Tales From the Vienna Woods
Mother/Child at picnic/Girlfriend/Cabaret staff
Captain/Priest/Child at picnic
Havlitschek/Child at picnic/Servant/Boyfriend/American
Associate Costume Designer
Assistant Stage Manager
Head of Staging
Emily Van Dyk*
Taylor Amakia Tiauli
Deputy Head Electrician / Lighting Programmer and Operator
* Third year BFA (Design and Production) student
Stagecraft Project Coordinator
Nathan Burmeister, Peter Darby, Kelly Ryall, Katie Sfetkidis
VCA Production Academic Staff
Anna Cordingley, Martyn Coutts, Jo Evans, Amanda Hitten, Lisa Mibus, Lisa Osborn, Matt Scott
In 2019, New York Times declared Ödön von Horváth the hottest young playwright in Germany. The joke is that he died in 1938.
Known for their prescience, it's easy to forget that his plays were written before World War Two, given how sharply they paint communities waltzing into fascism. So it’s a useful thought exercise to go into Tales from the Vienna Woods thinking of it not as a World War Two play, but as a World War One play: a text grappling with present consequences of the recent past, and trying to shock open people's eyes to the future. While there is much to debate about the parallels between Horvath's time and ours, Horváth is universal in his depiction of the effect of social conditions on human behaviour. Put very simply, Horváth’s story is about people who sell things, and people who have to sell themselves.
In the German-speaking theatre, Horváth is as important a figure as Brecht, and in the decades since his death there have been periodic rushes on his plays. Geopolitical circumstances (war, pandemic, economic crisis, rise of the far right) mean that he is once again one of the most performed playwrights in Europe. Here his work is rarely staged.
The title comes from a waltz by Johann Strauss, a work of cultural importance in Vienna for its incorporation of folk conventions and virtuoso zither part; the tune and the title has saturated familiarity. If it were an Australian play, it might have been called Waltzing Matilda.
- Mark Wilson, Director