Transcript File

 A Director, a Dramatist or an Actor but often and
mainly their occupation consists of a
combination of these traditionally-separated
 Creates Theatrical Performances
 Produces Theoretical Discourses
 Theories / Debates / Some form of communication
that inform & introduce specifically their own
practical works /Aka “theatre practices” to not only
the audience of their productions but to a broader
artistic spectrum that often influences / was
influenced by societies and cultures
“Epic Theatre”
 10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 [Late
19th to the early 20th Century]
 Born in Augsburg, Germany
 German poet, playwright and director
 Studied philosophy & medicine at the
University of Munich, later becoming a
medical attendant in a German military
hospital during the First World War
 World War One experiences
 Reinforced his hatred of war and influenced
his support for the failed Socialist revolution in
1919 in Germany
 After the war, Brecht returned to university but
he took on literature instead of medicine as
he’s developed a increasing interest towards
 One of his first plays was deeply influenced by
the work of Ernst Toller, including “Drums in
the Night”, a play about a soldier returning
from war
 A drastic part of human behavioral study,
which was later on clearly applied and
practiced in Brecht’s theatrical productions
 Believable emotions and physical actions of
actors through “Emotional Memory”
portraying character’s behavior onstage
 Marxism – Politically, Culturally, Socially &
Economically equal society
 1927 - Collaborated with the composer Kurt
 Produced “The Threepenny Opera”
 Although based on The Beggar's Opera of
1728, Brecht added his own lyrics that
illustrated his growing belief in Marxism
 Reflected a Marxist interpretation of
society, when Adolf Hitler gained power
in 1933 he was forced to flee from Nazi
 While living in exile he wrote anti-Nazi
plays such as “The Roundheads”,
“Peakheads” and “Fear and Misery of the
Third Reich”
 Followed by
Life of Galileo (1939),
Mother Courage and Her Children (1939),
The Good Man of Szechuan (1941),
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (1941)
Caucasian Chalk Circle (1943).
 Lived in Denmark, Sweden, the Soviet Union
and the United States (Hollywood)
 Wrote the film “Hangman also dies” [1943]
 Investigation by the House of un-American
Activities Committee leading to a interrogation at
the HUAC on the entertainment industry, Brecht
left for East Germany after the fall of Hitler due
to his accusation and criticism of being a left
wing socialist /communist member & for betrayal
 1949 –Founded the Berliner Ensemble and
over the next few years it became the country's
most famous theatre company. However, Brecht
wrote only one play in East Germany, “The Days
of the Commune” [1949]
 Mother Courage and her Children
 1939
 Fascism and Nazism
 Filmed after his death, performed by his
widowed wife, famous actress, Helene
 Considered by many to be the greatest
play of the 20th Century and the greatest
anti-war play of all time
 Attempted to develop a new Theatrical approach
 A Brechtian Expert’s definition ~ “He tried to
persuade his audiences to see the stage as a stage,
actors as actors and not the traditional make-believe
of the theatre, requiring detachment, not passion,
from the observing audience. The purpose of the
play was to awaken the spectators' minds so that he
could communicate his version of the truth”. Known
as Epic Theatre.
 My understanding ~ The concept of constant
remembrance of the Theatre’s atmosphere &
existence often provoking the reaction of the
audiences’ realization that the content & context of
the production is a daily part of the their societal,
cultural and political influence
 Devised multiple episodic theatrical
techniques such as…
Breaking the Fourth Wall
Acting Styles
Alienation technique
 “The world of knowledge takes a crazy
turn when teachers themselves are taught
to learn.”
 Let nothing be called natural, In an age of
bloody confusion, Ordered disorder,
planned caprice, And dehumanized
humanity, lest all things Be held
unalterable! ~ The Exception and the Rule
(1937), Prologue