2/04/2008

Brecht Definitions

Brecht is known for creating and implementing several
new theatrical techniques.

Epic theatre: (also known as "brechtian acting," and "dialectical
theatre") This type of theatre is not meant to entertain or present the
audience witha false reality, but to present the audience with ideas
to provoke discussion andthoughtful self-reflection.

Alienation effect: (more closely translated as distancing or estrangement
effect) The simplifying of story and theatrical devices is key in helping
the audience see the purpose of the piece. By distancing the audience
emotionally, they are better able to analyze and discuss the work's ideas
rationally. Brecht seeks to oppose the realism and escapism of Stanislavski
by using simplified sets and storytelling devices.

Historicization: Brecht felt that stories set in the present were too close
to be examined objectively. He often wrote plays set in previous times
because they helped the audience see the present more clearly.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Mueller, Dramaturg

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