Joanna Caplan is a Resident Artist at Double Edge Theatre. She studied theatre in Montreal at the Dawson College Theatre Program (The Dome) and holds a degree in Contemporary Philosophy and International Development Studies from the University of King’s College in Halifax. She has worked as a performer and arts educator in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. She is the creator of Total Verrückt!, and original devised solo theatre piece that tells the true story of Jewish cabaret performers held in the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork. From 1942-44, 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, cabaret stars Max Ehrlich, Johnny & Jones, 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 and visual training methodology with research into the legacy of Jewish artists as a way of accessing her own ancestral memory.