Kirsty and I, took a shop around for Marie and Margaret’s costumes. We wanted something feminine, to emphasise to womanly side to Marie that attracts the drum-major, but nothing too fancy. We still wanted to display the home-house wife look about Marie in order to suggest her middle class status.

Sally managed to find the costume for the showman within her own wardrobe. I had previously posted some pictures that I thought might work. More than anything I wanted the audience to be able to distinguish Sally’s character as the showman, in order to emphasise her as kind of a story teller, or the one the audience should listen to and follow. I felt that if we could create this connection between Sally’s character and the audience they would be more inclined to follow, therefore ensuring the smooth transitions within the promenade. Whether or not a characters costume has the ability to convey this, I do not know!

The doctors scene, required five lab coats. Aaron and Jimmy managed to borrow these. The look of the lab coats combined with the white drapes and brightly lit space created a clinical atmosphere. We wanted Woyzeck to feel under examination as a part of his pea-only diet experiment. The white also made a great contrast to the snap blackouts, especially as it takes a seconds for the eye to adjust to the surrounding light.

Despite having particular responsibilities, the whole group contributed towards the process leading up to the final performance. We all created the role of the dramaturg together. At least this way we can all be identified as dramaturgical contributors and know ones work goes un recognised. If you refer to my text on ‘The role of the dramaturg’ you will understand what I mean. However I’m not sure it really makes sense when applying it to our organisation. But anyway, please feel free to add anything else, perhaps some personal contribution that I may have missed.


No Pictures!

Hey guys,

Does anyone know who the dude with the camera was taking pictures all the way through our performance? I wish I’d remembered sooner because, if they’re any good, we could stick them up here!

I think the pictures would have shown us off the effects of how we created an atmosphere pretty well. They’d also be great for marketing our show for Theatre Company.

Any thoughts? 


Prop List

Hopefully, I have been able to upload an image of the prop list we used for Dramaturgy. This just features the scenes we decided to perform for this module. I do have a larger prop list for the rest of the play.

“Logic is served when characters use properties to carry out the story or identify the given circumstances” (2009, pg. 99)

As you can see the scene which required the most props was the ‘shaving scene’. Because this scene was set quite static the use of many props worked well. As we decided to stick to the time that the play was written it was important to reflect this in the props for the scene. We were able to do this by using a shaving brush and straight razor, also known as a cut throat razor. The use of the straight razor worked well for Woyzeck’s character, it shows him in a position of power, which we don’t see through the rest of the play. The Captain and others in the play are constantly belittling him, even throughout the scene the Captain is stating that Woyzeck has ‘no sense of decency’, would you say this to someone who is holding a blade by your neck? The Woyzeck for our piece played this very well, holding the blade at the Captains neck for tension, showing that underneath his distracted behaviour he does hold some power. Regarding the blade and brush, they may only seem like little things, but if Woyzeck was to pull out a Gillette Fusion this would impact the scene and what we are trying to achieve with the time setting. Also on the list is a razor strop, which is a strip of leather that barbers use to polish the straight razor. For this we used a leather belt which had a nice effect and added to the scene well.

For the ‘fairground scene’ no props, other than a ukulele, were necessary. Because of how we set this scene, ascending the stairs, it would have been complicated to include props here. The ukulele was used to add to the feel of a fairground with live music. Jimmy was able to play a tune, which he had made up for the piece, whilst going up the stairs. We set the scene this way to move the audience on to the next scene, which was at the top of the stairs.

Due to the next two scenes being fragmented versions of three scenes put together it would have been difficult to involve props if they were needed. If the first part of the scene was set as a static scene in a tavern, then the stage properties would match any ideas given for set. In the final part of the scene where the Drum Major and Sergeant are marching, the Drum Major could have had a mace/baton. Usually the term ‘mace’ is applied when referring to the military. The mace is used to give commands to the rest of the parade and keep everyone in time.

With the ‘doctor scene’, we only used a cuddly toy cat and chalk as props. We wanted to make more of an effect with lighting and the lines being said rather than over crowding the scene. The cat was used because the script mentioned a cat being thrown from a height. The chalk was used by the students in the scene to create hand prints on Woyzeck. “Dramatic potential is released when properties are used for the expression of feelings, relationships, theme and environment” (2009, pg 99). The use of the chalk could be seen as the doctor leaving his internal mark on Woyzeck, we understand from this scene and others that Woyzeck is just a specimen for experiments. It could also be seen as societies way of physically showing Woyzecks internal struggle with the everyday daemons he faces and bringing them to the surface.

The final scene for our Dramaturgy performance is the ‘Franz and Marie’ scene. Again this scene has no props included. We wanted to build up a tension for the audience with Woyzeck and Marie arguing about Maries infidelity and this was best shown with just the two characters on stage. Within the character Woyzeck you can see the tension rising so much so that “Woyzeck reacts physically to the torment of jealousy” (1978, pg 108) we wanted to leave the audience with Woyzeck becoming physically violent, so that for the audience members who do not know how the story ends, they would be curious and wanting to see more.

Schwarz, A (1978) From Buchner to Beckett, Ohio University Press: Athens, Ohio

Thomas, J (2009) Script Analysis for Actors, Directors and Designers, Focal Press: Oxford