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Author Bradley, Laura J. R.

Title Brecht and political theatre : the Mother on stage / Laura Bradley
Published Oxford : Clarendon, 2006
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Description 1 online resource (xii, 261 pages) : illustrations
Series Oxford modern languages and literature monographs
Oxford modern languages and literature monographs.
Contents Introduction. Brecht, performance, and Die Mutter (The Mother) ; Brecht's political theatre: methods and concepts ; Die Mutter: the text and plot ; Re-interpreting Die Mutter for new audiences ; Methodology: reconstructing past productions ; Structural outline. -- From Nizhni-Novgorod to Moabit: The genesis and premiere of Die Mutter, 1931-2. Introduction ; The genesis of the text ; Preparations for the premiere ; Politics ; Dramaturgy and aesthetics ; Music ; The polarized reception and Brecht's response ; Conclusion. -- Model or museum exhibit? Die Mutter at the Berliner Ensemble, 1951-71. Introduction ; The process of production ; Brecht's new approach: Courting the audience ; The production's reception ; The 1967 revival: change and development ; The model and the museum exhibit ; Conclusion
Summary This production history of "The Mother" provides substantial new insights into Bertolt Brecht's theatre and drama, his impact on political theatre, and the relationship between text, performance, and politico-cultural context. As the only play which Brecht staged in the Weimar Republic, during his exile, and in the GDR, "The Mother" offers a unique opportunity to compare his theatrical practice in contrasting settings and at different points in his career. Through detailed analysis of original archival evidence, Bradley shows how Brecht became far more sensitive to his spectators' political views and cultural expectations, even making major tactical concessions in his 1951 production at the Berliner Ensemble. These compromises indicate that his 'mature' staging should not be regarded as definitive, for it was tailored to a unique and delicate situation. "The Mother" has appealed strongly to politically committed theatre practitioners both in and beyond Germany. By exploiting the text's generic hybridity and the interplay between Brecht's 'epic' and 'dramatic' elements, directors have interpreted it in radically different ways.; So, although Brecht's 1951 production stagnated into an affirmative GDR heritage piece, post-Brechtian directors have used "The Mother" to promote their own political and theatrical concerns, from anti-authoritarian theatre to reflections on the legacies of state Socialism. Their ideological and theatrical subversion have helped Brecht's text to outlive the political system that it came to uphold
Notes Title from PDF title page (viewed Mar. 10, 2009)
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 231-247) and indexes
Subject Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956 -- Dramatic production.
Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956 -- Stage history.
Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956. Mutter.
Political plays, German -- History and criticism.
Theater -- Political aspects -- Germany.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2006011802
ISBN 0191536776 (electronic bk.)
9780191536779 (electronic bk.)
Other Titles Brecht and political theater