by Georg Büchner

Prison theatre in the JSA Berlin


Shows:  4th, 6th, 8th, 11th, 13th and 15th November 2019 at 5.30 pm


The soldier Franz Woyzeck, his superior’s errand boy, lives on the fringes of society. To improve his miserable pay and be able to give some money to his beloved Marie and their child, he undergoes a medical experiment, a strict diet of peas. Woyzeck is considered an oddball. At night, he hears voices and sounds. He races through his life like a haunted man, always on the run, always humiliated. When Marie succumbs to the advances of the swanky drum major, Woyzeck feels called to become an avenger in a depraved world. Woyzeck kills Marie – his only possession in the world.


The true story of the fusilier Johann Christian Woyzeck, who was convicted of murder in 1821 and, after a trial questioning his sanity lasting years, was executed, inspired Georg Büchner to write his social drama WOYZECK, which is considered the most important German-language theatre fragment of the nineteenth century.


Franz Woyzeck demands our understanding just as he repulses, frightens and leaves us perplexed. What motivates Woyzeck, who sees enemies everywhere, suspects conspiracies against him and hears voices that give him orders? Is it religious mania, is it drug abuse, the effects of the medical experiment or the desire to take revenge for all the countless humiliations?
The play refuses to give us an answer, then and now. But it reflects a familiar general problem: the exclusion of those who don’t conform, those who have been kicked out of everything, out of school, out of training programmes, sports clubs, the military. They can’t be understood, are avoided, laughed at, beaten and soon become perpetrators themselves.  


aufBruch stages Büchner’s WOYZECK with prisoners in Berlin’s juvenile prison as a theatrical attempt to deal with this lack of a voice, which confronts us whenever we encounter the same connection between exclusion and violence that seems to always reoccur.


 “Every man is an abyss; and it makes you dizzy when you look down into it.”



Performed by the aufBruch prisoner ensemble in the JSA Berlin: Ali, Baris, Jallal, Jamal, Jihad, Nico, Salah, Viktor.


Director Peter Atanassow Stage designer Holger Syrbe Costume designer Melanie Kanior Dramaturg Vlatko Kultzen Music coach Vsevolod Silkin Video Pascal Rehnolt Productionmanager Sibylle Arndt Assistant director Charlotte Wilke Artistic and technical support Lukas Maser Graphic design Alexander Atanassow


Tickets: 15 € / 10 € (discounted)


Tickets on sale from:  21st October 2019

Online: aufBruch ticket Advance ticket sales

shop at shop.gefaengnistheater.de

or at the Volksbühne Berlin

Funded by a grant from the Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination
Supported by the JSA Berlin, JVA Tegel, Volksbühne Berlin.


Photos: Copyright Thomas Aurin.
Photos may only be used with prior permission from aufBruch / Thomas Aurin


Performance venue:
JSA Berlin
Friedrich-Olbricht-Damm 40
13627 Berlin


S-Bahn Beusselstraße
Bus 123 Friedrich-Olbricht-Damm/Heckerdamm


Go back