Brecht And Political Theatre: The Mother On Stage

Hardcover | June 29, 2006

byLaura Bradley

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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, duringhis 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' politicalviews 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's1951 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 havehelped Brecht's text to outlive the political system that it came to uphold.

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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, duringhis exile, and in the GDR, The Mother offers ...

Laura Bradley studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. She then held a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton College, Oxford. She is now a Lecturer in German at the University of Edinburgh.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.86 inPublished:June 29, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199286582

ISBN - 13:9780199286584

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. From Nizhni-Novgorod to Moabit: the genesis and premiere of iDie Mutter/i, 1931-22. Model or museum exhibit? iDie Mutter/i at the Berliner Ensemble, 1951-713. The politics of performance: iDie Mutter/i in West and East Berlin, 1970 and 19744. Translation and transference since 19325. iDie Mutter/i and German reunification, 1988-2003ConclusionGlossary