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Brecht and Epic Theatre Links
Eugen Bertolt Friedrich Brecht (10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956) was a
German poet, playwright, and theatre director of the 20th century. He made
contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter through the
tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble – the post-war theatre company
operated by Brecht and his wife, long-time collaborator and actress Helene
Weigel. (Wikipedia)
Overview of Brecht
The BBC Bitesize website has 11 pages covering his background, his
theories and his works.
Biographies of Brecht
Britannica entry for Brecht detailing his life.
Gradesaver essay on Brechts life including an outline of his works.
Epic Theatre
Epic theatre was primarily proposed by Bertolt Brecht who suggested that a play
should not cause the spectator to identify emotionally with the characters or
action before them, but should instead provoke rational self-reflection and a
critical view of the action on the stage. Brecht thought that the experience of
a climactic catharsis of emotion left an audience complacent. Instead, he wanted
his audiences to adopt a critical perspective in order to recognize social injustice
and exploitation and to be moved to go forth from the theatre and effect change
in the world outside. For this purpose, Brecht employed the use of techniques
that remind the spectator that the play is a representation of reality and not
reality itself. By highlighting the constructed nature of the theatrical event,
Brecht hoped to communicate that the audience's reality was equally
constructed and, as such, was changeable. (Wikipedia)
Universal teacher's website covering all of Brecht's concept of Epic
Blog post explaining Alienation Theory (verfremdungseffekt).
Mother Courage and Her Children
A blog post about the use of guests and verfremdungseffekt in Mother
Courage and Her Children.
Comprensive guide to Mother Courage and Her Children from Sparknotes.
Other major works
The Threepenny Opera
Life of Galileo
The Cuacasian Chalk Circle
National Theatre's Introduction to Brecht.
National Theatre’s Five Truths about Brecht.
Fiona Shaw talking about how she prepares to take on the role of Mother
Courage in the National Theatre's 2008 production of Mother Courage
And Her Children.
Interviews with the cast and director from The Unicorns Theatre 2014
production of Caucasian Chalk Circle.
Brecht in the words of Helene Weigel