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Brechtian Performance- Message Delivery

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Introduction

Our group explored and used a variety of different Brechtian techniques. Our chosen form of "social improvement" was "safe sex", and we chose to use a parody of the well-known Bible tale of Genesis to deliver our message, hence juxtaposing contemporary society. We presented it with quite a lot of satire, with physical comedy (the banana and the throwing of clothes whilst Adam [Ryan] and Eve [Steph] were behind the curtains) as well as verbal comedy ("But God said we could do anything but touch the bananas!"). This example of verbal comedy was to parody God's command to not touch the apples in the book of the Bible. We also had a narrator (Rebekka) who proved to be effective and acted in the style of a "Brechtian" narrator. We had individuals step out of the group to address the audience too - God (Jasmin) talked directly to the audience. This is a very popular Brechtian technique as it breaks the "fourth wall" and jars the audience. God and the narrator also gave stage directions, an example of self-reference which is again jarring for the audience. Since we used a Biblical story, there is already the presence of God, who made the judgment on characters in the end and resolved piece of epic theatre - another Brechtian technique. ...read more.

Middle

/pause/ The end." We did not really have time to try this out though, so it might not be a good idea and is merely what I would've wanted to try. I also feel we should've tried juxtaposing the "sex" scene to be more sarcastic and humorous - perhaps with a classic, slow, romantic song, paired with the frantic throwing of the clothes. Again, our lack of organization meant we could not try that out, so it is only another personal goal that I wanted to attempt. I wish to have explored more Brechtian techniques, especially in my own role. For example I could've used a mask - perhaps a typical Halloween type of mask for a comical, stereotypical presentation. I think we synthesized our content with our form quite successfully. Choosing the Biblical tale of Genesis as the base of our form was a good choice as we favourably parodied God's commands and the audience could follow the story with ease. This form we chose was effective because it allowed us to employ a variety of Brechtian techniques. The use of physical comedy was also very effective - the audience liked it and it was a sarcastic and humorous symbolism when Adam and Eve went behind the curtains. ...read more.

Conclusion

We've become so used to bullying that we know it's wrong, yet we never really question the immorality of it or how to stop it anymore. Having the bullies stand on chairs and Cinderella cowering in fear was like a "wake-up call" - we see the power relationship and we see how wrong it is. Hence this was an effective way to get the social improvement across to the audience. Lastly, I really liked how Tanisha's group "broke the fourth wall". When the two contestants introduced themselves, we were given instructions to clap and give a round of applause. This made the "theatre" of the piece very evident - the audience is actually joining in and somehow "taking part" in the performance - we provided the applause. This technique is very effective because it jars the audience and makes them realize they are watching a piece of theatre. I would like to perhaps take this even further and try to ask questions and demand answers from the audience. This penetrates the fourth wall strongly and having the audience participate in such a way is very effective in making "theatre" obvious. This will make the audience think about the social issue more - the piece of theatre was not merely something you went to watch and got absorbed in, but rather, a representation of reality. I believe this is an extremely effective Brechtian technique. Brechtian Performance- Message Delivery ...read more.

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