Bertolt Brecht. And Epic Theatre. “Actors should not impersonate, but should narrate the characteristics of a person”. Words you need to know.
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And Epic Theatre
“Actors should not impersonate, but should narrate the characteristics of a person”
Through Epic Theatre Brecht sought to use theatre as a tool for social change. This was in reaction to the ‘dramatic theatre’ of the time which Brecht felt encouraged the audience to be overwhelmed with passion and emotion, as opposed to calm and detached and therefore capable of contemplation and judgement.
To achieve this Brecht was constantly striving for ways to break the illusion of the 4th wall on stage, getting the audience to leave the theatre considering the messages/ questions presented in the play
Also know as- alienation, distancing effect, V-effeckt
This is the name given to what Brecht was trying to achieve, but using his techniques the audience were alienated (verfremdungs) rather than drawn into the character’s emotional state.
Create this episode as a short performance- we will see these as we go through the techniques.
Wears a wig and coat to
Represent a naval officer,
Bust still a dress on below
His tuba like a gun,He is multi
rolling as a Soldier, but the
Prop Represents an
‘instrument Of death.
usually to allegorically show a character as ‘faceless’ to society (homeless, prostitute) or untrustworthy
Imagine this is a play, the man in the foreground has presented himself as a good person, freezing at this point clearly shows the audience he is a thief and holding this moment breaks the naturalism (forth wall) highlighting it as significant to the audience
Placards were also often used in the form of projections- most modern Epic plays employ projection of video to draw a modern parallel from Brecht’s texts.
Homework- Do this for next lesson…
As with Stanislavski- write out the Brecht techniques and describe briefly your experience in working with them- You can also refer to anything you saw from other performers or in the clips of Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, Three Penny Opera, Life of Galileo or Good Soul/ Person/ Woman of Szechuan.