By Cortez Cruz Serrato
The Theatre Department brings to life one of the world’s most famous German plays, “Woyzeck,” which takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster, leaving them wanting more.
The play is an adaptation by director David Laird Scott.
The play opened last Friday at the East Los Angeles College Black Box Theatre.
From the very beginning of the show, the audience feels an immediate connection with the main character, Franz Woyzeck, played by Lorena Ruiz.
As the lights dim and a spotlight shines on Woyzeck and the captain, played by Michael Ryan Correa, the audience is able to see Woyzeck’s troubles.
The audience becomes quickly acquainted with Woyzeck, understanding his trouble with poverty and the difficulty he has managing his moral compass.
The story follows a 19th century German soldier Woyzeck.
He is losing his mind due to constant medical experiments that he is undergoing to make ends meet.
The medical experiments, being conducted by the town’s doctor, played by Adam Chacon, causes Woyzeck to lose control over his life.
Woyzeck feels his life slipping away because of his mental hallucinations.
He becomes paranoid about losing the mother of his child, Marie, played by Marissa Ruiz, to another man.
The audience quickly realizes that the male role of Woyzeck is played by a woman.
Lorena Ruiz’ acting proves to be solid and the audience quickly forgets that she is a woman.
The play tackles serious themes like poverty, sexuality, violence and madness, but Scott’s direction gave it a much needed comedic element.
This makes it easy for the audience to be intrigued and entertained.
Chacon and the other supporting actors give their characters a great comedic element, which had the audience laughing throughout the show.
It can be very difficult for an actor to portray a character who is suffering from mental instability, but Ruiz achieves this task by giving the character of Woyzeck great depth and showing great emotion throughout the play.
The dialogue between the characters came with ease.
Lorena Ruiz and Marissa Ruiz show great chemistry on stage and it’s noticeable during their several onstage domestic disputes.
The play also offers smooth transitions from scene-to-scene, which could be very difficult for a one act play with no intermission.
Each character moves gracefully in between scenes, changing the set in complete silence.
This was appealing to the audience because their concentration was never interrupted.
The use of lighting is also extremely effective in creating suspense for the most climatic scenes of the play.
The use of the lights to create shadows on the walls of the theater added an unexpected, yet delightful, element to the show.
Though the cast did an excellent job in creating suspense and drawing the audience in, the ending lacks in giving the audience an entertaining conclusion.
The slow-motion acting that the director chose in the most climatic scene of the play seems forced and overly dramatic.
“Woyzeck” is a one-act play with no intermission.
The show is 90 minutes long with violence and foul language throughout the play.
Tickets are $10 at the door and sold at $8 presale with ASU membership.