Bertolt Brecht's Alienation Effect

When Bertolt Brecht introduces Alienation effect, a technique of acting in which all “illusion” and “magical” elements are removed from the the stage, he leans heavily on the role of the actor to perform in a way that is almost counterintuitive.

Through the A-effect, as Brecht calls it, the guise of the fourth wall and all pretense that the performance that is being viewed is anything other than a performance are done away with and in doing so the actor sequences the duty of empathically appealing to their audience in a traditional sense (i.e. attempting to provoke an emotional response from the audience). The actor does not however need to remove all empathy from their performance, just enough so that that they are “reproducing particular
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This method does not encourage criticism as the aim it’s not to think about the performance while engaged but feel whatever emotion the performance is constructed to convey. According to Brecht new technique, A-effect, critique of performance is achieved and the manipulation and power imbalance in performance is righted.

To support his claims Brecht uses his own perspective of traditional methods of theatre, “[... contact between audience and stage is normally made on the basis of empathy. Conventional actors devote their efforts so exclusively to bringing about this psychological operation that they may be said to see it as the principal aim of their art.” In Brecht 's mind the actor while not the only tool of illusion is a defining factor in the emotional pull of conventional theatre and the power dynamic between actor and
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First, while Brecht asserts that A-effect encourages critique for the for and from the actor and audience there doesn’t seem to be a place where that critique can be communicated. The actor, Brecht explains can self critique and can also critique the historical and societal situations surrounding their character and represent that critique to the audience in their performance but how the audience is to communicate with the performers is broached as to Brecht “a critical attitude on the audience’s part is a thoroughly artistic

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