Total Verrückt! Project

Tracks5Conceived, Created & Performed by Joanna Caplan

Directed by Matthew Glassman

Designed by Sarah Cormier

Developed in association with the Double Edge Theatre Residency Program

Total Verrückt! premiered at The Charlestown Working Theater in Boston, May 24-25, 2013 and had its Canadian premiere at the Island Fringe Festival in Prince Edward Island in August, 2013. It has toured to New Orleans, DEtroit and Baltimore and has been presented at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA multiple times.

This original devised solo theatre piece tells the true story of Jewish cabaret performers held by the Nazis in the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork. From 1942-1944, some of Europe’s greatest artists performed at Westerbork, thereby delaying their transport to death camps. Taking its name from the Camp Westerbok Theatre Group’s final production, Total Verrückt translates as “Totally Crazy.” Inspired by the diaries of Jewish-Dutch poet Etty Hillesum, Jewish German cabaret stars Max Erlich, Willy Rosen and Dora Gerson. Total Verrückt! asks questions about the necessity of art as a means of survival and an act of resistance.

Joanna Caplan developed Total Verrückt! in residency at Double Edge Theatre’s Farm Center in Ashfield, Massachusetts. Her creation process combines Double Edge’s immersive physical theatre training methodology with research into the ancestral memory of her Jewish heritage and the legacy of Jewish artists. The 50-minute performance weaves stories and characters connected to pre-war Germany, the Weimar Republic and the height of the German Cabaret. the work expands the question of how we live through times characterized by strangeness and darkness.Total Verrückt! explores the Jewish imagination in the context of World War II and the Holocaust, examining how we live through times of strangeness and darkness.

Click here to see the Photo Gallery

Click here to watch the Trailer

Click here to watch the full-length recording

Click here for Info Sheet