21 terms

Bertolt Brecht and Epic Theatre - Definitions


Terms in this set (...)

Epic Theatre
A form of political drama aiming to appeal to reason and prompt thought, as opposed to appealing to the emotions. Common characteristics include an episodic structure, distancing devices, and often historical subject matter to encourage a sense of story telling, and prompt comparison with contemporary society.
Making the familiar strange / estrangement
Alienation or Distancing
Using various effects and techniques to remind the audience they are in a theatre, and watching a play - this will keep them alert, thinking and judging for themselves.
Fourth Wall
The invisible barrier that exists between actors and audience in naturalistic theatre.
Gestic Acting
An acting style that is visual and demonstrative, simplifying characterisation by focusing on the political themes of the play - the status and attitude of the character are focused on primarily.
The juxtaposition of two contrasting or unusual images, scenes, or styles, in a way that makes some kind of political comment or draws attention to a specific feature of the story.
Episodic Structure
Deliberately jumpy structure of self-contained scenes or episodes. Scenes might involve different characters, or jump around in time or even style
Dramatic Structure
A chronological, smooth structure that develops the action and story of the characters in a naturalistic way, building to a climax and then resolution.
The geste
The central point or key message explored in the scene, often visual, symbolic or political.
The power or importance a character holds in the scene and how they demonstrate where they are on a
Instead of 'becoming' the character, Brecht was keen that the character was being...
'demonstrated' or 'presented'
Brecht was born...
...in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany
Brecht was born in the year...
Brecht died in the year...
'Learning' or 'teaching' plays, driven by morals, music and containing early epic theatre characteristics. They aimed to educate the working class on socialist issues.
Pared down and simplistic design, keeping the focus on the acting. Anything unnecessary can be left out.
a political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
The system of economic and political thought developed by Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, especially the doctrine that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system, containing from the first the seeds of its own decay, will inevitably, after the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, be superseded by a socialist order and a classless society.
Brecht's childhood friend, and set designer, a collaborator on many plays, for example, 'In The Jungle of the Cities', 'Baal,' Man Equals Man,' 'Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny,' and 'Mr Puntila and His Man Matti'
Caspar Neher
Brecht's collaborator in the creation of 'Epic Theatre' - political theatre with minimal set, distancing devices and frequently the use of projections.
Erwin Piscator
A composer and frequent collaborator of Brecht's, creating the music for productions such as 'The Threepenny Opera'
Kurt Weill