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Brecht Masterclass

Theatre for Social Change through Brecht

During week 4, the Stage 1 & 2 Drama students had the fortune of attending a workshop with Bertolt Brecht’s specialist and theatre practitioner Dr. Antje Guenther.

Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956) was a German theatre practitioner, playwright and poet. He was a leading theoretician of Epic Theatre and the Alienation Effect or Verfremdungseffekt.

To use Brecht as a theatre style is to work with political theatre in its broadest form. Brecht is non naturalistic, and he invites a very different relationship between actor and audience. Both the actor and the audience are part of an ongoing critical and objective process which is active even during performance.

The Epic Theatre of Bertolt Brecht can be adapted to any form of theatre that puts a social or political message before the exploration of character. Brecht wants to understand a character’s motivations on a social level – why does a person do such a thing? What are the social ills that force a man to cheat on his fellow man? If such social conditions are prevalent in society, can we do anything about changing that society?

Antje was able to elucidate and dissect Brecht for the students who engaged and immersed themselves in various exercises with much enthusiasm.

Thank you, Antje and students.


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