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Study of Brechtian Theatre

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Introduction

Year 10 Brechtian Theatre Assessment Brechtian theatre is a unique type of theatre in which the audience is reminded that it is just a play and is designed to make the audience think about the storyline and why it happened, and not care for the characters. Brechtian theatre was created by Bertolt Brecht who was a German playwright. Brecht was born into a religious household as his mother was protestant and his father was catholic and he was taught the ways of the bible which could have affected his writing when it came to writing about religion and the way in which people discriminate against those with a different view. In his twenties, he took an interest in politics which started to influence his writing and he wanted to get a message across, however, he did not want to make people believe what he believed, he wanted people to develop their own ideas and have their own opinions and ideas, he achieved this through theatre. He believed that theatre should not just be used for pleasure but should be used to give new ideas and help people decide on what they believed, he achieved this ...read more.

Middle

I don't think this particular piece was very effective but it did use some typical Brechtian theatre skills however it did not alienate the audience. The Alienation effect is when the actor prevents the audience from 'losing themselves' throughout the course of the scene, it is performed by coming out of role and using stereotypes and is used mainly in Brechtian theatre. I used the alienation effect in the job interview scene I performed by coming out of role every so often, for instance, when my partner said "Are there any boundaries that could prevent you from getting this job?" I replied by speaking to the audience by saying "Does a criminal record count as a boundary?" and then saying to him "No, of course not!" In a different scene I used exaggerated gestures where my group took everyday activities such as walking and knocking on a door and exaggerated them, for instance, when we were walking, we raised or legs up high and took long strides forward, this made walking look comical and it didn't look real, but it looked Brechtian. ...read more.

Conclusion

As it needs little speech and the gestures can be very powerful, but do not make the audience think about the characters very much as the gestures look quite comical and combined with the alienation effect it could look extremely effective. For instance, the abusive character could seem rather friendly when other characters are around and this could be shown by characters laughing in a comical way (tilting their heads back and opening their mouths very widely) and eventually when the two characters who were laughing turn around, but stay on the set, the abusive character could walk towards their wife/husband etc. and have an over the top argument with extremely exaggerated facial expressions and eventually the abusive character makes a slow movement like a punch towards the other characters face. The punch stops in mid-air but it is still as if the character is hit and shows they have been hit by swinging their head back. Then the abusive character comes out of role and tells the audience that he is attacking the other character for drinking problems or some problem with their life which will make the audience think about both sides of the story. ...read more.

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