• Created by: eball2604
  • Created on: 01-05-18 18:51

All about Brecht

- born in 1898 in Germany

- served in the first world war before moving to Munich and then to Berlin to pursue theatre

- became a statelessness citizen in 1933 when the Nazis came to power in Germany

- moved to US in 1941 and then back to Europe in 1947

- died in 1956

Mother Courage and Her Children

- set in 1600s

- relevant to contemporary society and regarded as finest anti-war play

Fear and Misery of the Thrd Reich

- overtly anti-facist and analyses the insidious way the Nazis came to power

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Brechts Infleunces

Chinese Theatre

- infleunced by their abilty to acheive alienation 

- how they could distance themselves from the roles they were playing

e.g. Mai Langfang - stylised, minimal and simple

Karl Marx

- wanted spectators to experience literal process of the play

- revealed stage elements, helped develop alientaion theory

- believed working class could revolutionize society

Charlie Chaplin

- theory of Gestus was influenced by silent moves and critical distance between the actor and his role

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Why is he important?

Wanted to make audiences think about what they were watching

- belived they hung up their 'brains with their hats in the cloakroom'

Brecht was against cathartic theatre - when an audence cries for a character or feels emotion through the events happening to them

- belived they lost the ability to think and judge

- wanted audiences to remain objective and distant from emotion to make rational judgments and considerations

He formed Epic Theatre

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V Effect

Wanted his spectators to remain interested and engaged but he wished to avoid emotional investment

- made his audience consider varying viewpoints of an argument

Epic theatre breaks the fourth wall so that spectators are an active part of the theatre

Brechtian devices

- narration, third person narration, speaking stage directions, directly adressing the audience, placards, multi-roling, split-role, minimal set, symbolic props, simple lighting

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Spass and Gestus


- realised that while we laugh, we think

- message may be serious but he found comedic ways of portraying it

- used to break tension to stop audience become emotionally attached to character


- clear character gesture or movement to capture a moment or attitude

- didnt want his charatcers on stage only to show them as a type of person

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Epic Theatre

Epic theatre - the idea of objectivity and absence of empathy

- narrative starts and ends, leaving issues unresolved, confronting audience with questions

- scenes are episodic - stand alone and constrcuted in small chunks

- fractured narrative - non-linear and jumps around

- shows an argument - clear political statement

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