Bertolt Brecht's methods of collective experimentation, and his unique framing of the theatrical event as a forum for change, placed him among the most important contributors to the theory and practice of theatre. His work continues to have a significant impact on performance practitioners, critics and teachers alike. Now revised and reissued, this book combines:
an overview of the key periods in Brecht's life and work
a clear explanation of his key theories, including the renowned ideas of Gestus and Verfremdung
an account of his groundbreaking 1954 production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle
an in-depth analysis of his practical exercises and rehearsal methods.
As a first step towards critical understanding, and as an initial exploration before going on to further, primary research, Routledge Performance Practitioners are an invaluable resource for students and scholars.
Meg Mumford is a Senior Llecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Acknowledgements A LIFE OF FLUX Which Brecht? On the make: from Bavaria to Berlin (1898-1924) Changing the world: Weimar politics (1924-33) On the run: exile in Europe and America (1933-47) Building a collective: Brecht in the GDR (1947-56) Brecht today? BRECHT'S KEY THEORIES Brecht in dialogue Brecht's key concerns Getting the gist of Gestus Verfremdung and V-effects Historicization: questioning the present through the past The modern theatre is the epic theatre Dialectics in the theatre Brecht's socialist realism: imitation meets experimentation Conclusion THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE: A MODEL PRODUCTION Prologue: a model A historicizing epic A Berliner Ensemble show Epilogue: `The proof of the pudding is in the eating' PRACTICAL EXERCISES AND WORKSHOP Preparing for spectActorship Section One: remembering exercises from the past Section Two: a workshop for Brechtians Conclusion